Stranger In a Strange, Terrible Land

18 Feb

Sometime around my birthday last year, someone wished me happy birthday. Lots of people did, but this person’s well-wish stood out, because of its ominous addendum:

“Happy 37th Birthday! Welcome to the land of the two-day hangover!” 

I wish I could remember who it was; less because I want to tell them that they are right, than because I want to get the next winning lotto numbers from them; because they spoke horrible, horrible truth.

Here is a breakdown of my weekend.


  • Work is bananas- I have completed a deadline only to be told I have to create metadata files, which I hurriedly teach myself with various job aids and the help of a coworker. I’m not stupid, I’ve just never done this particular task before and teaching oneself while one’s bosses are tapping their feet expectantly is not the best learning environment. I get everything done, then am given a new, desperately important task 20 minutes before I am supposed to leave. I get it done while taking my various cartilage piercings out, and seal them into a piece of paper with staples for safekeeping.
  • I leave work early, but not for a fun reason – I’m getting my first MRI. Although I deal with the confined space and the straps, they blindfold me and put a blanket over me, which effectively immobilizes me and I experience my first panic attack in a long while. They remove the blanket, freeing my hands, and I am able to manage the 30 minutes in the machine, but I stand by my original description – it’s like being trapped in a crawlspace under a shitty techno club.
  • I get home and find that some of my cartilage piercings won’t go back in. I get two of the three in, and decide to let the professionals handle the last one. I get redressed and head downtown to a piercing place I found through Google – I am so old now that all the places I used to go for piercings and tattoos are closed, or under new ownership. The women working there are wonderfully helpful and do their  best to make the experience pleasant, but they still have to force the thing back into my cartilage and it hurts like a bastard. Still, they were very nice and didn’t even charge me!


  • Gym in the morning. I get home and clean, change the cat litter, play with the cat, and write for 5 hours. I drink too much coffee and get jittery, then when I go out for lunch I can’t find my wallet. I panic, drive home, search the whole house, and finally find the wallet sitting on the driver’s seat of my car – it had been under my ass during part of my search, amazingly.
  • 5 rolls around, and I’m worn out. I start watching movies.
  • The Devil’s Violinist – Unless you are really into classical music or period pieces with attractive people, skip it. This fictional biopic follows the supposed ‘deal with the devil’ that violin virtuoso and composer Antonio Paganini made in exchange for fame. Jared Harris plays hissing, toad-like Urbani, who is Paganini’s enabler and handler, and also the devil, sort of. I think it was intended to be a star-making turn for famous professional violinist and handsome person David Garret, but alas- he overacts every scene and his line delivery is stilted and odd. I’d spend an afternoon raking leaves* to find out the story behind this film’s making, as it was written and directed by Bernard Rose, of Immortal Beloved and Candyman fame, and I will never be tired of throwing those two titles into the same sentence. The movie’s only saving grace occurs whenever Garrett actually plays – as I said, he’s a professional violinist and his technique is magnificent. He studied at Julliard!   While supplementing his income as a professional model! How is he not in a Lady Gaga video by now? I wish him the best and hope his star continues to rise.
  • The Warriors – The 1979 saga of gang members in dystopian (kind of ?) New York trying to get home after being framed for the murder of a gang lord attempting to unite everyone. Wacky synth music, haircuts that are feathered and lethal, and some of the most bizarrely themed gangs in the history of cinema are all on display. I will accept the Baseball Furies because they are kind of creepy/cool, and the Lizzies because they are awesome, but the Roller Skates and Overalls Boys make no goddamn sense at all.

At some point during this film, I finished a bottle of wine. I also talked to my Mom on the phone about her JC Penney’s bill, while lighting an absinthe-soaked sugar cube on fire. And the night kind of went downhill from there.

I watched something else, but those files were overwritten by the memory of the terrible, terrible hangover I labored under on Sunday.

Sunday – Valentine’s Day!

I had intended to spend Valentine’s Day out of the house, hunting yard sales and such, and instead I spent it moving as little as possible, sweating, and eating soft, uncomplicated foods. I watched Amadeus. 

Sometime around noon I was horribly sick, but also started feeling better after a short nap on the bathroom floor. I cleaned myself up and ventured out in search of food and entertainment. Happily, Deadpool was playing at my favorite local place, so I saw that while eating mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers.

  • Deadpool – If you are familiar with the comic, then you already have been researching the movie and know it’s worth your time. If you aren’t familiar, then imagine if the team behind Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz made a Marvel movie. It’s wonderful! It’s not for kids. It has heart! And guts. It has love! And some pretty enthusiastic sex scenes. The dialogue is HILARIOUS! And filthy. I loved it! Seriously, it’s absolutely delightful but also earned its R rating. Just FYI.

When I got home I was still feeling worn out and queasy, so I finished watching something I’d started the day before, The Saint. 

  • The Saint – Whew. Although Elizabeth Shue and Val Kilmer made for an adorable couple, the rest of the movie was just… Gah. The entire premise of it being a love story was weird, especially when Simon Templar begins snooping around her apartment to figure out who she was so he could craft the perfect personality. Although Kilmer is charming, overall I found him borderline sociopathic and creepy. Kilmer’s performance earned him a nomination for a Golden Raspberry, and I am willing to bet it was the delivery of the line ‘Oh, I was weeping and I tripped’ in an Afrikaaner accent. The Russian bad guys (Rade Serbedzija! He’s the best!) were loads of fun, and rode around in an SUV blasting techno. There was a plot about cold fusion and Russian elections in the post-Soviet era, but really it was all about Val Kilmer in wigs and accents.

I remembered that I still had to watch the blu-ray of Sicario that my friend loaned me; and since I’d had it for nearly a week I felt terrible so I went ahead and watched it.

  • Sicario – Magnificent! It has totally earned its nominations, and honestly I would have put it up for more. Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro each should have been nominated for acting. Sicario explores the methods, both effective and not, and legal and not, being used by both the U.S. and Mexico to battle drug traffickers. I would compare it to  Traffic, I think, but it wasn’t as in-depth. Still, the performances and story were great. I can’t say it broke much new ground for me in terms of the hell that Mexican citizens must deal with on a daily basis, but it was still an amazing movie.

So that was my weekend! I meant to get this post up earlier in the week but I have been both super busy and exhausted, and also the Alice Through the Looking Glass trailer dropped and I got really excited about that.

I hope you’re having a good week! It’s almost over!

*A pastime I hate above all other things.


8 Responses to “Stranger In a Strange, Terrible Land”

  1. Carlos Diaz February 18, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    I don’t know what your talking about, that sounds like an awesome weekend! And yes, Sicario was incredible. My favorite tidbit of info which i know you’d probably appreciate… The season finale of the silly little heavy metal cartoon on Adult Swim, Metalocalypse, was absolutely epic! Brenden Small (and Brian Posehn!) wrote on hour long heavy metal rock opera, complete with a 100 piece orchestra! It’s really good, like I can’t get the songs out of my head good. Like if Mozart was into heavy metal good! My kids and I have been singing the opera for two weeks now! The tidbit I promised? One of the characters is an old high priest, the leader of a secret cabal who is voiced by Werner Herzog….yes, THAT Werner Herzog. He actually has a pretty good singing voice! I can’t imagine Small sitting in a room in the AS offices in Atlanta and thinking “I need a voice actor who will play this part in my cartoon rock opera. Someone with gravitas…I know! Get me Herzog! I don’t care what kind of hyperbolic artistic insanity he’s doing now, he was born to play the high priest of the Church of Dethklok!” Apparently, I’m right…. 😉

    • jennnanigans February 18, 2016 at 11:36 am #

      YAY Metalocalypse! I love that show – I only saw the first 3 season. Doesn’t surprise me they got Herzog on there, after his Parks and Rec appearance, especially since the episode Dethcarraldo was an homage to his movie Fitzcarraldo. He’s so cool.
      I will have to check it out, thanks for the tip!

  2. rnmckinnon February 18, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    Oh, man, 2 day long hangovers. I think they can happen at any age. Don’t be hard on yourself. It sounds like you had a productive weekend in spite of it. 🙂

    • jennnanigans February 18, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

      Ha ha, thanks! The secret is to get all the stuff done before you go and waste yourself. 😀

  3. patricksponaugle February 18, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    Holy cow, that was quite a weekend!

    I’m pleased you saw the Warriors. Not only did Dexter’s dad play Ajax, but when I was in college (the local theater showed the Warriors… a lot) people said I looked like the leader of the gang who had framed the Warriors, you know, the “Warriors… come out and play-ay” guy.

    I got that a lot.

    Bringing back memories…

    • jennnanigans February 19, 2016 at 8:23 am #

      Ha ha, thanks. And it wasn’t even that busy, honestly.
      NICE! That’s an awesome guy to look like! I just get ‘Darlene from Roseanne.’ Whatev.

  4. Steven February 22, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    I panic, drive home, search the whole house, and finally find the wallet sitting on the driver’s seat of my car – it had been under my ass during part of my search, amazingly.

    I’ve done that. I also once spent twenty minutes frantically trying to figure out where inside my car my cellphone had gone. I looked under and between seats, in console pockets… I knew it was inside the car, and had even heard it going off, but I still couldn’t find it. Turns out it was still clipped into the phone holder suction cupped to the windshield. D’oh!

    Deadpool: Hilarious. Loved it.

    The Saint: I agree totally. Have you ever seen the original Roger Moore series? I always felt like they wanted to make it Bond-like, but never quite got there.

    • jennnanigans February 22, 2016 at 10:28 am #

      LOL! It’s terrible when it’s happening but then when you find whatever’s missing – sweet, sweet relief! WHEW.
      I never have checked out the original Saint! I always meant to check it out and never have.

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