Wednesday, September 6, 2017

AHS: Cult Kool-Aid Mixer

I will not be sipping any more of American Horror Story: Cult for health reasons.

Watching the first episode gave me nauseating flashbacks of how annoyed and depressed I was over the hate and fear-mongering emanating from both sides in the weeks following the November U.S. election.

My feelings over these extreme reactions probably caused my blood pressure to rise, which, in turn, may have been a contributing factor in my left eye having a stroke in December. 

I want to keep what sight I have left for as long as I can, so I'm poring out what's left of AHS: Cult.  Maybe I'll refill my cup next season, or when the series is  done with this political ratings ploy. 

Though I will say that it wasn't as wretchedly dull as the first episode of AHS: Hotel, and it was smart of Ryan Murphy to cast Billie Lourd as the most interesting and emotionally complex character.

However, I found the clowns repetitive and boring, but that might be because AHS: Freak Show helped me face my coulrophobia. 

Also, if Ryan Murphy wants to give a voice to people who don't feel like they have a voice, why were the main characters all white?

Anyhoo...that's it for now.  Thank you for reading my half-blind nonsense.  

Freak Out, 
JLH

P.S. Related posts...
Just tired...
Mundane Clown Person

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Summertime Sickness of Infectious John

A few things I thought about during my recent summertime sickness...

1)  Is world peace achievable without losing individuality?  Seems unlikely without an Outer Limits/Watchmen type event, but even then I doubt peace would stand a chance against humanity's ability to fear and hate one another

2)  Did the various U.S. accents evolve from the languages and accents of early European settlers?  I'm sure there's been studies, but it makes sense, though there must be other factors involved to explain the variations within each accent. 

3)  What if I'm Patient Zero in a pandemic that wipes out over 75% of humanity, leaving me with the nickname "Infectious John" in the post-apocalyptic history books?  Eat your heart out, Typhoid Mary! 

It took a few days , but I beat my summertime sickness of sinus gunk & aches.  Thanks for reading my nonsense! 

Freak Out, 
JLH

P.S.  Obviously I wasn't Patient Zero...this time. ;)

Monday, July 24, 2017

A New (Half-Blind) Beginning

Once upon a time there was a freak who fancied himself a writer because he didn't know what else to be.  He released a few e-books, a print edition that found a home on a library shelf, and he blogged.

The freak blogged his brains out with fiction, non-fiction, so-called poetry, and other random, and sometimes themed, mad ramblings.  He was rolling right along, mostly pleased with the words he inflicted upon the world, until his own world ended.

Physical betrayal behind eyes the color of dung thrusted the freak into the emotional chaos of vision loss.  He didn't know the cause as his world grew hazy and dark, numbing him into denial until it terrified him into action.

What he hoped would be a simple visit to the optometrist turned into a trip to the E.R., which sent him to an out-of-town E.R., and eventually a neuro-optimologist.  After various medical and visual tests, not to mention the 11 tubes of blood taken for extra torture, the freak was given the name for the nightmare he was experiencing.

Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, which is a loss of blood flow event.  Basically his left eye had a stroke, leaving him with less than perfect peripheral vision.  This loss revealed old, unspecified damage in his right eye, leaving him some sight, but also with a grey, hazy blob where people's faces used to be seen.  This unspecified damage was given the name  Optic Atrophy, which is a thinning of the optic nerves from whatever happened to that eye. 

The freak quickly learned there was nothing to be done to bring back what he lost.  Untreatable became the half-watch word, and he didn't know what to do.  Fall into despair?  Yes.  Rage with anger?  Yes.  Find a way to teach an old freak new tricks in order to keep doing the things he loves.  Yes, but it would not be easy, but most good things are not.

So, here I am, months later, mostly the same, yet irreversibly different.  I am officially visually impaired, but after hitting my face on a table when bending over to pick something up off the floor and on many occasions nearly colliding with fellow pedestrians, I don't feel that's a strong enough description for what I can't see.  This is why this freak calls himself illegally blind or half-blind.  (For more about what I can and can't see, please see the video below, thank you.  I'm getting tired of typing this post.)

Does this new beginning end my vlog TheFreakOptic Files?  No.  I am enjoying the creative urges it inspires and the challenges it provides way too much to abandon it.  Does this post mean I'll be blogging like old times?  Probably not.  I can't make any promises.  All I know is I felt, while sitting on a public toilet, that I needed this writing challenge.

Maybe there will be more tales, or maybe not.  Either way...

Thank you for reading, or listening if you are a half-blind freak like me.  ;)

Freak Out, 
JLH

P.S.
The FreakOptic Files

P.P.S.
My Mad Scientist Glasses


Monday, December 19, 2016

An Ending



2016 is the year...

My sisterand I finished reading THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL novels.

I finished reading Theodore Dreiser's novels.

My favorite book/film/music store closed.

I subscribed to NETFLIX, and man did I enjoy it!

My eyesight took a downward spiral.  My left eye has been steadily failing in the last two weeks.  My right eye is dubious  at best, but it's keeping me from running into walls for now.   I have an optometrist appointment scheduled. 

Until I sort this vision situation out, if it can be sorted, this will be my final tale from the freakboy zone.  The last couple of posts have been typed  with great difficulty and really large text size.

I will also be MIA in various social media platforms.  I hate abandoning my vast lifeline to the world, and I would love to say I'll check in, but that remains to be, well, seen.

My old blogposts will still exist, along with DARK EXCURSIONS and DARKENING STURGEONS.   I can't deprive potential new readers the pleasure and pain of whatever the hell my so-called writing is.

In conclusion, I sincerely thank you for all the support over the last few years.

Freak Out,
John L. Harmon 

Friday, December 16, 2016

The TV Freak: THE CURSE OF LOGAN

Seriously, when did Logan become the go-to name for rich, white jerks, who also happen to be a love interest for the main character?

Jason Dohring as Logan Echolls 
I initially saw this Logan as a psycho-jerk, but slowly came to like him.  Yet, I wonder why Veronica Mars kept giving him the time of day.  Actually, I also wonder why Logan kept giving Veronica the time of day either.

Matt Czuchry as Logan Huntzberger
I was really hoping Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life would reveal this Logan perished in a gruesome yachting accident.  Tragically he is still alive and continuing to be a smug, arrogant jerk who doesn't care about the consequences of his deplorable actions.  Unfortunately, if there are more episodes, we will all suffer the consequence of Logan probably being the father of Rory's baby.  

Adam Campbell as Logan Beekman
This Logan seems to be a parody of all other rich, white Logans, so I don't necessarily hate him.  I'm just glad Kimmy saw Dong for the sweet man he is and showed Daddy's Boy Logan out the door.   I hope he doesn't return any time soon, but I still have 2 episodes of the first season and all of the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to watch.  I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Freak Out,
JLH

P.S.  Click 1987 to go back in TV time

Monday, December 12, 2016

The TV Freak: RETURNS & REVIVALS

While the idea of continuing a television series long after its cancellation is nothing new, there were quite a few made-for-TV movies of Hart to Hart, it does seem to be a popular trend lately.  Veronica Mars and Absolutely Fabulous got theatrical films.  The X-Files returned to FOX for a few new episodes.  Gilmore Girls found a new home on Netflix.  24 is scheduled to return, and I read that Prison Break is on the horizon.  Plus, and this is the big one for me, Twin Peaks will be back on the television map next year.  I'm nervous that the quirky, bizarre magic of the original series will be somewhat lost in the new episodes, but this post isn't about my geeky concerns and theories over Special Agent Dale Cooper, Sheriff Harry S. Truman, and the late, wrapped in plastic, homecoming queen, Laura Palmer.

This post is a short list of series that I would like to see return, mainly because they didn't get an ending.  Don't get me wrong, I love cliffhangers, just not unresolved ones.


Must see episode:
Season 1, Episode 14
CAGED!
Coinciding menstrual cycles leads to a showdown in the Novak.
POPULAR aired for two season on the WB from 1999 to 2001.  Before Glee and Scream Queens, Ryan Murphy created this high school teen-angst hyper-reality, which I obsessively enjoyed visiting every week.  Tragically, it was cancelled after two seasons, ending with a life and death cliffhanger.  We'll never know if Nicole Julian killed Brooke McQueen or just turned her hair from blond to brunette, as was teased in the DVD audio commentary.


Must see episode:
Season 4, Episode 20
WITCH LADY
An invitation to tea leads to being chained in the basement.
MY NAME IS EARL aired for four seasons on NBC from 2005 to 2009.  I mostly avoided this series during its original run because I thought the premise of a criminal just trying to be a better person sounded like an extended, vomit-inducing very special episode or a painful Afterschool Special.  Once I caught part of an episode I realized it was hilarious and joyfully non-p.c.  Sadly, we'll never know if Earl Hickey is for certain Dodge's dad (Little Chubby could have messed with the DNA results) and if Darnell Turner isn't Earl Junior's dad, then we'll never learn who is, which is especially confusing with that kid's hair! 

Must see episode:
Season 1, Episode 8
PUZZLERAMA
A neighborhood contest leads to more than fun and games.
SWINGTOWN aired for one season on CBS over the summer of 2008.  I often feel like the only person in the world who enjoyed this drama about relationships (friends, love, forbidden love, marriage, open-marriage) set in the summer of 1976.  The more I watch the 13 episodes, the more I love this short-lived series, especially because of how much the characters grow and change.  Strangely, while I would love to see what happens next, I also find myself satisfied with the open-ended conclusion.  Maybe I don't need anymore than Trina Decker reading a baby book, Janet Thompson adding her first advice column to her scrapbook, and Susan Miller stepping over the threshold of Roger Thompson's hotel room.  Just thinking about those final scenes give me goosebumps and makes me want to watch the series again for the Nth time! 

Thank you for reading my list.  Please feel free to mention series you'd like to see return in some form or another in the comment section below!  

Freak Out,
JLH

P.S. Click 1975 for a post about a television show I obsessed over not too long ago.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The TV Freak: NETFLIX 


First, yes, December's blog theme is television.  If this offends your delicate, highbrow senses, then stop reading this and continue to look down upon the world from your hypocritical ivory tower.

Second, yes, I finally took a sip from the streaming punch and subscribed to NETFLIX.  What did it take to pull me, at least temporarily, into the 21st Century?  The answer is two films (Pee Wee's Big Holiday and Mascots) and two series...

GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE - Admittedly, I'm not a longtime, die-hard fan of the original series. It wasn't even on my radar until last year when a friend heavily suggested I watch.  Thankfully, ABC FAMILY/FREEFORM was showing repeats, so I watched with severe skepticism.  The quirky small town characters quickly won me over, so I knew I would want to see what happens next.  As for the new episodes, I am halfway finished and overall I am enjoying them.  Emily Gilmore is the real reason to watch, which doesn't surprise me at all. 

STRANGER THINGS - I've been told this show is right up my alley.  I haven't watched any episodes yet, but I've liked Winona Ryder since Lucas and Heathers, so I suspect I'll enjoy this series.  
If I have time, I hope to squeeze in some Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Black Mirror.  I say if I have time because I'm not certain I'll continue past the free first month.  Without Internet or wi-fi at home, I don't know if I can justify even 10 dollars a month.  Though, before logging offline yesterday, I noticed it appears there are some series and films that can be downloaded to watch offline.  If this is true, then my one month decision may be in a state of flux.

I guess only limited time will tell.

Freak Out,
JLH

P.S.  Click NOVEMBER to read the post that inspired December's theme.