Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blood Moon

Tonight I sat outside, along Hickory Street with the sounds of Oaktopia Music Fest providing a soundtrack, to watch the super moon lunar eclipse. I guess we call it a blood moon.

It was spectacular. I get slightly cheesy about nature.

Watching it made me think how vast the universe is and how small I am in it. It's humbling and awe-inspiring. I actually saw the moon be a bright, awesome fullness and then slowly get shrouded to just a shadow of itself. It's amazing.

I wonder what I'll be doing when the next one occurs in 2033. I'll be 50, so I think I should have a party.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


For being a film studies undergrad, there are a lot of movies I haven't actually seen. I've seen a lot of clips of movies, famous clips generally, but I have somehow missed seeing in entirely some famous films. This week I saw Psycho in the theater for my first time. And it did not disappoint.

Psycho was released in 1960. It was preceded by North by Northwest and Vertigo, and followed by The Birds. So right in the middle of a string of hits for Hitchcock. But this was a movie unlike any of his others, and perhaps audiences weren't ready for it. It was shot in black and white and on the cheap. It was a hit.

Since I had never seen it before, I had no idea what the story was. I was immediately caught up in the story of Marion Crane, a nice girl who wants to marry her divorced boyfriend but he can't because of the alimony. So they meet in a hotel whenever he's in town. Marion then gets a chance to take $40,000 and she does. And as she's fleeing she ends up at the Bates Motel. Then our heroine dies halfway into the film. Whoa.

 Then we get Marion's sister, her boyfriend and a private investigator trying to figure out what happened to Marion. There's one more death before a climax that legitimately creeped me out.

The entire is pretty masterful in its use of angles, music, lighting, direction, acting. Most know of the classic shower scene, with its use of music and quick cuts and lack of blood and gore. I was rather impressed by another scene, though. Norman has found Marion dead in the bathroom of her room. He steps outside of the room and there is a lovely tracking shot of Norman looking back to the house and then walking back to the office/parlor. Something about the shot seemed so perfect me; Hitchcock isn't know for extensive moving camera shots. This one was executed so well.

If you haven't seen it you should.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Sliding Doors Theory

While on my most recent road trip through Texas, I got a speeding ticket. In the little town of Hubbard, TX. I had just left Corsicana and had pastries occupying my entire front seat. The officer, who was very polite, asked if I was from Hubbard and I told him I lived in Denton but was doing a little road trip over the holiday weekend. I didn't have my up to date insurance card in my car, but apparently he was able to look it up and see that I was legit. So I didn't get cited for that. But I did get a ticket.

This annoyed me for a couple reasons.

First, I am not a speeder. I know that this ticket would suggest otherwise, but I'm really not. I am that person who set my cruise to right at the speed limit when I'm on the freeway. I sometimes get risky and go up to 77 (when the posted speed limit is 75). Most of my trip involved back roads that go through small towns. In that case the speed limit drops as you enter the city limits, and then drops again when you are in the middle of the city. I follow this speed limit drop all the time. I also follow it as I leave the city - the gradual increase back to 70 (yes, the back roads in Texas are 70 MPH!). I missed this one though, as I was clocked going 66 in a 50 on my way out of town. I honestly did not know what the speed limit was at the time.

Second, I had stopped for a quick second in the middle of town to get a picture of the Dairy Queen. Yes, the Dairy Queen. You see, all towns in Texas have a Dairy Queen. I love this because I love blizzards. I wanted to document it. Even though I had seen Dairy Queens in all the previous cities I had gone through, I hadn't yet stopped to take a photo of one. I decided this was the right time to do so.

If I had not stopped, I would not have been in the exact place I was at the time the police officer pulled me over. I would have already been in the 70 MPH area of the road. And then, the entire time to my next stop in Waco, I couldn't stop thinking about if I had just not stopped. It was my Sliding Doors moment.

You know the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, "Sliding Doors," right? She misses the train and doesn't miss the train - we get to see both scenarios play out. I wrote about once before. I would like to live in the timeline where I didn't get a ticket.

Because it's $200. I've bought roundtrip plane tickets for less.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Texas Roadtrippin'

I satisfied my lust for wander by hitting the road to explore more of Texas. This time I hit up east Texas to experience a flea market, a haunted town, a famous bakery, a museum for Dr. Pepper and a quick Czech Stop.  565 miles and just over a tank of gas.

1. Canton, TX - First Mondays
This is a huge flea market. I didn't super like it. It was rather hot, and everything was just stuff you'd find at any "antique" store (like the one here in Denton on the Square, or on Mass Street). I bought some kettle corn and that was all I needed.

2.  Jefferson, TX
This was my destination for the night. A friend had recommended this to me, and I'm very glad he did. Jefferson feels like it belongs in New Orleans' French Quarter (not that I've ever been there....). My hotel was in the historic district with red, brick streets and beautiful old buildings. I started a Ghost Walking Tour, but had to leave halfway through (long story that I don't feel like typing out). I took a walk along the riverbanks and watched a beautiful sunset.

 I was obsessed with this bridge.

 It was like a scene from Gilmore Girls.

3. Tyler, TX - Rose Garden
The roses were not in bloom. They have a festival that I think is in October, and I imagine it looks beautiful. I still walked around and enjoyed the peacefulness of it.

4. Corsicana, TX - Collin St. Bakery
This bakery has been around since 1896. I went to the "original" downtown location. They are known for their fruitcakes. I did not get a fruitcake, because, well, why? Especially when they have pecan pie. I bought some cookies, bread, danishes and a slice of pecan pie. I then decided I needed a whole pie because pecan pie is just so good. I'll find some people to share it with.

5. Waco, TX - Dr. Pepper Museum
A whole museum dedicated to Dr. Pepper. Great! I can't even remember everything I learned there, but it was all very interesting. I especially liked the change in the logo and different marketing campaigns. Before leaving I stopped by their soda shop and had a Frosty Pepper (essentially a root beer float but with Dr. Pepper instead).

6. West, TX - Czech Stop
The best place to get kolaches in Texas (at least according to some sources). It's a shop off the freeway next to a gas station. And it's busy! I was in line for twenty minutes. I purchased a few kolaches and postcards, which were very hard to find along the trip!

This post is mainly just a rundown. I will have another post with some of the mini-stops and some other thoughts on driving through Texas.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Eight Years Post The City

It's September 1st. It was this day in 2007 that I crossed the George Washington Bridge into New York City and made it my home. It's hard to believe it's been eight years since that day. A lot has happened since then.

When I decided to move to NYC I knew it was the right decision. I just knew. And that decision has had lasting affects in my life. I wouldn't be in Denton right now if I had not moved to NYC.

To mark this day I ordered pizza and a NY cheesecake and am having it delivered to me. I never did that when I lived in NYC, but it's something that seems very New Yorky. Plus I'm starving.

Thanks New York, for being awesome. Someday I'll make it back (likely not to live, but a vacation would be nice).


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