Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Only, I Didn't Say Fudge"

Dear Lurker(s):

First, let me say "Happy Holidays" to each of you.

Despite Bill O'Reilly's assertion to the contrary, my salutation is not intended to be part of any cultural war. In fact, it's the opposite. I see from Sitemeter that many of you come from places other than Huntington, West Virginia; some are even from countries other than the U.S. of A. So, I presume this open letter is going out to a fairly diverse group of people.

I'm nothing if not inclusive!

Anyway, as I mentioned, I have this Sitemeter thing which gives me data about how people find this blog. Although it's really useless information, I still look at it every couple of days because I'm curious. About the interests of other people, how those interests intersect with what I might have written, etc.

You get the point: I look at the data pretty often, and it tells me a lot.

Lately, I've been noticing a trend. It might be that the trend is due to the holiday season, I dunno. But I realized today I can save a great many of you a lot of time by telling you, right now, this small bit of information: Peter Billingsley, the child actor from A Christmas Story, did not work as an adult porn star.

Due to the heavy traffic of folks asking this question, I want to repeat this part again: "...he did not work as an adult porn star!"


Now, Jack Baker on the other hand...Well, Sitemeter tells me many of you know that already. Very, very well.

So, dear lurker(s), I hope the extra three-to-five minutes I've just saved you from frenetic Internet searching is valuable to you. Extra time in today's world is a rarity, so put it to good use. And think of it as a holiday present from The Film Geek.

For whatever holiday you observe.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Count Out

One question has plagued slackers, rednecks and Gen-X'ers alike for years:

"What you gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?"

According to reports, Linda Hogan just answered the question.

(Photo by Stephen Chernin, AP)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Black Snake Moan

I gotta admit: I felt a little creepy liking Black Snake Moan as much as I did. Sure, I thought the acting was terrific, and the dialogue was stellar. But I worried that a big part of the reason I liked this movie so much is because Christina Ricci spends most of it partially nude, and chained to a radiator.




See what I mean!?!

(And that's more clothes than she wore during most of the film.)






Sexist, exploitive-looking movie poster aside, Black Snake Moan is a better-than-average flick that examines the need we humans have to connect with others, particularly when we are going through trauma.

As much as we need others we tend to be too prideful to seek help, and sometimes we even ignore the life's problems until they consume us. The characters in Black Snake Moan all experience events that cause trauma, depression and anxiety. And alone, they can't handle the distress.

Together, they realize they can overcome the odds.

Ricci gives a terrific performance as Rae, despite wearing mostly only her knickers throughout the film. (Underwear that stays remarkably clean, Mrs. Film Geek noted several times.) And Samuel L. Jackson is terrific in the role of Lazerus, who almost reaches his boiling point before recognizing he could salvage his own humanity--become a better person-- by helping Rae overcome her problems.

The film boasts a cool blues soundtrack too, including a song or two from Jackson, who learned to play blues guitar for the part.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Groomsmen

The Groomsmen, like most movies written and directed by Edward Burns, is a film with a simple theme that produces complex reactions from the viewer. As much as any movie-maker these days--and maybe more-so--Burns tells stories about families and friends in small town America that resonates with most everyone.

Well, with me at least.

Burns' character, Paulie, is a mid-thirty-something professional who's getting married to his girlfriend, who happens to be pregnant. The marriage is less than a week away, and Paulie is spending as much time with his friends and family--his groomsmen--as he can. Although Paulie can seem a bit phobic about relationships, he's really struggling with the transition to responsibility that he is facing. Most of his groomsmen are struggling too; with lifestyles that don't fit their childhood dreams, with responsibility, with love. Most urgently, though, each is struggling with what it means to be "a man" in our society.

That's a concept that's more complicated than some would guess.

I've mentioned before--although I don't talk very much about it--that I was first married very early in my life, at age 18. Unlike Paulie, I didn't feel I had to get married because a baby was on the way. Culturally, it was acceptable during the early 80's for an 18 year old to marry right out of high school, and my girlfriend wanted to get married. At that time in my life, I didn't have the gumption or the guts to disagree, so I went along with the plans.

It's what a man does, I thought.

About three months before the wedding, my girlfriend's mother and I found ourselves alone in the house for a few moments. Very quietly, she said:

"Are you sure you want to get married so early in your life?"

In my head, I screamed: "NO! Help me stop this!" Before my lips could speak those words, though, I remembered the promise I had made to my girldfriend, and the excitement she had about the upcoming wedding. My response crept from my brain into my throat and out my mouth as:

"Yeah, I'm sure. I'm positive."

I thought it was what a man would do. Should do, even. Seven years later, I realized I'd been wrong.

The Groomsmen explores friendships and the life transitions of men as well as any movie I've seen in years. (And it's not really a guy movie; Mrs. Film Geek loved it too.) The thing The Groomsmen does best, though, is explore the concept of what being a man means in our society, and how that paradigm affects our lives and our relationships.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why I Lied When I Said I'd Never Publish A Meme: Lie # 2

Recently tagged twice for memes, I'm combining Jedi's "8 Random Or Interesting Things About Me" with Buzzardbilly's "Six Secrets About Me" That way, I don't have to tell folks 14 things about me; I know all too well that most folks wouldn't give a goddamn about 13.5 of them.

I'm splitting the difference, though. Here are 7 Random Secrets Of The Film Geek.

1. I often wear no underwear. I was commando when commando wasn't cool, baby. I've also been commando when commando was sorta non-hygienic, but that's for another list.

2. Speaking of: I once found myself needing to pee desperately while driving in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. I was new to the area, and couldn't find a convenience story anywhere and had no bottles in the car that I could use to relieve myself. So, I began to pee in my pants. Mid-way through the peeing in my pants I spotted a 7-11. Pulling into the parking lot, I realized I had a decision to make: I could simply finish pissing in my pants, or I could walk in and use the bathroom.

The dilemma was, of course, I'd already wet myself down one leg of my jeans, and it was more than obvious.

I walked in.

The clerk just stared, and I stared back with a pained look on my face. Without saying a word he simply motioned to the back, where the bathroom was located.

3. Like some other folks I know, I'm painfully shy and more than a little socially awkward. The work I do demands a lot of social interaction, though, so I've learned how to act not-shy. I'm still working on the socially awkward thing.

4. I've always been good at telling a lie. One of my best was when I was in 11th grade.

Some friends and I broke into Mountain Manor campground during the off-season, and were preparing to make out in the woods with our dates when the Game Warden showed up, curious about why we had broken locks to get into the area. I heard him several yards away talking to my friend Bryan. I walked up casually and said: "He's not anywhere to be found, Bryan."

The Game Warden asked who I was talking about, and I told him a long story about how we lost our family dog in the area a week or so before, and were back to see if we could find him. He asked for a description of the dog, and I gave him the description of the German Shepard from Run, Joe, Run--right down to the tattoo on his ear! And he believed me.

It wasn't the details of the lie the Game Warden bought as much as it was how casual I was about telling it.

He took really detailed notes of the dog's description, and promised to get back with me if the dog was found. When he asked for my name, I gave him the name and the telephone number of my arch-nemesis in high school.

5. I was once described by a very good friend as "charming, but in a serial killer sorta way."

(I think that has to do with the eye contact thing...)

6. I consider myself very spiritual and I'm very much interested in theology, but I don't believe in God.

When Mrs. Film Geek and I moved in together, one of her high school friends stopped by because she heard I was an atheist. We talked a long while before it became clear she wanted to meet me like some people want to meet a clown after the circus is over, or people who like to talk to folks from foreign countries because they may never get a chance to again. I was an odd conversation, and one I've never forgotten simply for it's absurdity.

7. Although I have no faith, I desire it. I'm envious of people who can think critically and still believe. In something.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cornapopia....Corpuponia....Cornuplethera.... Damn It!! It's A Horn Of Plenty

Yeah, I know. Thanksgiving posts are stereotypical crap, a level-and-a-half below memes. I've been told bloggers are supposed to be better--more creative--than that.

C'mon, seriously: have you seen
some of my posts?

Look, you can't get past a holiday designed for reflection without this annual post from me. If you don't like it, go read something else.

As a person I consider a best friend suggests, we often wait until it's too late to tell people important to us that they are. Important to us, that is. Thanksgiving seems like the time to do that, and to remind ourselves to notice the small things we sometimes take for granted.

My family is healthy, and (for the most part) smart and happy.

In fact, it's more than I deserve.

I'm grateful for the love and friendship of my wife, and that she has become more patient with me as we've grown up together. We laugh now more than we ever did, and we understand each other better now than at any other time in our relationship.


I'm reminded every day of why I fell in love with her.

(Note: Blogger lost the Mickie and Minnie pictures I posted originally, and since they came from someone else's camera I didn't have them to replace. So, I replaced them with these: one of Mrs. Film Geek at the start of day of fishing--which she digs, and I don't--and one of the kids at Animal Kingdom.)

My kids make me smile every day, even on the days we make each other frown. The level of stress that comes with raising small children is surpassed only by the love and joy that comes with raising small children.

My kids make me a better person.

I've developed friendships--including blogger-world friendships--that are long-lasting, and rewarding. Some of the bloggers I've met here have gone out of their way to be helpful and friendly, and in ways I never expected. Whether it's dropping a CD mix in the mail to me, inviting me regularly to lunch, listening to me ramble at the Frost-top, letting me win in a friendly game of darts, driving ninety minutes to give me some much needed advice or simply leaving comments on things I've written here: please know I've noticed.

For those friendships and personal connections, I'm humbled and appreciative.

Enjoy the turkey or ham, and fill up on great food. Don't forget to dig deep into the main course of Thanksgiving, though: those people in your life for whom you care, and those who care about you.


In addition to football, it's what the whole day is about.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Contract

Morgan Freeman's an ex-military assassin, and John Cusack's a soccer dad who stumbles into his path. Cusack's Ray Keene, who happens to be camping in the wilderness with his tweener son when his life intersects with Freeman's Frank Cardin, finds himself in an impossible situation of trying to stay alive while delivery Cardin to the authorities.

Look, there's more than a couple reasons The Contract went straight to video despite a top shelf cast. It's an average story with average acting that delivers less than an average ending.

There is one moment of the film, however, that really struck my interest. Early in the movie, when Ray Keene and Frank Cardin first meet, Keene has to made a decision: does he (a) willingly allow Cardin to escape, knowing the killer will eventually kill again but that he and his son will be unharmed, or (b) take custody of Cardin, understanding that doing so puts his life and the life of his son in serious peril?

It's a moral dilemma I'm not sure how to answer for myself.

Lots of folks talk about living lives dedicated to doing the right thing. That concept isn't always as clear to me as it seems to be for others. It's obviously the right thing to perform an act that effects dozens of people positively, which taking custody of Cardin would accomplish. But, protecting one's son from danger or death is also the right thing.

And truth be told, if it came down to my kid dying or someone else taking the fall...

Well, it might not be everyone's the right thing, but I'm gonna make sure my kid's safe.

Although, I guess that makes for a short movie, eh?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dick Wilson

Long before "Where's the beef!?!" and "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful," Mr. Whipple was begging people: "Please, don't squeeze the Charmin."

Dick Wilson
died today, at age 91.

photo: Bob Riha, Jr. Getty Images

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bug

So, this is what's become of Ashley Judd's career.

That saddens me, 'cause the kid has some talent. And it may be she chose to do Bug to highlight those skills; it's dialogue heavy and calls for an intense range of emotions. It looks like she even pulled a Bob De Niro, adding a few pounds and de-glamorizing herself so she could look more convincing in the part.

It does take some convincing: her role, Agnes, is a lonely and sad thirty-something mother of a child kidnapped years earlier who relies on cocaine and beer to get through weekends. Agnes lives in a road-side motel on a long-term lease, waitresses at a local lesbian bar and has an abusive ex-husband who has just been released from jail. She takes in a quiet guy named Peter (Michael Evans) because she's so lonely, and eventually succumbs to his dramatic paranoid delusions, as his mental illness spins out of control.

See what I mean?

And none of it works.

Bug is surreal, unusual and manic. It's also unbelievable, stereotypical and unfulfilling.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hot Fuzz

I tend to enjoy a good British comedy, and think most are cracking. Benny Hill was ace and Shaun Of The Dead was blinding. Although you might think I'm blinkered--or even a bit barmy--, I thought Hot Fuzz was basically daft.

Watching it was my biggest cock up of the night.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Turkey Season

AOL's Moviefone has a listing of the Top 25 Biggest Movie Bombs. I can't disagree with a one of them...

Can you?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whatever Happened To... The Cast Of The Bugaloos

Even after 499 blog posts, "Whatever Happened To..." still cuts more notches on the Sitemeter than anything else I've written. Whether it's people looking for Meeno Paluci, folks trying to find porn titles that starred Wonderbug's Jack Baker, searches for "that bee girl in the Blind Melon video" or people just curious about what happened to Mr. Moose, a couple handfuls of new people stop by The Film Geek each day to find out what happened to important people from their youth.

That saddens me. Hell, most of the time I'm making that stuff up!

Anyway, it seems fitting that for Number 500 I add to the list. Don't put too much stock in this one, either. It might be true, but I doubt it.


The Sid & Marty Krofft children's show aired original episodes during the 1970-1971 television season, then re-ran them during the following year. The Bugaloos--a musical band of tiny, insect-like people--sang and pranced throughout Tranquility Forrest while engaging in misadventures by outsmarting Benita Bizarre.


Harmony, Courage, Joy and I.Q. lived an exciting, almost psychedelic existence during the first year of their show. The good life was filled with drugs, free sex and money. And lots of each! Although the miniature musicians played peace-loving beatniks on the tube, in real life they were selfish, egotistical and greedy.

The actor who played "Nutty Bird" on the show, said once in an interview that the Bugaloo set was a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah, and that he felt dirty every time he stepped foot on the set. All the excess soon destroyed The Bugaloos, and the series ended it's run with only 17 original episodes. The cast parted ways, and rarely kept in contact.

Harmony became a roadie for the pop band Air Supply, and could once in a while be heard playing a haunting melody on keyboards late into the night, long after the concert had ended. Sadly, Harmony was never seen again after Air Supply's biggest hit, All Out Of Love. It's theorized that the little bumblebee became too frightened of the spotlight and simply walked away from the on-coming fame.

Courage went into the antiques business, and owns a store called "The Ladybug's Nest."

Joy, the little butterfly that could, lived for several years in a commune. Because she loved nature and desired psychological enlightenment, Joy created and ran one of the largest psychedelic 'shroom businesses on the west coast. She was last seen living in a tent in Bakersfield, California.

I.Q. lived up to his name: he developed an Internet gaming system based on The Bugaloos and their music, and made a fortune.

At least, that's what I've heard...


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Film Scenes That Matter: Midnight Cowboy

Joe Buck and Ratzo Rizzo form an awkward friendship, based mostly in the one thing they have in common: the desire each has to be someone and something they aren't.

This is the way great movies should end.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Film Scenes That Matter: Unforgiven

Sometimes, violence happens simply because it has to.

Clint Eastwood's aging killer no longer has the stomach for violence, until he has to. And then, he carries it out in a way that's thorough, and complete.


And for Ned.

Unforgiven is complex and multi-layered, yet beautiful for it's simplicity.


Monday, November 12, 2007

American Hardcore

During the very late 70s and early 80s, radio music waves that seeped into Salem's Branch had a distinctive country twang. I liked some of the music that was a bit edgier for the time--The Charlie Daniel's Band and Hank Williams, Jr. for example--but really hated most of the stuff that was played. The only radio stations I could pick up were in Beckley, WV, so I was pretty much stuck with the format:

All tears and beers, all the time!

One Saturday while pretending to clean my room I had the radio on and suddenly, in mid-song, I realized I was listening to something unusual. A song that didn't sound like all the others that typically played on that station. Music that sounded contemporary with lyrics that were smart, and a song that didn't get wrapped up in a sweetly packaged conclusion.

It was an Eagles song: Lyin' Eyes.

Today, Lyin' Eyes sounds as Country as can be. When it was fresh out, though, it was different. Different in style than anything my parents were listening to. Different in substance than anything the people in my church were listening to. And different in sound to anything folks living up Salem's Branch listened to regularly.

I loved it!

It made me feel unique. Special, and different. Each generation needs to figure out it's own identity, the thing that makes kids different and distinct from their parents . Teenagers need to feel as though they have a place in the world that's just for them. And as in my example, it's through music that this identity's sometimes discovered.


I missed the punk rock movement that's the focus of the documentary American Hardcore. Based on the book American Hardcore: A Tribal History, the film takes a look at the hardcore punk movement that occurred from 1980-1986, focusing on the early pioneers of punk, including Black Flag, Bad Brains, SS Decontrol, The Minutemen and Minor Threat. It's a cool mix of videotaped performances of some terrific shows, and modern day interviews with the musicians who performed them.

The interviews were my favorite part of the documentary, especially the focus on what the music itself meant to the artists who were performing. It was not only a way to separate themselves from their parents, but a way to vent and express their dissatisfaction with current political and social constraints. American culture changed dramatically in the 70s, and the punks were talking through music about the isolation, indifference and violence that was the result. It was also interesting to hear those interviewed talk about the commonly understood cultural practices of the bands as they toured. Staying in a fancy hotel while touring wasn't common; not only was it a waste of money that couldn't be spared, but it was considered to be selling out. The movement was as much about keeping the music and it's message pure as it was anything else.

In fact, those interviewed insisted they got out when it became clear the music had become something other than that.

"What if?" questions intrigue me. What if it had been Black Flag's Damaged II I heard, rather than the Eagles songs? What might I have become if The Punch Line by The Minutemen had caught my ear?


She gets up and pours herself a strong one
And stares out at the stars up in the sky
Another night, it's gonna be a long one
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry

She wonders how it ever got this crazy
She thinks about a boy she knew in school
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She's so far gone she feels just like a fool

My, oh my, you sure know how to arrange things
You set it up so well, so carefully
Ain't it funny how your new life didn't change things
You're still the same old girl you used to be


I wonder.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Vacancy

After their car breaks down during the night on an isolated highway, married couple David and Amy Fox hike it back to a roadside motel to get a few hours sleep while they wait for a tow truck.

They wish they hadn't.

Vacancy is a horror/thriller flick that starts fast and stays intense. After checking into the motel, the couple quickly discover the place is actually a set-up for the filming of real-life snuff films. Three men play cat and mouse with the Fox's through most of the night, filming along the way so that footage can be edited into fetish films sold via the Internet. Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale, the married couple, try to stay alive by staying one step ahead of the killers.

For a modern thriller, Vacancy is markedly bloodless, which made it more enjoyable for me. The flick scared me through anticipation and suspense, keeping the most violent scenes just off camera.

I think I diverted my eyes only once.

Mrs. Film Geek--a horror and thriller fan--didn't care for the movie. I really liked it.

Go figure.

Let me know which one of us is right.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Reign Over Me

Finally! Hollywood's made a guy's buddy movie that women will want to watch.

Reign Over Me centers on the deeply emotional stories of former college roommates Charlie (Adam Sandler) and Alan (Don Cheadle). Both struggle with personal demons that have forced each into a life of safe routine and quiet solitude. While Charlie's emotional pain is obvious--his entire family died on one of the plans that struck the World Trade Center buildings--Alan is quietly allowing himself to become lost in a life that's unfulfilled and monotonous.

In typical buddy-movie style, both have their lives improved by the rekindling of their friendship.

Lots of men I know--me, included-- can identify with Cheadle's character, Alan Johnson. While Sandler's Charlie Fineman is the more dramatic character, it's Johnson's distress that most men will recognize and understand. We're reminded of the subtle ways in which we can lose our identity and our vitality, if we aren't keeping a careful watch.

Alan Johnson was once a dental school student who was excited about the life he was carving out for himself. Years later, his renewed friendship with Fineman helps him recognize he'd become so focused on a specific lifestyle that he's forgotten the small aspects of life that make that lifestyle rewarding: family, friends and enjoying the moment.

The movie is a little too long, and is even a bit melodramatic at times. But, the acting of Cheadle, the unraveling of Charlie's story and the film's message make up for most of that. I really liked Reign Over Me mostly, though, because it made me reflect on my own life and take measure of my own priorities.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

Taking a sick day on a Friday sometimes gets the sick-ee a hard look from the workplace. Some folks figure the sick-ee is just angling for a three day weekend, while a few others just notice the work that's been added to their day because my throat is swollen shut and my temperature hit the 102 mark.

That's why I rarely take sick days, and the reason I stay in bed most times I do. (That and, of course, the fact that I'm a real baby when I'm sick.)



Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer kills the time between doses of NyQuil!

I didn't care for the first F4 flick. I prefer my heroes to have more of an edge, to be conflicted in some ways. The Fantastic Four have never really been anti-heroes, and the first film played out as more camp than drama.


And so did the sequel. It's fluff, and light. Camp, but with pretty cool special effects. Surfer isn't a film I'd enjoy on a average night of flick catching. But as a salve to my worst-flu-ever symptoms, it ain't bad at all!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks, written and directed by Bruce Evans and starring Kevin Costner in the lead, seems less a psychological thriller to me than a statement about the human condition. In modern society, we tend to simplify and generalize people into categories.

He's a good father.

She's a Christian.

He's a blogger.

That woman's a college professor.

The kid's a great student.


How we typically define people seems incredibly limited. A good father could be a lousy husband, after all. A Christian could well be a bigot, and a blogger a Rhodes Scholar. (Well, it could happen.) A college professor could have no common sense, and a terrific student could be a cheater.

The human condition is more complicated than we sometimes like to admit.

Earl Brooks is complicated, too. He's a wealthy businessman who is devoted to his family and his community. He also happens to be a very methodical and quite prolific serial killer. Insightful enough to recognize he's addicted to the control that comes with stalking and killing, Brooks tries to fight the urges by using 12-step practices and a strong will. He can't refuse the compulsion to kill for long, however, and occasionally satisfies his blood-lust by choosing random couples to stalk and murder. He's known as "The Thumbprint Killer."

He's completely and utterly evil.

He's also a good father, an attentive husband, a successful businessman and a thoughtful civic leader.


William Hurt has a significant part as the blood-thirsty alter-ego of Mr. Brooks. The movie presents the internal dialogue that occurs between Costner and Hurt in a way that really illustrates just how dominant is this aspect of Brooks' personality. Duane Cook plays a schlep who figures out that Brooks is a murderer and tries to parlay that into a serial killer career of his own. Demi Moore plays a cop searching for Brooks in what was one of the two sub-plots of this movie that were unnecessary, and which only served to clutter up the flick.

Overall, Mr. Brooks was really creepy and above average. But only slightly above average.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Last Wishes Of A Film Geek

I might have mentioned a coupla times: I'm really scared of death.

Not what happens to my spirit or conscious or soul or whatever. I don't believe in an afterlife, so the anxiety isn't a spiritual one. A long time ago I determined I could lead a very spiritual existence without subscribing to the concepts of a heaven, a hell or a purgatory. And if I'm wrong?

I'll be happy for all those who held the faith.

My distress about death is mostly about what happens to my body after I'm dead. The ins and outs of how my body will be prepared, where and how (and by whom) it will be kept until my funeral and -- the biggest angst of all -- what method will be used to dispose of my body for all of eternity.

I don't wanna end up like this guy.

Thousands of years after his death, King Tut is sill being poked, prodded and moved around for the benefit of science and greed.

Not me, brother.


I'm regularly perplexed about how my last will and testament should dictate the way my body should be laid to rest. Part of that conflict rests (no pun intended) in my understanding of how neurotic my desires may be, and if I should insist Mrs. Film Geek (or my next of kin, should she kick the bucket before me) carry them out.

For example:

1. I don't want to be autopsied.

Even if my death is suspicious, I don't want it to happen. Sure, the sawing and the cutting and the poking bothers me. But my disturbance is mostly because I don't want some grubby examiner doing the job half-way, leave me alone on a table while he takes a lunch break only to come back later to finish sorting through my lower intestines. Also, I don't want to be kept for any real length of time in one of those small drawers. I'm more than a bit claustrophobic, and can't stand to sleep in a bunk bed; that in-the-wall drawer would really freak me out.

(By the way, when I mention my disinterest in being autopsied to my wife she always smiles, says she understands and will honor my wishes. I'm not sure, but she seems a little too eager to please me on that one.)

2. I don't want buried in the ground, cremated, placed in a drawer in a mausoleum or stuffed and put on display.

None of those work for me. The claustrophobia I mentioned before bothers me, but the cremation does equally. There must be another option.

Mustn't there?

3. If a casket is used, please don't lay me in it flat on my back.

I can't sleep flat on my back, and lying that way for an eternity gives me the heebie-jeebies. I need to be at a slight angle, sorta half-way on my side. If someone would bring a door jam and slide it under my left or right hip, I'd greatly appreciate the solid.

Oh! And I can't sleep on a satin pillow. I've used the same pillow for about 15 years--bring it along, crumple it under my head in the only way I can sleep (my wife will show you how) and leave me be.

4. I don't want to be at the funeral or memorial.

The thought of people walking by and looking at me--especially people I barely know--is really disturbing. If you know me well, you know I can't hold eye contact for long, and having people stare at me causes me real discomfort. So, I'll remedy that by saying "No" to any memorial that has me present.

5. Regardless of laws that govern how this is carried out, I don't want to have my dead body prepared in any way that involves (a) cutting, (b) blood draining, (c) make-up, or (d) the town barber stopping by to do a trim up.

Really, just leave me the hell alone.

The cutting and blood draining reminds me of horror movies I'm too scared to watch. The make-up really freaks me out, with all the touching and staring at me to see if it looks right. And I'll be damned if I'll go into eternity with combed hair! My hair hasn't been combed thoroughly in years; doing it at my death seems disingenuous.

Anyway, the King Tut press this weekend really freaked me out and made me think even more about my dilemma . And I've come to this conclusion: I'm stuck, I have no real options, and don't know what to do.

So please, some advice here: given the same fears, how would you get past them?

(Photo by AP/Ben Curtis)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

28 Weeks Later

Peeking through fingers,
And asking, "What just happened?"
Seemed to annoy her.

"Why aren't you watching?"
She says, glued to the telly.
"It's really quite good."

"Did you just sound Brit?"
I ask, cov'ring my head more.
She's infected, too?

"Just wait 'til later,
When the light's out, and all's still.
Then you will find out
."

She meant it to scare
And it should have worked, except
I found it 'rousing!