Monday, March 30, 2020

Persistent Resistant Fog (March 2020 in Hindsight)

What can I say about March? 

I'm not sure if it came in like a lion or a lamb and I'm even more confused by how it's going out.  I got some blogging in and one video out before COVID-19 had a direct effect on my life.  No, it still hasn't reached my town.  Yes, there are others with more reason to worry, complain and generally hate everything going on right now.   Yes, I'm thankful my state and town are not on lockdown...yet. 

🌽Praise be He Who Walks Behind the Rows!🌽 

The library closed its doors until further notice on the 17th.  This has altered the way I can stay in touch with my online life.  I've become a ghost online, with the exception of Twitter.  I also haven't been blogging since and I'm behind at listening to blogposts from others.

I was going to blog about my thoughts on the original DARK SHADOWS series, but didn't feel like it and putting a post together on my tablet is different than on the library computer.  Especially an elaborate post with lots of photos, captions and colors.  Plus, to post any blog , I will have to sit outside the library, so weather is a factor.  Don't even get me started on whether or not I'll be able to put together The Collective Eye for April.  

I will say this...
My sister and I finished 5 years of daytime television in 7 months.  It was exciting and fun and I recommend DARK SHADOWS now that we all have extra time on our hands. 

In conclusion, March hasn't been the worst month ever, but it has been full of confusion and uncertainty.  While I haven't blogged much during the last half of the month, I have been writing.  This has been more for myself than anyone else.  My words may eventually end up here or maybe not.  Right now writing is just a coping mechanism.  

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words and I'm going to try to keep on blogging in April.  Well, unless my town goes into lockdown. 

Freak Out, 

P.S. My latest video may be infectious...

The Collective Eye Archive for books, blogs & so much more...

Friday, March 13, 2020

Waiting to go viral...

I kneeled at the edge of the field and prayed to He Who Walks Behind The Rows for the corn to protect my small town from the Coronavirus. 

No, I didn't really do that...yet! 

While COVID-19 has hit the state of Nebraska, it has yet to leave its calling card in my town.  I pretend we are safe because of being somewhat isolated from bigger cities while being keenly aware that my town will probably become the cruise ship of the Nebraska plains.  

Yeah, I'm worried, but no more or less than I'm worried about catching the flu.  I'm probably more concerned over the aftermath of this pandemic.   Will the corporations and the government (same difference) use the virus as an excuse to force us into a fully cashless society?  Will post-Corona paranoia permanently destroy print media?  If (and when) the latter occurs, what will become of my sister and me? 

We are some of the last in the dying breed of newspaper carriers.  Sure, subscriptions have dropped over the last 15 years and the remaining customers are probably either senior citizens or Jumble addicts, but this bug could expedite the demise of printed news. 

My sister could probably return to the food service industry, if dining out continues to be a thing.  I'm not sure surrounding my half-blind eyes with searing hot grease, boiling water and sharp knives would be ideal.  Though, kudus to the visually impaired thrill-seekers who love the dangers of restaurant work. 

I could rely on my books, but 7 years has taught me otherwise.  Maybe the local truck stop has an opening  for a daytime hooker, but I might be too old to enter the world's oldest profession.  Perhaps I could become a middle-aged, half-blind, orange underwear supermodel.  I could strut my stuff on the runways of Asia and Europe until becoming Patient Zero in the next pandemic.  Then the history books will finally fulfill my post-apocalyptic fantasy of being called Infectious John.

Putting aside my cavalier American attitude, these are some real concerns I've had in my head for longer than COVID-19 has existed, but I'm a Nebraskan.  Generally speaking, we aren't prone to mass hysteria, except in the case of drones, and we ultimately figure out what to do in the end. 

Stay safe out there and please wash your hands now and forever after, especially men.  I cannot tell you how many times I've heard a guy using the urinal in a public restroom and not wash his hands when done, but that's another post for another day.

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

(Don't) Freak Out,

P.S.  My dystopian future paranoia of a cashless society...
😷Self-Quarentine😷 with an e-book or two...or six! 😉

Saturday, March 7, 2020

booking freakboy: RAVEN'S GLEN by Nancy E. Polin

Skylar and Stephen Donaghue were just kids when their parents died.  Several years later, Sky is leaving her home on the Choctaw reservation for a  career opportunity in the place where the darkest of dark nights occurred.  While Sky settles into her new life and a new romance, Stephen unearths a life-altering truth about that long ago night.  Now, the ravens are gathering as Stephen and Sky's haunted past threatens to drag them back into darkness.

Author Nancy E. Polin weaves together a tapestry of emotionally complex characters into a compelling and memorable story.  The supernatural element is truly unsettling and the romance has a natural, down-to-earth quality, culminating in an intense and satisfying conclusion.  In my opinion, RAVEN'S GLEN is Nancy's best far! 

You can find RAVEN'S GLEN and other books by Nancy E. Polin from ...

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind review.

Freak Out, 

P.S. A different book by a different author...
The Collective Eye for March is open with books, blogs & so much more...

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

freakboy on film: FANTASY ISLAND (2020)

"Once you begin a fantasy, you must see it through to its natural conclusion." - Mr. Roarke 


written by 
Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach & Jeff Wadlow 

                        directed by Jeff Wadlow 

A Friday ritual of mine is to call my small town's local theater to find out what's showing.  Yes, I could check the website, but listening to a recorded message is easier for me.  Anyhoo, I was startled when I heard FANTASY ISLAND was one of the three films listed.  I recalled hearing there was a big screen version of the classic series in the works, but I assumed it came and went and bombed long ago without a trace.  My inability to read Entertainment Weekly strikes again.

However, I didn't decide to catch a Sunday matinee right away.  It took a stroll by the theater with my sister to change my weekend plans of doing nothing.  I had my Mad Scientist Glasses with me and studied the poster.  My initial opinion was it appeared to be a trashy horror movie that I would skip, but then my sister read the cast list to me.  One name rang a bell.  Ryan Hansen, who played the annoying, offensive, and weirdly likable douchebag Dick Casablancas on the TV series (and film) VERONICA MARS.  Well, I then knew I was destined to book a flight to FANTASY ISLAND

$5 for a matinee is a steal.

In case you aren't familiar with the 1977-1984 series, the story setup is deceptively simple.  A group of guests arrive by plane to a beautiful island resort.  There they are greeted by Mr. Roarke, their distinguished host.  On this mysterious island, each guest lives out his or her fantasy and possibly learns a lesson or two along the way.

The guests arrive, but tragically not after a week aboard The Love Boat. 

The film, after what appears to be a trashy horror movie opening, settles into the basic premise of the series.  Five guests arrive by plane and are initially greeted by Mr. Roarke's assistant Julia (Parisa Fitz-Henley).  After a cocktail social, Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) escorts his guests to their respective fantasies.  Gwen (Maggie Q) wants a romantic do-over.  Patrick (Austin Stowell) wants to be a soldier.  Melanie (Lucy Hale) wants to confront a former school bully.  J.D. (Ryan Hansen) and Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) simply want it all 

Mr. Roarke may be shorter now, but his fantasies are much bigger.

Now what can I say about FANTASY ISLAND without spoilers?  I will say that the different fantasies could have easily occurred in the series but they have something more here.  I will say it's easy to become emotionally invested in the characters thanks to the right mixture of wry and sincere acting..  I will say that, to my complete surprise, I really enjoyed this film.  

Me and the three other Sunday matinee attendees racing towards the best theater seat.

Yes, despite the plot teetering on a tightrope between trashy horror movie and trashing the original series, FANTASY ISLAND manages to keep its balance, never dipping too far into either side, and somehow works.  The 110 minutes moved right along with suspense, humor, mystery and maybe even a hint of romance.  Plus, and this surprised me even more, there is ultimately much respect for the original series.  I'm not saying it's the best film you're going to see this year, but it's an entertaining (and smarter than you might think) escape, which is what movies often do best.  

As for the reason that convinced me to see FANTASY ISLAND...
You can take Ryan Hansen out of Dick Casablancas , but you can never fully take Dick Casablancas out of Ryan Hansen, which is fine with me.

I couldn't find a good pic of J.D. but Dick Casablancas considers himself a fantasy island. 

In conclusion, maybe we should be more cinematically open-minded.  Sometimes a film we expect to be complete crap can truly surprise us.  It saddens me a bit that FANTASY ISLAND will probably go unseen by the masses.  Though I suppose crazy-obsessed, diehard fans of the original series may severely hate the film and should probably go see whatever the hell else is out right now.  Guess I better ask my sister to read Entertainment Weekly to me. ;) 

(If you desire spoilers, here is the IMDb page... )

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind review.

Freak Out, 

P.S. A different movie that surprised me...
The Collective Eye for March is open!