Monday, August 6, 2007

Hot tamale



When I was young and younger, I hated any fireworks louder than a sparkler. Couldn't stand spicy food. Hid from horror novels. Scorned violent movies and the people who loved them. Now I'm the one who adores BOOMS that make my ribs vibrate, pours Tabasco sauce on everything from grits to gravy, watches spooky stuff with a grin and a pleasurable shiver. And I saw The Bourne Ultimatum yesterday and loved it. (If you've been reading along in this blog, you already know that I think there are few movies than cannot be improved by a velociraptor, or two.)

Maybe all my senses have dulled, and that accounts for the dramatic change? Maybe it just takes more to get me to hear it, taste it, feel it? That might actually be true when it comes to taste. But my hearing's fine. I can still hear whispers and I still love a good sweet love story. No, there's just something in me that actually enjoys some kinds of intensity more than it used to. I don't know why.

I was thinking, yesterday, while I watched car chases and gunfights, how wonderfully cathartic those kinds of movies can be. And how happy I feel when I leave one that I've really enjoyed--like all three of the Bourne movies. It sure doesn't make me want to go out and shoot somebody, or even argue with people.

If there's a larger point to this little post, I have no idea what it is yet. I guess I'm interested in learning how this strikes you according to your personal experiences.

And if there's nothing really here to talk about? Ha. With this crowd, there's ALWAYS something to talk about, "praise the lord and pass the mashed potatoes," as my ol' grandpappy used to say. But put a little Tabasco on them first, please.

40 comments:

Nancy P said...

G'Monday to you!

Actually, the I Ching does suggest what today's post may be all about, for me if not for anyone else. I'll ponder it for a bit first, though.

I've taken out the trash, made the bed, watered some plants, and now for more COFFEE.

katiebird said...

Good Morning, Nancy P!

This is a fine post for a fine morning.

I like scary things -- at least I do if I know deep inside that I'm perfectly safe. For example, I like mystery and horror and vampire stories. But, I don't particularly like "True Crime" stories.

The truthiness (such as it is) of "True Crime" stories makes them a little TOO scary for me.

Someone, somewhere (I think at The Lipstick Chronicles) posted something about not enjoying Amusement Parks lately -- because there are just too many REAL Injuries on the rides. And that fits my feeling too.

(Off to post something on another blog)

Family Man said...

Good morning Nancy and KB.

I've gotten to the point now to where I can watch horror shows. Never did like them for a long time. I've liked all the Bourne movies so far too.

I agree with KB about the "True Crime" shows. If I watch something it's more for entertainment, and I've yet to see how the "True Crime" things fit in.

Give me a good comedy any day!

BTW Nancy, I'll try to get some pictures of the CM's in the front yard and post them up today.

AndiF said...

Jim and I have a fondness for what we call The Gun Part of the Movie which we like to come across while channel-flipping because it doesn't matter how bad or good the movie is, who is shooting or being shot, what's happened before or what will happen after -- it's just about the perverse pleasure in mayhem and things going boom.

(Even better is Mythbusters ; they really get the exhilaration of blowing things up for the sheer sake of it -- no plot or pretend empathy for victims required.)

Nancy P said...

I like scary things -- at least I do if I know deep inside that I'm perfectly safe

Ah, ha, katiebird, very smart. I was a nervous, easily scared kid--though I looked pretty calm on the outside.

And you reminded me--I used to avoid True Crime books, too. Then I chaired an Edgar committee (Mystery Writers of America) to pick the best one of the year. I did it partly to try to get over that fear. I guess it worked. I ended up writing a triology of books about a true crime writer.

Nancy P said...

fm, I'd love to see Crape Myrtle photos.

And Andi, I love that "tradition" you and Jim have. I totally get that. I guess for other people it might be car chases. I will always stop and look if I happen to catch a video of a building being demolished.

Jen said...

Fireworks (and thunderstorms) are a big yeah, but spicy food makes me sick for days. As a kid I couldn't even tolerate mustard or onions, although now I like both as long as they're mixed into something and not straight up. This disappoints my father, who will eat anything if you put enough horseradish on it.

When I was younger I loved horror stories, but then I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street and it was all downhill from there. I have no idea why that movie scared me so badly but even now, over 20 years later, I still occasionally have to talk myself down in the shower: Freddy Krueger is not hiding in the walls, Freddy Krueger is not hiding in the walls...

My favorite brand of intensity, when I was little and still today, is playing games with consciousness, exploring the boundaries and limits of the mind in various ways.

GreenMinute said...

I saw the place, no kidding.

Geez Louise! This is weird and I blame this blog. So no ducking your responsibility in this odd matter.

A persistent and steep mountain grade in and out of Asheville on the main highway has 4 runaway truck emegergency bail-out ramps. 4 is the local record.

A semi of lemons (no joke) turned over sideways Sunday morning. The truck, as much as the lemons, blocked the highway in both directions (six lanes). It was a hot day down at the bottom.

I was driving my farm truck, because I had been to an auction the evening before, and it has no ac. 45 minutes at 1 and sometimes 0 mph and I found myself finally eased toward an exit.

There were 106 people in the parking lot at the local Hardees, just off the highway. Walking their dogs, and unfolding maps. The line to the women's restroom was literally out the door.

Two roads diverged in that town, and being one traveler... Neither one of them went up the mountain, I knew. But I had to guess I could get to somewhere that would take me to somewhere else that would eventually get me up to Asheville way.

I ended up on Highway 9. In the mtns you really don't want to climb or descend on any road with a signgle-digit number. Seriously.

But off I went toward a town named Bat Cave, which connects up with another road toward Chimney Rock which connects up to another road toward Black Mountain, the top of which was my destination.

No road in the mtns actually goes in the direction specifically that you are headed in generally. Nancy, Katie, it's not like Kansas, where you turn west to go west.

I was squirreling away on 15 mph mountain switchbacks and couldn't see much for the trees wanted to be leafy yesterday. Just the road and an occasional glimpse down the fall-off side.

I passed a guy and a lady on bicycles on the upgrades. They, in turn, passed me on the downgrades. We kind of got to know each other, but without saying much.

GreenMinute said...

Then right in the middle of everything, on some curvy outback mountain road, there it was: a long low wood building that hadn't been painted in fifteen years. In a flat place along the road and likely the only falt place along the road for a few miles either direction.

The building was all windows on long front side and an open door in the middle. It was August and the door was open.

The windows had bottles in the them, it looked like, but no signs. Then I saw in faded block letters high along the entire front of the bulding: General Scott's General Store.

I almost swallowed my elbow.

The inside of the building was dark. Someone stood in the open door. There were no gaspumps or air machines. No porch really.

Just a perons in bright yellow shorts on bottom and white shocks of feathery hair on top. I don't know whether it was the general or his daughter. Hard to tell in August.

I thought: Heck, I just found Nancy Town.

Or it found me.

Nancy P said...

You materialized it, Green! Wow. It really is a wonder you're not in an ER now as they attempt to wrest your elbow from your throat. And for anybody who doesn't know what he's talking about, please do check out Friday's post, "This Crazy Thing Called Blog," where you'll see that we recognized the existence of (I won't say "built," because it was already there)our little blog village where Green is the grocer.

Nancy P said...

And lemons. Where they on the way to Doll's Grocery, I wonder.

Nancy P said...

Jen, pull up a rocking chair here on the front porch of Doll's Grocery. . .

It's funny you'd say that about the one movie that scared you so bad, because on Friday some friends and I were talking about the strangeness of how we each had one movie that got to us like that, and we wondered about the button in our psyches that got pushed for you but not for me, or for me but not for you, so to speak. For me it was the Lon Chaney werewolf movie. I'm going to e them and get them to remind me which were "their" movies that affected them so dramatically.

GreenMinute said...

Movie list:

Wait Until Dark.

katiebird said...

OK, Just how is a girl supposed to get work done with fascinating stories and questions like this?

(slinking back off)

katiebird said...

Oh, the scariest movie I've never seen again: Night of the Hunter

GreenMinute said...

Movie list. Can I change mine to Night of the Hunter ?

I'd forgotten that movie, Katiebird. I still won't watch it again. Nope.

Nancy P said...

Apparently we have a movie theater in our blog village.

Wait Until Dark was one of the rare movies in my younghood where I actually enjoyed the terror. That moment when the refrigerator door opens (was that it, or was it a moment when he grabbed her?). . . I remember grabbing the arm of the stranger sitting next to me, and then how everybody in the theater laughed after we had all gasped or screamed.

Night of the Hunter? Wow, I've never even heard of it. It's off to Rotten Tomatoes I go, to look it up.

Nancy P said...

Wow, Night of the Hunter is the only movie I've ever seen with a 100% positive review rate on Rotten Tomatoes. The only movie ever directed by Charles Laughton, written by James Agee, starring Robert Mitchum. Goodness. Well, I know how I missed it. I would have been 10 years old, and my mother had learned to be careful about movies with me, or she'd be up half the night calming me down.

Green and katie, I hope you didn't see it the year it came out! You would have been waaaay too young for it, and no wonder it scared the peedwadden out of you.

Family Man said...

Nancy you wouldn't have been in Victoria, Canada when you saw Wait Until Dark, would you? I saw it there when I was a baggage boy on a tour bus for a summer. The girl next to me did the same thing, and I went from being very frightened to thinking, "Hey, this isn't too bad." :)

Nancy P said...

lol, fm!
I'll bet there are men all over the world who could tell a similar story about that movie. Ha! Maybe some guys went back to see it *because* of that, lol.
When I clutched that guy? I had no control over it, it was so purely reactive. I screamed and my arm reached out and grabbed all at the same time.

katiebird said...

I would have been about 1-years-old if I had seen Night of the Hunter when it came out. But, I think I saw it the summer we moved to Kansas, so I would have been 13. Still WAY too young.

I'm still not old enough to see Wait Until Dark, which came out that same year -- 1967.

Imagine what a mess I'd be if I had seen both those movies that year?

And the next summer? That's when I read In Cold Blood. And didn't sleep for 6 months. No kidding.

katiebird said...

And Oh, again. Greenminute, I don't know that I'd switch if I were you (although you can.)

The TRAILER for Wait Until Dark scarred me for life!

AndiF said...

Scariest movie as a kid: The Day of the Triffids, as an adult: The Haunting (and even scarier book).

Nancy, we have an even better (well ,we think so) channel-flipping movie tradition called Bad Westerns with Great Rocks. MacKenna's Gold is the current winning worst/best movie but just by a smidge over some where we've hiked "the movie" (yay The Comancheros for Fisher Towers; Son of Cochise for Arches' Devil's Garden).

Nancy P said...

One of my friends e'ed back to say the movie that terrified her then and forever was The Wizard of Oz! She said there was a shadow that used to cross her bedroom window and her older sister told her it was the Wicked Witch.

Sounds to me like it was the sister who was scary.

FARfetched said...

Horror movies these days have gone downhill a lot. Those old 50s flicks were best; they had story. Most of what passes for horror nowadays is what they used to call "slasher flicks" or perhaps the essence of grindhouse movies.

Somewhere along the line, "they" have forgotten that the scariest monster is the one you have to imagine yourself.

The only horror movie I ever saw that I remember actually scared me was The Screaming Skull. (IMDB has a couple of matches, but none of them quite line up.) One that wasn't horror, but had me looking around every time I heard helicopters, was Apocalypse Now.

Nancy P said...

My other friend said this:

For me it was Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version with Kevin McCarthy). Also must add the very first one to send me and my cousin to the theatre floor: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953).

Man, it is HOT in Kansas City.

katiebird said...

Whew! There's GOT to be something stronger than HOT. Considering that it's 'only' 93 degrees . . .

I thought of another one, The Bad Seed (shiver)

Nancy P said...

And we must never forget "Psycho."

I hit the theater floor more than once with that one.

katiebird said...

I didn't see Psycho until just a couple of years ago. Mister was shocked that I hadn't seen it. And I think he has serious questions about my film education because I hadn't seen it.

But, I was just waiting until I was old enough. And not actually living with a psycho.

Nancy P said...

lol, kb.

boran2 said...

I'm finding that with spicy food, what will produce groans in others doesn't for me. I'm enjoying spicier foods as I age. Dulling of senses? Perhaps. Or maybe it just takes more to get that old thrill as we age.

Nancy P said...

I had cheese nachos for lunch, b2, and when the waitress asked me, "Jalopenos?" I said enthusiastically, "Yes!" If this is dulling of the senses, I'm all for it. :)

katiebird said...

B2 & Nancy, I'll assume that it's something like the Shrimp Rule. And that you won't mind at all if I don't eat the hot-sauce or Jalopenos, because it'll mean - MORE for YOU.

FARfetched said...

I've always liked spicy food. I remember once in high school, when Mom made some goulash, everyone else thought it was too hot to eat. I thought it was sweet (as in, she'd added sugar).

I got lots of jalapenos this year. Looks like there will be another couple of pounds worth by this weekend. Yee-haw!

Beth said...

Better late than never, right? Drove back from Seattle - lunch date - dinner date - tried to find storage shed insurance - now I'm full and sleepy, and missed a WHOLE DAY of conversing! Please excuse me for the next few weeks while I try to catch up at 10pm, and you all are asleep and finished with this post.

Scary movies - I've always avoided them. But the book I'm working on now has a house as a main character, so I've been doing research. Watched The Others and Amityville Horrow - remember, I live ALONE. And HATE scary movies. But those weren't too bad - my Netflix list contains a bunch of worse ones...anyone want to hold my hand when I watch them??

Hot stuff - my uncle was an Italian chef. As a young child, I would eat hot peppers and he would curse my mom and aunt (they were twins), saying "Don't let that baby eat those-a peppers! They'll burn a hole in her stomach!"

No hole in my stomach, and I still love hot stuff.

Thinking of you all as I get ready for my trip - frantic scurrying in Idaho today and tomorrow. Will answer mail as I can. B. :-)

Nancy P said...

You're our bedtime story, Beth. :)

(That'a *amazing* about you as a baby eating hot peppers!)

And now I'm off to my bed with a book and an Enya CD.

'Night, all. No scary dreams for anybody.

Kidspeak said...

Hi, Nancy,
Just heard about your blog from FM and Maryb. I've enjoyed reading through it tonight while I try to get sleepy.

Must say about hot peppers - my aunt and uncle swore by them for stomach trouble. Then not too long ago, there was a research study that the hot chemical (capsaicin) in a lot of peppers were good for you - e.g. reduced the amount of insulin needed. Who'd a thunk it?

As for scary movies - my parents woudn't let me see The Bad Seed, because I looked a bit too much like the little girl in the movie, and apparently had a few of her other characteristics. . .mother never would say what they were.

FARfetched said...

Beth: you and Daughter Dearest!

I think I've told this story somewhere else, but it's worth repeating. Way back when, Mrs. Fetched's mom made me some Brunswick stew — she knows I like it hot, so she made it hot for me. I'm chowing down, and Daughter Dearest (about 1-1/2 at the time) came over and opened her mouth.

"This is hot," I warned her. "You have your drink?" She grabbed it off the living room table and came back, mouth open like a baby bird.

"OK. If this is too hot, take a drink." I gave her a little spoon. She ate it, took a little sip, and opened her mouth again. After a few of those, she put the cup down and ate about half my bowl! It didn't bother her a bit.

Nancy P said...

Kidspeak!! I'm so glad to see you!

(Please give Maryb my best wishes, too. I haven't "talked" to her in ages.)

Nancy P said...

far and Beth, I think those are really surprising stories about what a kid's palette can handle. It makes me rethink the paradigm. :)