Lucy was from Malta. Her family moved to New York City when she was very young. Her father became one of the most successful delicatessen owners in Manhattan. Her family had moved to Long Island, but they kept an apartment in midtown west and Lucy lived there while completing her doctorate. She was an exceptionally smart and charming woman. She had the widest, most beautiful smile. And fortunately, she was always smiling. Her skin was pale and silky and her hair was black and curly. She was tall and thin, with a strong athletic build and features. It was hard to not fall in love with her very fast.
It was on our third or fourth date when we went to The Museum of Modern Art for an exhibition of David Bowie’s music videos. I knew that we would get along, because she genuinely loved the whole thing. At dinner after the exhibition, she made the explicit assertion that we would have sex on our next date. ”That’d be nice,” I replied with delight.
So, two nights later, we had dinner at her apartment. We listened to some music. I started to get nervous, and she finally took me by the hand and led me to her bedroom. It is always an amazing experience when you see a woman naked for the first time, and seeing Lucy’s body for the first time especially exciting and surprising. It had been obvious that she had a nice figure, but I had no idea just how incredible her body really was! She had the most beautiful wide hips and probably the most firm and shapely small breasts I’ve ever seen.
The sex was amazing. I don’t think it lasted particularly long, but it was full of the passionate intensity that you hope for the first time. During a particularly fiery moment, just before climax, she looked at me with delight and shock and said, “Wow! I’ve never seen this side of you!” It was one of the hottest things I’ve heard in bed. And indeed, she had never seen that side of me. And I was about to see a new side of her.
After such a great fuck, I like to lie back and enjoy the afterglow, but she headed straight for the kitchen. I’m not opposed to the after-sex snack, so I didn’t think much of it. But she was taking forever and I could hear lots of banging around in the kitchen. “What’s going on in there?” I shouted from the bedroom. No reply. So, I put on my underwear and went to see for myself. She was frantically raiding the cabinets and refigerator for anything and everyhing, stuffing her face with all kinds of goodies. She didn’t even notice that I was standing behind her. Strange, I thought. I tapped her on the shoulder and she jumped with startled fright.
“I want to give you another blowjob,” she screamed with wide-eyed insanity.
“Are you OK?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m OK! I want to give you a blowjob! Now!”
After the most enthusiastic and enjoyable blowjob of my life, she rushed back into the kitchen. She came back into bed with a bottle of vodka and proceeded to chug! “I don’t think you’re okay. What’s wrong?” I asked. Before she could reply, she was reaching for the wastebasket near her bed and puked her guts out. Then she stumbled into the kitchen and continued to eat everything in sight. “What is going on with you?” I asked.
“I think you better leave. If my boyfriend finds out about you, he’ll kill you.”
So I left. I was humped and dumped by a lying, cheating, alcoholic binge-eater. What a shame. I thought I liked her. But I didn’t leave empty-handed. The memory of that skillful blowjob will remain with me for many seasons to come. And although her behavior was disturbing and mean, it was one of those absurd encounters that you can really laugh about and enjoy in hindsight. I’m glad it happened.But, why do people cheat? They should look into polyamory!
"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."
I just watched Night of Dark Shadows (1971) on Blu-Ray and it was beautiful! It has finally been remastered and released on DVD & BluRay for the first time. It is true that this is the better of the two original Dark Shadows films, the other being House of Dark Shadows (1970). This is also one of the most overlooked and underrated Gothic/horror films ever made. I think that this is for two reasons:
1. The story and mood differ greatly from the popular TV series. Sure, there are various elements and moods from the original series, and Robert Cobert’s soundtrack is based on many of the scores that were featured in the show. But if you are looking for a big screen version of the stories featured in the series, you will be disappointed. Unlike House of Dark Shadows, this film features a whole new Dark Shadows storyline.
2. Dan Curtis was forced to trim the film at the last minute, giving him only 24 hours to make cuts. And it really does show. It’s a shame that this footage has not been restored.
However, this is a film that deserves a second chance! The mood is fantastic! It oozes atmosphere. It’s haunting, sexy, dark, strange, and beautifully Gothic. The flashback sequences are truly amazing! I wish that they had included more of those. Thayer David gives a standout performance as the Rev. Strack. Grayson Hall plays the enigmatic Carlotta, which I believe is her best role! Yes, better than Dr. Hoffman. She is stunning in this film! I also really appreciated David Selby’s performance. He was truly scary! It’s a shame that this was the last Dark Shadows film featuring the original cast and creators.
Buy this one! The Blu-Ray is fantastic, even though it is void of any real special features.
Chic-fil-a’s highly publicized anti-gay stance has me thinking about marriage. As far as I know, human beings are the only beings that engage in marriage. Sure, there are other species that practice varying degrees of monogamy, but marriage is a human oddity. If a visitor from a foreign planet were to observe a wedding ceremony or post-wedding celebration from any culture, I imagine that they would be greatly amused or horrified by the absurd theatricality that most of us have come to accept as a normal. Of all the institutions created by man, marriage is one of the most bizarre, elaborate and expensive institutions still going, even though it is on the decline. And this is the reason that I find it so ironic that the same simpletons that angrily deem homosexuality as “unnatural” are also so worried about protecting the supposed integrity of “natural” heterosexual marriage.
Marriage is a learned act that is continually re-enacted by society in a desperate and largely unconscious attempt to conform to a consensual hetero-dominated reality rooted in insecurities relating to sexual jealousy, preservation of wealth and status, potential ostracism, and religious guilt. And for many, it is also the fulfillment of an unrealistic romantic fantasy designed by Disney and other corporations early in childhood development.
When it comes to marriage, I’ve always had a lot of questions and very few answers:
1. Would you invest in a business that fails more than it succeeds? Maybe it’s a bit harsh to compare marriage to a business, but let’s face it - marriage is a huge business! Just take a look at the many wedding magazines available and you’ll see that marriage, like death, is a booming business. And then there are the huge sums of money involved in divorce. And most marriages are business-like to some degree as the finances of each spouse become entangled. But back to my original point: If marriage is so great, why does it result in bitter failure so often? I suppose it’s worth the risk for most people.
2. Why do you need the legally binding nature of marriage to validate your togetherness? Is it just for the legal and financial benefits? Are you trying to convince others or yourselves that you are committed to one another? I have so much more admiration for couples that stay together just because they want to be together. And a question for conservative married couples: Why do you want the government out of your life, but you also need them to validate and protect your marriage from those pesky homosexuals?
3. Why should married people get special benefits? Generally, married people already earn more than single people. Being able to take advantage of a spouse’s medical benefits sounds great, but is it fair?
4. Why don’t straight couples that support gay marriage hold off on getting married until gay marriage is universally recognized? You know the stupid old phrase: ”Put your money where your mouth is.”
5. Why do so many married couples complain about the superficial nature of Valentines Day? Isn’t marriage just a more expensive version of this holiday?
7. Isn’t that whole “til death do us part” thing a bit of a setup for failure? I mean, I understand the importance of an optimistic outlook, but hopefully death is a long time away, so why make this kind of commitment to someone that might get fat and become a Scientologist some day?
8. And finally, what is up with The Chicken Dance? If I spent an offensively large sum of money so that everyone had to gather around to watch me get married and shower me with gifts, I wouldn’t punish them with this nonsense!
1. “I Confess” by k.d. lang. This track from k.d. lang’s last album, Sing It Loud, has beautiful and explosive vocals, and an excellent buildup. It’s an epic confession of romantic love and one of her best singles. I was fortunate enough to experience this live as the opener of a show on her last tour, which was amazing, needless to say!
2. “Lover” by Roxy Music. This little-known gem by Roxy Music was only ever released on the Miami Vice 2 soundtrack! Shame, because it’s one of the best songs from their later period.
3. “More Than This” by Roxy Music. Some say this is the ultimate make-out song! Well, whatever. It’s a beautiful song.
4. “Unchained Melody” by Elvis Presley. This is such a great song. I love every version I’ve heard. The Righteous Brothers, Jimmy Scott, U2… but this version by Elvis, from his final record, Moody Blue, is my favorite.
5. ”Love Letters” by Ketty Lester. This beautiful song is featured in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.
6. “Happy Lovers At last United” by Morrissey. This is not a traditional love song. It is a clever song about bringing two lovers together and being forgotten and left behind once the two lovers are reunited. Leave it to Morrissey! This beautifully sung outtake could and should have been a hit single!
7. ”Valentine’s Day” by Klaus Nomi. This is what Valentine’s Day sounds like on some beautiful, strange planet.
8. “Heavenly Arms” by El Perro del Mar. This beautiful cover of Lou Reed’s “Heavenly Arms” is easily the best Lou Reed cover I’ve ever heard.
9. “As The World Falls Down” by David Bowie. Bowie has few straightforward love songs, but they are all great. This song from the Labyrinth soundtrack is no exception.
10. “Woman” by John Lennon. Simple & beautiful.
11. “Love Of My Life” by Queen. Freddie Mercury was an amazing and powerful singer. His passion really shows here. It’s hard to not cry.
12. “Mysteries Of Love” by Julee Cruise. There is nothing I can say, really. This is pure beauty and love in the form of song. Also from Blue Velvet, with lyrics by David Lynch and music by the great Angelo Badalamenti.
Dark Shadows: A Personal Story (This isn’t really part of my review, so you can skip down if you want to get to the actual review)
In 1991, Dan Curtis brought the legendary Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows (1966-1971)back to television as a big budget weekly prime-time series. The 1991 revival series starred Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins, and unlike the original series, it had a substantial budget and none of the demands of producing a daily soap opera. While much of the strange and undefinable magic of the over-the-top original daytime series was replaced with primetime sophistication, heightened sexuality, and lots of 90s gelled hairdos, Dan Curtis was able to maintain the beautifully tragic Gothic romance that was always at the heart of Dark Shadows. Even with a loyal fan base, the show only lasted one season due to frequent Iraq War news interruptions and management changes at NBC. Of course, NBC later admitted that canceling the show was a mistake.
In 1991, I was nine years old and completely obsessed with the new version of Dark Shadows. I think I experienced my first real case of heartbreak when I learned that show would not return. At the same time, I was also obsessed with Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, starring Johnny Depp. I came up with a brilliant idea: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp should do a Dark Shadows movie! Somehow, I obtained a mailing address for NBC headquarters. I subscribed Dark Shadows newsletter called Shadowgram, and they were urging fans to write to NBC to save the show. That must have been how I got the address to NBC. I went as far as obtaining signatures from my peers and teachers at school to petition for the return of Dark Shadows. Along with my petition, I sent NBC a very serious letter suggesting that if they were unable to revive the show, they should make a Dark Shadows movie with Tim Burton as director and Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. As I got a bit older, I cringed at how lame it was to petition for the return of a canceled TV show. And what the hell did NBC have to do with making movies with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp? And why should they listen to me? Well, at least I was an ambitious nine-year-old! And it turns out that I was on to something. My crazy dream has come true twenty-one years later. Burton & Depp have made a Dark Shadows film!
Dark Shadows (2012): My Review
Let me start out with the BAD:
1. Dark Shadows is just not meant to be a movie. Even Dan Curtis’ own attempts at Dark Shadows films, House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows (both of which are nowhere near as good as Burton’s film)are unmemorable, watered down versions of the television show. Sure, the production values were much more substantial and the actors actually had the luxury of multiple takes, but the unexplainable magic of the television series was lost. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have made a valiant effort to capture the uncanny appeal of Dark Shadows, but I am sad to say that they failed. But it’s not their fault, and this particular failure is a truly beautiful failure with many moments of brilliance, such as Victoria’s arrival in Collinwood as “Nights In White Satin” plays. And Caroline’s sexy dance to Donovan’s “Season Of The Witch.” Nearly all of Johnny Depp and Eva Green’s on-screen moments. But a two hour long film is simply far too compressed for the completely unique dimension that is Dark Shadows. With an endless stream of characters, plot lines, and subtle moods, Dark Shadows needs to move at its own slow pace over a very long period of time. All of the performances are great, but we never get to explore Victoria’s past or see her intimately involved with Barnabas. We do not get a chance to understand David’s troubled mind. We know absolutely nothing about Roger. These characters offer substantial intrigue, but it is never explored and fleshed out. The film, simply by virtue of being a film, is too compressed.
2. Then there is the ending. There was a large explosion, fire, some ridiculous Matrix-style fighting that we see far too often these days, and the introduction of a werewolf that came out of absolutely nowhere! Storytelling has never been Burton’s forte, and endings are often very difficult, but it’s really hard to make apologies for this film’s final sequences.
The real shame here is that this film is not a TV pilot, because it would make for one of the greatest TV pilots ever! If Burton, Depp, and the others would have channeled their efforts into an ongoing TV series, the many brilliant aspects of the film could have the opportunity to flourish!
OK, so now on to the GOOD:
Based on the bad qualities I have highlighted, I probably give the impression that I hated the film. But, I did not! In fact, I really enjoyed it! I haven’t had as much fun in a movie theater in many years. I doubt that the film will remain in theaters very long or make a huge impact on audiences, but the truth is that it’s so much better than 99% of the other stuff out there. In fact, it’s a bit too good. And that is why it will probably fade away.
1. While the horrible promotional trailers for the film showcased the “humorous” aspects of the film and lead audiences to believe that the film was essentially a camp-fest littered with corny jokes and obnoxiously bad editing, I am pleased to report that the opposite is true! While there are certainly elements of black humor, they do not dominate the film, and they work much better in the context of the actual film than in the misleading trailers. In fact, the black humor that made me cringe in the trailers was actually one of the best elements of the film. As with most Burton films, the “humor” is done with a perfect balance of melancholy and deliciously strange perverseness that one can only describe as “Burtonesque.”
2. The romance is there. The theme of “love beyond time” is central to the storyline, even if it could have been fleshed out even more. Some have said that the romance between Barnabas and Victoria seems disingenuous, but in fairness, it is not a new love. Victoria is the reincarnation of Barnabas’ fiancee, Josette DuPres. But I do think that there should have been more romantic outings between Barnabas and Victoria.
3. By Tim Burton standards, this was not a special effects-heavy movie. The beautiful costumes and sets were just as important as the actors, and you could really feel the haunting spirit of the Collins mansion.
4. The sexual tension between Angelique and Barnabas is hot! They nailed it. Eva Green is the sexiest woman alive, and no one else could have played Angelique so perfectly. I have always thought that Angelique was Barnabas’ true love, but he was too proud of his status to accept a woman with such fiery sexuality and lowly status. His torment really came from the fact that he could not admit that he actually loved her. And the script got this essential point right.
5. Johnny Depp! His performance was perfect. He captured the essence of the character, and I am sure that the late Jonathan Frid would be proud. Frankly, Depp’s performance rivals the film as a whole.
Final Thought: While not a masterpiece, this is a very good film, and I have never seen anything like it. The casting is perfect, even if the characters didn’t get a fair chance to develop and shine. Burton has hinted at including deleted scenes that feature more from the secondary characters on the DVD/Blu-Ray release, and I hope that it turns out to be so. This film is not a replacement or really even a continuation of Dan Curtis’ Dark Shadows. This is a fun homage to the show that I recommend for fans as well as newbies. Ultimately, it makes me want to go back to the over-the-top, supremely flawed low-budget original and experience that strangely beautiful world of Dark Shadows in all of its magnificent glory. Fortunately, there are 1,225 episodes (not counting the 12 episodes of the 1991 series). And I’m still holding out hope for Burton & Co. to translate their own vision of Dark Shadows into yet another television series! It could be a really beautiful thing. Maybe in another twenty-one years? We’ll see. Until then, there’s always the dreadfully embarrassing True Blood. But we all know that Dark Shadows started it all.
Dark Shadows (2012): 3.5 out of 5 stars. See it!
"Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I’m one of them."
—Ray Bradbury (via roadmovies)