Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sweltering Blurry Summer (August 2020 in Hindsight)

It's been a hot month.


Creatively, I can't complain.  I've spent the month writing something, anything, each day.  Some words may become part of this blog but most will be relegated to the digital paper archive.  This is my soul.

I've blogged a few times this month, but I expect each post will be my last.  So far Ive been able to use the old "Legacy" Blogger interface but irreversible change is looming.  I stopped practicing on the new interface when I inadvertently reverted a number of posts to drafts.  I managed to fix this potentially devastating mishap, but that was it.  I will wait and see if I can still blog when the new interface permanently takes its crappy, confusing hold.  This is my worry.

I also managed to release a video for The FreakOptic Files after a dry spell in July.  It's another installment in my riveting, never-ending Laundry Day series.  Creatively, I love my LD series.  Statistically, they are some of my least viewed videos.  Clearly, I don't give a crap what the mainstream public wants. This is my truth. 


Personally, I'm trying to remain calm as my country heads toward oblivion, no matter who wins the November U.S. Election.  The losing side, whichever side it is, will cry foul and unprecedented chaos will erupt.  This is my fear.

Throw in the continuing pandemic for added good-time fun.  The number of COVID-19 cases have been minimal in my county in Nebraska and are technically still low in comparison.  However those numbers have grown more rapidly in August.  From March to July there were only 43 cases.  This month has, as of this writing, added 30 more.  This is my paranoia. 

Thankfully, my cats convinced me to start a band (John and the Pussycats) to escape my worry, fear and paranoia for awhile.  This is my heart. 


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

See you in September. 


Hopefully.

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. Another reader ordered a copy of DARK EXCURSIONS.  Maybe my 2020 will go down as the year of Dinkel. ❤️


Saturday, August 29, 2020

freakboy on film: UNHINGED (2020)


                             (written by Carl Ellsworth / directed by Derrick Borte)

Rachel is having a bad day.  She is getting a divorce.  She lost her salon.  Her brother and his girlfriend have moved in with Rachel and her son.  Thanks to horrible traffic, her son will get detention for being tardy three days in a row and a client fired her.  

No wonder she vigorously honks her horn and angrily drives around a man refusing to go at a green light.  Unknown to her, Rachel has just incurred the wrath of a severely unhinged man who has nothing to lose.  He makes it his mission to show Rachel the real meaning of a bad day in a rage that goes beyond the road.


Just when I thought FANTASY ISLAND was going to be the last new film I would see in the theater, along comes UNHINGED.  A local librarian recommended this 2020 film because it was new and because she was surprised by how much she enjoyed it.  So, I attended a Thursday night screening.  Before you call me brave or crazy for risking my life during a pandemic, I was the only one in the auditorium.  Social distancing has rarely been so easy. 

Sitting all the way to the left in the back row, the perfect vantage point with my Mad Scientist Glasses, I experienced a disturbingly suspenseful ride.  Have you recently honked, yelled or flipped off a driver?  It's 2020 and the world is on edge, which makes UNHINGED a perfect film for these chaotic times.  Honestly, it almost makes me glad I can't drive anymore. 


Caren Pistorius is believable as Rachel.  Even my half-blind eyes could see the love she has for her son while dealing with the stress of life and extreme road rage.  Russell Crowe is convincingly unsettling as the man gone over the edge.  If I hadn't known it was him, I would not have recognized him.  The other actors are good, but this film belongs to Pistorius and Crowe.


One question remains.  Did I enjoy UNHINGED because it's an entertaining popcorn thriller or because it was something new?  I believe I legitimately enjoyed UNHINGED because I would watch it again.  FOOTLOOSE, for example,  was "new" to me this year and once was more than enough. 

In conclusion, if you are hungry for something with a kick that's actually new, then take what precautions you need and drive calmly to a theater near you and see UNHINGED!  

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

Freak Out,
JLH 

P.S.  In case you missed my visit to FANTASY ISLAND...

Thursday, August 27, 2020

booking freakboy: NO DISTANCE BETWEEN US (A YULETIDE STORY) by Young


NO DISTANCE BETWEEN US is a non-fiction short story about one young man's experience at a UK boarding school during the holiday season.  After a fancy ball, the young man and his male friend Nikee explore their desire which will take them beyond friendship. 

The author shares his sexual awakening in a sensitive, sensual, erotic way.  He fills the pages with searing imagery, coating the reader in a liquid atmosphere.  This is just a taste of what would come for the author.

NO DISTANCE BETWEEN US is a part of The Harem Boy's Saga, a memoir by Young, which is available at an Amazon near you. 

 

For more information... 


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

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. A different book by a different author...
~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Collective Eye for August...
๐Ÿ‘


Friday, August 21, 2020

channel freakboy: UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS (1971-1975)

I signed up for a free week trial of BRITBOX.  Yeah, a week seems skimpy, but I wasn't even sure I would fully subscribe.  First, BRITBOX does not offer the option of downloading programs to watch offline.  Second, only a few series caught my half-blind eyes.


UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS is one of those series.  My sister watched this series on MASTERPIECE THEATER back in the day.  (PBS was the only channel in my area of the US to air British television in the 1970's & 1980's). She loved it and has often expressed a desire  to rewatch this classic program.  Obviously I kept BRITBOX longer than expected.  

Having no internet at home, nor a TV made in the last 15 years, my sister and I parked outside the library in the early mornings and late evenings. With my tablet situated on the dashboard, my wireless speaker between us and my Mad Scientist Glasses on, we traveled across the Atlantic and stepped back in time.


There are two families living at 165 Eaton Place in the early 20th Century.  First, there is an upstairs family, The Bellamys,  which include Lady Marjorie (Rachel Gurney), her husband Richard (David Langton) and their almost grown children James (Simon Williams) and Elizabeth (Nicola Pagett).  Then there is the downstairs family, the servants, which include the butler Mr. Hudson (Gordon Jackson), the cook Mrs. Bridges (Angela Baddeley) and parlor maids Rose (Jean Marsh) and Sarah (Pauline Collins).


Drama, joy, tragedy, scandal and humor fill the lives of these two families over 27 years.  Members of both upstairs and downstairs come and go, sometimes permanently, as the world changes around them.  The Titanic sinks.  A World War erupts.  A pandemic hits.  Protests and riots blaze through the streets.  The stock market crashes.  Despite it all, the residents of 165 Eaton Place carry on, and probably wouldn't find the 21st Century all that different.  


Even though my sister raved about UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS over the years, I was anticipating a stuffy, English drawing room drama.  What I got was a lively series that often jumped a year between episodes, effectively cutting out filler storylines that often bog down modern series.  The acting was natural and the characters were complex, never falling victim to caricatures.  The believability of the characters and storylines make this series an intimate and relatable experience.  I was instantly addicted, which is probably why we flew through the 68 episodes in just a few weeks. 


I originally thought about filling this post with spoilers, but I just can't do it.  UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS is such an emotional roller coaster that I don't want to ruin this exhilarating ride for you with specific details.  Just prepare to laugh, cry and pick your jaw up off the floor when you enter the world of 165 Eaton Place. 


Before I let you go to watch UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, I must address DOWNTON ABBEY (2010-2015).  Similarities abound between these two exceptionally entertaining series.  How could there not be?  They are both set in roughly the same era and country, with the same class structure.  I've spent the last few weeks trying to figure out the one major difference between the two series and I think I hit upon it.  DOWNTON ABBEY romanticizes this time period more than UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS.  Perhaps a bigger budget on DOWNTON meant more of a focus on fashion and set design or maybe the constant wit of a certain character created a very television atmosphere in the ABBEY.  Either way, UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS has a more realistic feel to its characters and storylines, in my opinion.  Besides, UPSTAIRS  came first, so there! 


So subscribe to BRITBOX (at least for a month) and binge UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS!  Oh, you can also watch the 2010-2012 sequel series, which is decent, but doesn't shine as bright as the original. 

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. A different post about a different series my sister and I binged. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Blogging like there's no tomorrow...

I have blogged through Google's directly named blog site Blogger since 2013.  I even found my way back to blogging after losing a chunk of my vision back in 2016.  It helped that Blogger's interface had not changed during my absence.  I knew which buttons to click because I had done it all before.


Now Blogger is changing.  A new interface is available and soon the old "Legacy" interface will disappear.  I've been experimenting with the new version and have been failing miserably.  Maybe it's my half-blind eyes, but the layout is confusing.  

The only thing I've managed to achieve in the new interface is typing the title.  I can't seem to locate where the body of the post will go. Logically, I know it should be beneath the post title, but I've tapped my tablet screen all over without success.  I also can't figure out how to view and edit previous posts.  Of course, because of all of these issues, I haven't a clue how to add pics & vids.


To top it all off, I can't zoom in by gently spreading two fingers apart on the screen.   The new interface is immovable, in that respect.  I see lots of screenshots in my future, assuming I solve my other Blogger probs.

I'm so frustrated that I need either a deep tisssue massage or a horse tranquilizer.  I know, I know.  Progress and all that crap.  Honestly, it seems the easier things are supposed to be, the more difficult they actually are.

So, I'll keep blogging here, using the "Legacy" interface, for as long as I can and I'll continue practicing with the new interface.  If I can't figure it out, perhaps I could try to make a fresh start through a different blogging site.  As The Brady Kids once advised...

๐ŸŽตWhen it's time to change, you've got to rearrange, who you are into what you're going to be.๐ŸŽต


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

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. The Collective Eye is open and popping in August! 
๐Ÿ‘