Will Ferrell and Mel Gibson = It’s Christmas Time Jessie

First off, that blog title is kind of weird, but It’s the universe talking to me cause I’m that damn special. So… I realize that Thanksgiving is 4 Days away and lots of people think you’re just EVIL if you even THINK about Christmas before the turkey leftovers are gone; but ya know what? My neighbors have had their Christmas tree up for two weeks and that means it’s ok for me to start watching Christmas movies. If you don’t like it you can blow it out your ass, Uncle Roman.

My top Christmas movies are these: Elf, The Grinch (Jim Carrey) and The Santa Clause. Of course I realize there are treasured and beloved Christmas films that are supposed to be everyone’s favorite but I go for charm as well as comedy people. (I like my movies to be just. Like. Me. 🤪)

I’m watching Elf even as I type this. Now, there are a few other flicks that I find myself watching every Christmas and they are these: Grumpy Old Men, because Walter Matthau looks like my grandpa and he looooved Christmas. Lethal Weapon, because who doesn’t love dead hookers and Gary Busey for the holidays? Just look at that sexy effing mullet!

And lastly, the Richard Harris classic, Camelot. I think it’s the perfect snowfall and well-behaved climate that does it for me. And, of course, the charm. My goodness Richard Harris is charming in that one.

Also, and this isnt all the way off topic so no one can yell “Jess focus!” Because it also has to do with a movie and Richard Harris and there’s even Christmas in it… Richard Harris is by far the superior Dumbledore and I don’t care what anyone else says. When I re-read the HP masterpiece it is Richard Harris’s face I see and Richard Harris’s voice I hear whenever Dumbledore is in a scene.

Anyway, today we saw Daddy’s Home 2. I absolutely love the original and watch it entirely too often. It’s in what I like to call “The Lincoln Club.” For other LC films see post script. To join in my lunacy, send me an IM— we’ve got jackets. It’s not a problem that they buckle up the back is it? You’d be surprised how comfortable they can be once you get your arms arranged just so.

Daddy’s Home 2 puts two of my Christmas favorites in the same two hour time frame (Will and Mel) taking place during “Together Christmas,”where Brad and Dusty decide to get everyone together so that the kids don’t have to do the old back and forth. Mel Gibson and John Lithgow join us as Dusty’s and Brad’s fathers, respectively. It makes for suuuper holiday goodness. All that was missing was my Punky B and a blanket. John Lithgow is a legend no matter what role he’s in — can you say Trinity? And though I absolutely adore Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs and enjoyed him in some other stuff back in the day, whenever I see him now I can’t help but remember the freaking Passion of the Christ movie during Mel’s breakdown period. Ya know how some actors or artists have a blue period? It’s kinda like that only he was way bigoty and full of himself.

The previous Worlds Sexiest Man is looking – and sounding- kind of rough these days. It sounds like maybe he stopped smoking at some point and just had cigarette smoke and tar and nicotine direct injected into his lungs, kinda like direct diesel injection. (Which I totally know what that is.). Having said that, he still has that amazing smile that I grew up loving and he has some really wonderful moments in the film. Just like in the original, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have such fantastic screen chemistry, but also, like in every other movie he’s in, Will Ferrell steals it. Damn that man is holiday! If I had to pick one thing I didn’t love about it, it would have to be Dusty’s new wife and step daughter, who are haughty little bitches all the way through – like they both need to be punched in the ovary. But then the end of the show comes, and they were magically not assholes for the past two hours. So that was kind of lame. But John Lithgow took three snowballs to the face in amazing fashion so it’s easy for me to forgive that small ickishness.

Well that’s it for now friends and neighbors and strangers. Also, don’t feel bad if you’re a stranger and you know it (clap your hands); being strange just puts you in my realm of the universe. Like you’re totally almost in The Lincoln Club.

You lucky sumbitch.

Ps. Current Lincoln Club films are:
1- Lincoln – Daniel Day Lewis goodness.
2- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
3- Guardians of the Galaxy parts one and two
4- The Avengers
5- Grease – duh – though it’s been a while since I’ve watched it with any frequency. It keeps its place on the list because of the 600 times I watched it as a young lass.
6- Daddy’s Home
7- The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas – which I realize isn’t necessarily an Oscar winner but it’s a childhood favorite so… yeah. (Because what 8 year old girl didn’t sing and dance along with scantily clad and booby flashing hookers? I totally wanted that white cowgirl outfit by the way, and saw nothing whatsoever unclassy about it. Those were the good old days, when a young girl could watch a movie about singing whores and there wasn’t a thing wrong with it.)

I plan on adding Thor Ragnarok and It to the LC as soon as Amazon realizes that my family needs a break from the other movies on the list.

Go see Daddy’s Home 2– Also, Murder on the Orient Express, which I haven’t yet written about but will. That was a good’n. And let your Christmas freak flag fly people. Don’t let anyone tell you not to. I mean, unless it’s the cops. Cause that probably means you took it a little too far.


Bueller… Bueller…

Yo. You ever feel just like Ferris Bueller? Most people probably can’t answer in the affirmative on that because seriously, who is that cool? Not many of us. Matthew Broderick as Ferris came into my (well… our) life in 1986, but it wasn’t until today that I walked- or rather ran (actually I drove) in his shoes.

I had ordered a Christmas present for Ash on Amazon; ya know, like ya do, and it was being delivered today. Only I remembered that last year a couple of the things I’d ordered from Amazon weren’t actually FROM Amazon, if you know what I’m sayin; so when the packages arrived on my doorstep it was dumb luck that I was the one who discovered them. Honestly people I never check my mail or use my front door. Ashton’s friends from down the street used to give me shit from the porch when they came over to play with him. Look man, we’ve all got our problems ok? Anyway, there were a couple of times last year that the return shipping label had the name of the actual place the item came from, rather than having Amazon’s name on it, and I had barely escaped premature gift discovery. I didn’t want a repeat of that this year, especially since, if I was Ash, I totally would have read the label just in case I could get some info off of it. I think I was more of an asshole as a teenager than he is. Seriously he is the best kid and I’m the luckiest mom. And it’s a good thing really, because I’m not sure my gray matter, aka Jess’s Mess could handle a bad kid.

Now. Where was I? Oh yeah. Amazon. I had checked my order and saw it was “Out for Delivery” and decided I needed to duck home long enough to steal it off the porch before the boy got home from school. I wanted to give the mail enough time to get there without being late so I decided to wait until about 230 to leave work. On my way home I got stuck behind an accident- because that always happens when you’re trying to outrun your kid to the gifts on the porch- so by the time I was about to pull into my neighborhood I saw a bus pulling out of it.

Fuck! I said to myself. (I would have said it to someone else but no one was there but me and my crazy). I prayed it was a little kid bus. I pulled into the hood and to what did my wondering eyes should appear? Junior high Kids. Double fuck. So I made the first right turn and just up the street I saw him, walking home with a friend.

This is where it gets Buellery. I immediately shoved my foot down on the gas pedal, ran the stop sign and made my left turn going 30 mph. From my peripheral I saw Ash break into a run, sure he’d seen me. In my mind’s eye I could just see Jeanie and Ferris Bueller making eye contact while mama Bueller sorts through some important looking papers. Jeanie rams the gas pedal down, determined to beat Ferris home and prove once and for all what a lying sack of shit with an undeserved reputation he really is. Ferris runs like his feet are on fire and his ass is catching.

As I made a completely wreckless right turn into my alley I saw a house painter guy parked behind my neighbor’s driveway and he was totally blocking my way! That didnt stop me. After all, I’d already broken a handful of traffic laws and miraculously avoided killing anyone this long; I was pretty sure my luck would hold. I swerved hard left, up onto the GRASS of the neighbor across the alley’s yard. Then I was back into the alley and ripping ass into my driveway as the garage door opened painstakingly slowly.

Meanwhile, Ferris is hopping fences, cutting through neighbor’s yards—“dinner’s ready,”—jumps on the trampoline, vaults over the fence and, after stopping long enough to meet some sexy sunbathers, he finally ends up on his back porch- only to find the damn door locked and the key under the mat missing. I can hear those trumpets pulsing in the background.

I pulled into the garage, slowing just enough to know I wouldn’t hit Bear’s Harley (because that shit means divorce even quicker than me committing vehicular manslaughter). I ran to the porch, ripped the door open… and the porch was empty. Just as I closed the door and started cursing, Ash walked in through the garage.

So it was kinda for nothing, but I made it gods dammit. Ferris made it due to the stick falling out of his sister’s ass; and I made it due to the kindness of the fates, who allowed me to drive completely wreckless yet avoiding traffic violations and death- of myself or anyone else.

All in all I feel like it was a win win.

And I got the damn box off the porch when I got home after work this evening.

Christmas Special: A Few of my Favorite Things

I’m sure Oprah has a few more people following her blog than I do, but I’m still gonna copy her yearly special where she tells everyone the best shit to buy for Christmas. The only difference is I’m not giving you any goodie bags, because Oprah’s rich as hell and I have tattoos and expensive boots.

Having said that: holy shit, it’s November 14 and I’m just barely putting this out there! So sorry. (I can already see those old Mervyns commercials where the ladies stood outside waiting for the store to open and chanting “open, open, open”. I have almost no doubt that Jess’s favorite things is totally on that level for all of you. It is, isn’t it?)

Let’s start with smelly stuff. Holy fuck wait a minute. Speaking of smelly stuff, an adorable teenage girl just walked by me (I’m waiting for a movie to start by the way) with a 1985 side ponytail in her hair. Pee-yoo girlfriend. There are some trends that should just never come back. Perhaps we’ll talk about that next time. *. Anywho. Where was I? Smelly stuff. This is for those guys who need something really easy and affordable to pick up as an add on gift for the gal pal or even Mom or sis. My absolute favorite of Bath and Body Works seasonal scents is Snowflakes and Cashmere. I want to marry it and make a handful of the sexiest smelling babies in the universe with it. Hot tip: score extra points with the wife here fellas… it smells really great accompanied by Flower Bomb perfume by Victor and Rolf, available at Nordstrom’s or Sephora. They weren’t MFEO** or anything but they compliment each other as though they were. Then for extra extra credit hit the Bath and Body Works again for after Christmas sales and pick up a metric shit ton of Snowflakes and Cashmere and some Twisted Peppermint for good measure and then be all “hey baby, I thought you might like these” or better yet give it to her with a Just Because card. We love that shit.

Let’s see what’s next? Let’s talk about hair product. Y’all know I’m a Redken girl, right? As always my Redken go-To is Wax Blast 10- its in The hairspray family and great for that just mussed look, and even though most people think it reeks, I love the smell of it. I welcome feedback on that by the way; I can’t possibly be the only one. Number 2 on my Redken must haves is Mess Around 10 (pomade- or as Ulysses Everett McGill would call it: “hair treatment”***)This stuff is awesome on wet or dry hair, not weighing it down or making it look grody or greasy.

Next up on hair is my new love: Kevin.Murphy products, which I found at Salon Dante (the BEST Salon and day spa in the effing universe. See farther down in this long ass blog and you’ll find it there.) Now, KM is expensive but amazing as Spider Man. Probably more so. Even with that new cutie they’ve got playing him nowadays. My favorites are Night.Rider – This is a HEAVY hold pomade, great for short hair in particular. I also love their mix and match shampoos: the Angel.Wash is particularly lovely. Then there’s Full.Again- a thickening lotion for those of us with fine hair. But the gold medal winner this Christmas season has got to be Bedroom.Hair. It’s a light hairspray with the same, if you’ll pardon the expression: “just been laid” result, like the Redken Wax Blast, but of the two I’ve gotta admit the KM rocks my world just a bit more. However, the Wax Blast is a gojillion Times more affordable and available at any Ulta or of course at Beautiful You Salon, so choose your poison there.

Makeup. Makeup is highly personal. If you don’t know what your woman likes I recommend you don’t buy her makeup.

Bags: I have become unhealthily obsessed with Frye bags. Approach with caution and don’t pass out when you see the price tag, but they’re beautiful, they’re made of the best leather on the planet – seriously, they use only the classiest cows- and they last forever. Plus they have this bitchin little clippy thing inside so you never have to dig for your car keys.

Shoes: also recent and also unhealthily obsessed but I’m going to throw it out there just the same. Take your wife, your mom, your mother in law who isn’t quite sure she likes you, or even your kid’s asshole 4th period science teacher shopping at Freebird in Fashion Place mall. It’s true you’ll be eating putty out of the windows after but you will cement the fuck out of that relationship. In fact, I do not recommend Freebird if there is any question in your mind as to whether or not you want to keep the recipient of this gift in your life. If you buy me some Freebirds and then dump me after, ima stalk your ass. So use this one with extreme caution.

As always you can never go wrong with a Queen for a Day package at Salon Dante in Sandy.

You can even get a couples massage or sign your lady and her sisters and Mom up for a group pedi. After that shit, when given the choice between you and Chris Hemsworth, your lady will have to think about it for a minute before she leaves you for Thor. Look man, I’m sorry. There’s not enough hair product, Freebird or Frye in the world to make that man unattractive. Don’t lie to yourself; you know it’s true.

Well that’s all I have for now. Hopefully I didn’t lose too many of you along the way. This was a long one.

*We’ll just put this out into the universe now. No one need wait for a separate blog for this bit of info: Mullets, aka the shvilbe, should NEVER come back. Just ever. Also I’m unable to find an actual spelling for shvilbe so any of you 80’s bangers feel free to correct me.

**MFEO: Made For Each Other. God people watch Sleepless in Seattle more often.

***if you haven’t seen George Clooney pining for pomade and hair nets in O Brother, Where Art Thou? Your life blows.

Jess on Pop: Thor Ragnarok

Let me preface this by stating that my love affair with Marvel movies only continues to grow.

In 2008 Marvel released the first of the Iron Man movies. I️ never cared for I️t much and am not a hundred percent sure I️ ever made I️t through the entire film, although I️ adored Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark right away. Ash liked I️t of course. Cause he’s a comics boy, like his father before him. Captain America followed in 2011 and again I️ was glad when his dad took him to see the movie so I️ didn’t have to watch. But then 2012 and The Avengers happened and I️ was hooked from the start.

I️t was the snarkiness of them all and the camaraderie amongst the characters that did me in. Plus is Scarlet Johansson the sexiest and awesomest Black Widow ever? She’s the first female comic book character since Michele Pfeifer as Catwoman that made me feel like female comic book characters weren’t lame. Shit they made me want to be one. To be that strong and ass kicking and beautiful or, like Selena Kyle, just plain yummy. But like I️ said, I️t was with The Avengers that my little problem all started. By that I mean I’m pretty sure that as of now I’ve seen The Avengers, Age of Ultron, Civil War, Ant Man, Spider Man and my personal saviors and favorites, The Guardians of the Galaxy more times than my son or his funny book loving father. But I’m ahead of myself.

I️t was 1995s Mallrats by fellow Marvel maniac Kevin Smith that first sparked my interest in the subject. I’m not sure if I️ was really even aware of I️t at the time. I️ was simply sitting back and laughing my ass off at the antics of Jason Lee and Jay and Silent Bob: “Fly, fat ass, fly!” But I️ always enjoyed listening to Brody and TS talk about comic book characters and whether or not Lois Lane could ever carry Superman’s baby. In the infinite words of Brody, “do you think her Fallopian tubes could withstand the sperm?… if Lois gets a tan the kid could kick right through her stomach. Only someone like Wonder Woman has a strong enough uterus to carry his kid. The only way he could bang regular chicks is with a cryptonite condom- but that would kill him.”

What, at the time, I️ thought was simply fantastic screenwriting and hilarity was, I️ now realize, a really fantastic foundation of story. If I️ May be so bold: (other than Stephen King, duh) I️ think Stan Lee might be the best storyteller of our time. When you strip away what so many people consider nerdy or geeky, and hot guys and gals wearing yellow spandex, what you’re ultimately left with is a great story, every time. Which is where I️ come back to Thor, Ragnarok.

I️ didn’t especially want to see I️t. Even though I️ love The Avengers so darn much I️t annoys my family. I’ve just never been a fan of the stand alone films and my crazy was all like “dude, it’s a stand alone, stay the hell away!” But Ash asked us to take him and y’all know I️ can’t say no to my punky b. Among other things, I️t was soooo 70s. Just like Guardians 2. Very colorful and Jeff Goldblum is still amazing and still highly crushable in his Flash Gordon-esq costume. Thor never gets a ton of screen time in any of The Avengers films so I️ never knew how funny he was. Omg I️ laughed my ass off. Cate Blanchett was stunning and deliciously evil as Hela and of course Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, Thor’s would-be throne stealing brother who ya love to hate. Or hate to love? Not sure but I️ love that bastard through and through.

The movie had a fantastic cast including Mark Ruffalo, returning as The Hulk, The Dark Towers Idris Elba and Star Treks Karl Urban (dammit Jim I’m an executioner not a doctor!) and a gal named Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, who, (and remember I️ have NO idea what I’m talking about so this isn’t a spoiler) I️ want to marry Thor and have little badass god and goddess babies that kick ass with their little lightning and thunder producing fists. The storyline was easy to follow even though I’d never seen the first two films, although I️ always have Ash next to me to answer questions. I️t was easy to follow, easier to love, and I️ can’t wait to see I️t again.

According to Ash, we have Black Panther next, Which we saw a trailer for and I️t looks awesome. After that I️t will all end in the culmination of all the films: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2018s Infinity War (in two parts).

Look out Thanos. You’re fucked.

The New America

Can I rant today? Every day on my way to work I pass a bright pink billboard that screams “Cosmo Contains Porn”. It’s one of those ‘Protect our children’ campaigns of which I am not a fan. At all. Yes, Cosmopolitan magazine talks about sex. Guess what? Sex is a part of life. “Protecting” your kids from it is turning them into a bunch of fucking weirdos. I got an idea, don’t buy your kids Cosmo if you have such a problem with it. But don’t pretend that seeing the cover of it for five minutes while you pay for groceries is going to turn them into a bunch of delinquents. No. That will happen when you get home, send your kids upstairs to play video games or outside to play with friends and then you ignore them for the rest of the day.

I can remember there being XXX rated movie theaters when I was a kid. I remember driving by at least one when I was very young. I think it might have been Sugarhouse but I could be wrong. I’ll bet the marquise had some classy titles like Debbie Does it All for a Dollar and Get Your Pipes Cleaned part 7, That I probably looked at it, didn’t understand it, and then moved the fuck on to whatever things kids think about.

And guess what? Here I am, 41 years old. Married and happily so. Healthily so. (We even have sex! Sshhh! The children!). I have a great kid who doesn’t rob convenient stores to buy his drugs and then knock his girlfriend up. He even knows that fags can marry each other and it hasn’t even managed to “turn” him gay yet. The husband, the son and I have a great relationship and a great time with each other. Talking. Laughing. Living and just being a family. I’m successful in my career. I work my ass off and I’m proud (call it conceit if you want) to say that I am the best at what I do. How did I manage all of this when, as a child I was exposed to the knowledge of the existence of nudie theaters?! It’s an outrage! Christ there were probably perverts right inside those buildings, hog in hand and loving it! The humanity! Probably we should take all of the Cosmos off the shelves and bring them to that big ass area at the Gateway where they have water flinging all over when it’s hot outside, make a spaghetti-like tower out of them and light them all on fire. WE’D BE DOING IT FOR THE CHILDREN!!!! Unfortunately we’d also be nazis.

Today I was catching up on my social media and noticed on Instagram that Tony Baker of TonyBakerComedy had his Facebook page shut down because some asshole was offended by it and complained. Jesus Christ on a bicycle you guys! Don’t follow the fucker if you don’t like him! For the record, I think Mr Baker is awesomely funny and I hope Mr Zuckerberg pulls his head out of his ass. It’s sad that all we worry about nowadays is offending each other. And I can even see It from Zuckerberg’s POV. And why? Because offended people are assholes who sue people for no reason.

Here’s where I’m going with this, I guess. And forgive me for my ineloquence (is that a word? Cause my phone thinks it isn’t). I thought that America was the greatest country in the world. What happened to my right to opinion? If I don’t like Donald Trump, and I don’t; he’s a racist asshole, then it is my right to say so. But holy shit i daren’t do it in front of anyone or face the crucifixion that awaits. You’re not entitled to an opinion. You’re not entitled to walk into an Al’s Video and Stuff and buy a dirty magazine. Those things make you bad. But please, make sure you know that you are entitled to complain about what other people read, who other people have sex with and how other people pray. Know that you’re entitled to do and say what you think as long what you do or say or think is that you are vaguely patriotic and that you are willing to throw out a “like” or a “share” for every child with cancer or pet without a home who was ever on social media.

Nowadays we care about who can pee in the men’s or women’s bathroom and whether or not gay men should be able to adopt babies. We make a huge deal out of things like that. Did that happen from reading Cosmo? How did things that shouldn’t matter become ALL that matters? Why can’t people just mind their own business, live their own lives, and leave each other the fuck alone? Gather with people who are like minded to you and let the people who aren’t live their lives. If a person isn’t stealing, isn’t murdering or having sex with someone (or something) that can’t speak for him/her/it self, then why the fuck do you care? I thought living in America meant that it was ok to be who you were. That whether you rock out for Jesus or Satan, you still have the same opportunities as every other American willing to work for them. From me to you: Whether you’re tattooed and pierced, a huge dirty hooker or a Disney princess hanging onto your virginity for dear life, as long as you aren’t personally up in someone’s business, hurting or denying them their rights then you’re all the same to me.

But here I am. Guilty of the same thing as all the stupid people of the world: saying “be like me; I’m right!” There’s no way to win. And all of these thoughts made way more sense in my head. In the words of the great Stephen King “the most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them. When they were in your head they were limitless; but when they come out they seem to be no bigger than normal things.”

It’s true. In my head I was all revolutionary and awesome and freedom for people to be skanky if they wanna and now that it’s out there it just sounds like bitching. It sounds like everything I hate about social media. I’m sorry about that. I truly am. I am hoping that you can read this, pluck out a few sensical things and understand that what’s in my heart is pure, and is said with the best intentions for mankind, even though I curse like a sailor and never throw out a “like” or a “share” for the cancer kids and homeless pets of the world.

Then again I could be totally wrong about all of this. I heard that when they raided Adolf Hitler’s and Charles Manson’s residences after their arrest slash suicide the thing they had most in common was their huge stash of Cosmopolitan magazines.

Welcome to The Losers Club

Ok people, let's talk about "It." And I'm going to get this out of the way right up front: this amazingly positive review has almost nothing to do with my personal feelings for Stephen King. (But ya know, if you don't like him then you are a sad sad person and you have my pity.)

I'll start with Director Andy Muschietti. He is a SK fan if ever there was one. Or as we are called in the inner circles, he's a Constant Reader. Ya know how I know? Because he didn't just pluck the horror from the story, slap it on a digital camera, throw in a cgi clown and then leave all the other elements to the book behind like a pair of hooker's panties tossed from the rear window of a Ute cab. As you may know, my Uncle Stevie is wildly typecast as being a horror novelist, which he is and he's awesome at it; but those who have never read him will never know about all the other good stuff that most movies cut out, either for time or ratings or just because they're sadistic pigs. If I may… movies like The Shining, while good as a stand alone film aren't even in the same league with the original source material. Watching that, to me, is on par with eating the cookie ends of an Oreo and throwing the white cream filling away. Trust me people, it's like an ugly chick with a great personality: the inside is where the good stuff is. Except this is Stephen King we're talking about so really it's a hot chick with a great personality.

It, while definitely being one of Steve's more disturbing stories is also tender, hilarious and wonderful. SK captures the actions, thoughts, fears and feelings of the adolescents in this film so wholly and so perfectly. And the young actors in the movie acted their little asses off. I could picture each of them as their namesake character from the book; and that is one of my very favorite things. There's this wonderful time in a persons life where, even though you know that everyone dies, it's still sort of a surreal idea so you're not old enough yet to go "holy fuck I'm gonna die if I {insert death defying activity here.} You still have that rosy cheeked, dewey skinned hope of the young that 95% of the population loses the moment they enter adulthood. Lucky for us, Stephen King is is the 5% group.

Also here is a horror film that finally captures the whole package. Let me say this: a horror movie (or book or story or what-have-you) should be two things: scary and funny. If you leave out the humor element then all you're left with is the Saw movies. Or almost any horror film made in the last… oh let's say 10-15 years. They've lost their style. They've lost a big part of what made them great; what made them enjoyable to watch and not just scary. Shit, even the 1973 version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre* had its humorous points… "Thats the last goddam hitchhiker I ever pick up." If all I want is to be scared I'll turn on the news and watch some real world shit because that is horror without humor.

I can only describe this adaptation of It as delicious and addicting. Is it too much for me to hope for an Oscar nod for Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Dancing Clown? I'm not kidding when I say this and those of you who know me well will know what a big deal this is: Pennywise has just taken over the number one "slasher" spot in my heart- where Freddy Krueger has lived since 1984. Pennywise had personality and originality and of course he was scary as hell. He didn't rip off Tim Curry, he was just different. Normally I'm skeptical of anyone playing a role that the great Tim Curry has played** but Skarsgard was a complete fucking badass. I already want to see it again, and I can already feel my family judging me for it.

So so happy that Ash loved the movie like I did. Bear was all like "eh" like he always is when it's something he knows I love because he thinks it's funny to make me stabby; so the world may never know his actual opinion, but I for one haven't had this much fun in a theater in a long time. Honestly, probably since Django Unchained. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed The Dark Tower, and I think it has great potential in future films (or at least that's what my fingers are crossed for) but It has got it goin on homeboys and girls.

It's one of those movies that truly captures what the book meant to me, and makes me feel, if only for a couple of hours, as though Stephen King has made it possible for every one of us to still feel a bit of dew on our skin and roses in our cheeks; to remember, however briefly, what it felt like to be that wonderful age.

To truly be a part of The Losers Club.

*ps. I specified the 1973 version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre for those novices out there who may not know that every other version of that film LICKS BALLS.

**pps. What I meant by other renditions of Tim Curry movies was the complete abortion known as the remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show last year. Hollywood and TV people: sometimes y'all make me sick.

Calling All Pop Culture Junkies… Jess on Pop: Ready Player One

For the love of god, read (or listen to) Ready Player One. It's narrated by Will Wheaton– small selling point for those Trekkies out there. The book is by Ernest Cline and it is some of the most fun I've ever had reading in my life. Sure I have an unfair advantage over the youth of today who are reading and loving it, because, being of the "bicentennial" variety, the 80's movie, commercial and video game references are right up my alley. And as anyone who has ever seen even one of my tattoos knows, "pop culture junkie" is only barely scratching the crazy ass surface in describing me.

So… short blog today because my hands are in rough shape. An eggcentric billionaire (Halliday) dies without an heir. Being the creator of the greatest VR set up in history, he devises a game, whereby people can log on and their avatar can participate in the hunt for his hidden Easter egg. Those of you who are of the Baby Boomer and older variety, please talk to your grandkids or google the term Easter egg, if you're confused. Whoever finds the Easter egg wins the hunt along with Halliday's fortune.

Laced with lines from movies and references to Ghostbusters, John Hughes, Star Wars, John Travolta, Pat Benetar, Kurt Vonnegut, Star Trek, Monty Python, and even Max Heddrum, Ready Player One literally made me feel like I was in the Cafe 80's from Back to the Future II, waiting for a guy named Griff. I laughed and cried, and hissed and booed and even did that violent sucking in of air when you can't believe what the fuck just happened.

Dammit. I didn't keep it short. I gotta go ice and pill up- ya know, my usual weekend and nighttime routine until surgery happens. But get on your Audible, download the book, and thank me later.

Welcome back, Kotter

Although Mr. Kotter had a waaay better Afro than I could ever pull off. I haven't blogged in five months! Today I ran across a thing on Pinterest. Stand by I will pirate it for our needs here.

In essence, what this means to me is that I love writing. I love reading. I'm a junkie for the written word and when I hear/read beautiful prose I always stop and wish that those words had been mine. And maybe some day they will be. Until then y'all get to be in on all my deepest darkest thoughts, half cocked theories, and crazy antics. I swear I wish they paid for that kind of thing. I'd be rich af.

So what's going on Jess? Here's what I've been thinking about for 24 straight hours. Yesterday Ash and I spent a fantastic couple of hours in the kitchen together making manicotti and a cake; and let me tell you when your 14 year old spends that time with you instead of on his phone or in front of a video game, those are moments to cherish. We were having a conversation; ya know… like ya do, and he said to me that a friend of his acts like a pouty little bitch (those are my words, not his. I'm sure he only talks that way around his friends, and that's my boy. Keepin it respectful for his mama) anytime someone swears around him. When Ash asked him why he did that (and I'm so proud of him that he did!) his friend said that those were bad people.

Now, as a parent we look for what, in therapy terms, is called "teaching moments." That term is nuttier than squirrel poo if you ask me but I understand the gist and it's absolutely true. I talk to Ash about a lot of things. The importance of saving money, and of working for what you want, earning, not being an entitled little bitch all the time like so many people (and not just children I might add) are. And I know that not everything I say will stay in his head forever, so I wanted this to count. I said "Ash, the next time he says something like that, you should say something like, 'good or bad is not defined by a person's words, but by their actions.'"

Because it fucking matters, people. What a person is made of matters. When it comes right down to it, it's all that matters. We've all heard about the religious guy who cheats on his wife or molests his kids, and we've all heard about the kid from juvy who helped an old lady pick up her groceries after some entitled a-hole gave her a fly-by on his motor-scooter. These examples are every where and they happen every day. What I hope is that, one day, I won't have to point them out to Ash. And that maybe- just maybe- he'll be able to comfortably and tactfully point them out to his short-sighted little friend who I hope will one day rise above the two people in his life that taught him to think that way.



Also holy shit. Is it daylight savings time?  My mom used to call me and remind me. I guess she thought that, at 40, and with all of today’s technology I shouldn’t need her to tell me. Boy was she wrong. I’m old school baby. If my grandma was still alive, I’d still call her and ask her to look at the newspaper to tell me what movies were playing today. 

The Jigsaw Words 

When I worked at Mazda out in California I knew a guy named Serban. I’m a bit ashamed to say that I don’t remember where he was from but only a bit. After all it’s been more than 20 years and memories get bored and decide to fuck with you after a while.  I do remember he was a neat man. He had an accent but was easy to understand; he had a great smile and was incredibly friendly. He looked older (or what I thought was older back then. He may have been in his 30’s or 40’s!) but his demeanor was very young.  I remember when he started working with us, my boss told us that Serban majored in math just like he did.  I asked Serban why in hell anyone would want to major in math. I remember thinking how useless it would be. Psychiatrists major in Psychology, doctors major in Biology, Wall Street dudes major in business or economics or both. But math? I remember thinking that Serban could certainly be a math teacher if he wanted to. So I asked him about it. And I’ll never forget what he told me. Not because it was Gettysburg Address important or meaningful, but because it was an unexpected answer.  Plus I really dug the way the man talked. Not because of his accent but because of how his words were arranged. His delivery was like it had been feng shue’d for maximum effect. It worked. He told me (and I’m sorry, words diminish those important moments in life, that’s what the great Stephen King says and that fucker is always right) that the reason a person would major in math is that math just gives you another way of looking at a thing.  

It was one of those moments in life I’ll never forget, and I’m glad it’s a good memory. For some reason my brain prefers to hang onto the shitty ones. As though they were suckers licked for an hour and then cast aside by some careless toddler.  They stick around is what I mean. They’re impossible to clean away and just nasty to touch. To visit.  Serban’s words come back to me time after time, and I apply them to all kinds of situations and they always fit. They’re like a universal jig saw piece, a wild card (twos and jokers baby, twos and jokers). I use them with Ash. I use them when training others at work. I use them because they’re true. 

Now, as usual, I’ve gone way off point to get to my actual topic this morning.  But I just ask you, if I hadn’t, would you know what the hell I was talking about? You might. But would you take my meaning? Fuck I don’t know. Maybe. But I like to think that you wouldn’t. If for no other reason than to think my gray meat works this way for a reason. 

I’m my own worst enemy sometimes. And today this took on new meaning for me. (Slow learner and all that). I dreamed terrible dreams all night last night. They were still Seussy, because that is one exception my brain never makes. My dreams are all gibberish nonsensical bullshit but the bad ones always seem to mean something despite their lack of sense. I have nightmares about the hatchet man. Sure I do; don’t you?  But most of the time my bad dreams have nothing to do with that fucker.  The “bad guy” in most of my dreams is “being alone” or “doing it wrong” “being laughed at” “being fat” “being left behind”. By everyone. Bear, Ash, the rest of the people in the race.  While they’re all paddling or running or flying northward, I’m a full lap behind and am therefore going southward, against a sea of people who just want me to get the hell out of the way. Only at the same time I’m trying to do all the laundry and pack all the suitcases so we can leave in the morning.   And that’s all I want to do. I want to get my family and our stuff and leave that place. Before they realize they like that place better than they like me. They like the other “winners” while I’m the one that couldn’t get all the way to the finish line. 

Now here’s the really shitty part, and also a bit of a tangent. I swear it’s like every part of my head gets distracted by shiny things. Normally when I dream, if I have to pee in real life I also have to pee in my dreams. Good dream, bad dream, doesn’t matter. The pee takes over the dream like a virus. I wake up and pee and go back to sleep. I haven’t yet peed the bed but it’s probably only a matter of time. Poor Bear.  Did my pee take over last night when Bear and Ash were hanging with Amy Shumer and her people and the rest of the people that weren’t left behind? Fuck no it didn’t. One of Shumer’s people tied my dream bladder up and stuffed a dirty rag in its mouth to keep it at bay. Or so I assume. So not only did I wake up feeling sad and ashamed for not being able to keep up, to tie my shoelaces fast enough or stay afloat on my raft at the same pace as the others, but I also woke up with a bladder which is now in more discomfort than even my stupid head. And the worst part is– well, maybe not the worst; the bladder discomfort was pretty bad– that because my dreams are Seuss dreams, I didn’t even understand why I felt the way i felt. I felt sad and inadequate and mean. What a shitty way to start a day. I’d rather have woken up with the damn stomach flu.  Instead I’m sitting in my chair, snuggling Simon and watching Lincoln. Letting Daniel Day Lewis’s voice soothe me and make me feel better like it always does. That man’s voice is the pepto bismol to my diarrhea.  

Enough time has passed that the details of my dream have begun to diminish. The feelings though, they leave residue every time. Like skid marks in Fat Bastard’s sumo wrestling thong.  

I’m not depressed or anything like that. I make enough distinction between dreams and real life for that. Not “real” depression. Just disorientation. I’ll forget about it in time. If not by the time Lincoln ends then at least by the time we get to Tattoo Convention today.  I’ll be in my element. Instead of Amy Shumer and her people, it’ll be me and my people.  And that’ll be just fine by me. Fuck you Shumer.*

I’m glad Serban told me about looking at things in a different way all those years ago. It helps me to let the bad dreams dissolve and sometimes to keep the good dreams alive.  So thanks Serban. Wherever you are. I hope that you are successful and I’m sure you are. And I hope you still have that wonderful and infectious smile.  In a way, I suppose your words to me were a bit Gettysburgy after all. 

Couple of post scrips here:  I’m getting DDL as Lincoln tattooed over some unsightly old lady spots on my leg. So that’s awesome. 

Second, I get to see my good friend Mike today. He also happens to be the best damn tattoo artist in the whole damn world. 

Third, Peach Treats always has a booth at Convention. I see new earrings in my future. 

*Sorry Amy Shumer. I honestly have no idea why I woke up hating you. I’m sure I’ll get over it.