atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3767: Ash Wednesday

For the second time in my life, I'm sporting ashes on the old forehead.

* * * my glands are still swollen and tender, nine days after I started taking the Amox. WTF.

This means I'm going to have to go see the doctor relatively soon. I don't have to like it, but if the Amox isn't managing anything other than a holding action against the crud in my sinuses, it means I need something stronger.

* * *

Just in time for Lent, apparently McDonald's has "fish McBites". Basically Filet O' Fish McNuggets. *sigh*

On the plus side, the ad on the cup says they are "poppable" rather than "popable". The latter reads to me as "pope-able" which doesn't even make sense, yet some snack/fast food referred to itself that way. (I don't remember what it was, nor do I particularly care to, esp. since it doesn't matter in this context.)

McDonald's now sells just about every kind of food under the sun that can be deep fried or microwaved. Tacos, chicken wings, fish nuggets, designer coffee--I suspect that if it suddenly became acceptable to serve pate de foie gras with french fries, they'd probably start offering it. They'd call it "McPate" or something. WTF.

* * *

Speaking of "pope-able" it seems the present Pope has decided he is not able, and is going to abdicate. It's only been 600 years since that last happened.

What I want to know is, what happens to him once he's left the office? I mean, it's not like I think they take him out back and shoot him or anything, but does he go back to being Cardinal Ratzinger, or does everyone still refer to him as Pope Benedict? Or is there another title they give to former Popes who are still alive?

* * *

Last night, Mrs. Fungus and I watched The Woman in Black. I was not frightened by this movie; in fact the only time I was even nervous was when Mrs. Fungus jumped and yelped at the startle takes.

I think that's pretty cheap moviemaking. I mean, anyone can get an audience reaction by having a quiet scene with almost nothing happening, eerie music slowly swelling, and then DAHH!!! AAIIIGH!!! the monster jumps from the shadows and a loud screech drowns out the orchestral hit from the soundtrack.


Part of the problem comes from the typical "villagers tell stranger to get out of town but don't explain why" deal. For the first half of the movie at least the audience doesn't know why it should be scared when the eponymous character appears. "Okay, so he's seeing a ghost?" So what? I mean, we know going in that this is going to be a ghost story, so how does it aid suspense?

Then a little girl drinks lye and dies in his arms. We don't know why she drank lye, nor do we really understand the connection between that and the guy's trip to the haunted house.

Two thirds of the way through the movie we finally get an explanation: "Whenever anyone sees [the woman in black], a child dies soon after." By then it's too late to be horrified by it; we've seen it happen some three times already.

No: the better way to accomplish this would have been for us to know up front about the cursed ghost and why her appearance was bad news. If we had known this from the beginning of the movie--even if Daniel Radcliffe's character did not--then her appearance might have been accompanied with some real dread, especially if we'd had some emotional stake in the characters who were getting killed. (Rather than, "Random girl #4 drinks lye, but it hasn't yet been explained why this kind of thing happens.")

Because of the total lack of atmosphere in the movie, I wasn't even remotely scared. In fact I was doing a pretty good job of anticipating the timing of the shock takes--mainly out of self-preservation, since Mrs. Fungus' startled shrieks weren't doing my blood pressure any good.

Still, as ghost stories go, it was intriguing enough that it held my interest. It wasn't a bad movie; it just wasn't a scary movie.

Guess that'll have to do.

* * *

Gas in the Fungal Vale is creeping towards $4 per gallon. Expect $5 per gallon this year.

I predicted--this time last year--we would not see it in 2012, but probably would in 2013, and I do believe this prediction will come to pass.

* * *

Bah. I have other things that need doing. Whee!

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