October 26, 2010

Twelve-hour Twitchfest

Well, the other night I made the questionable choice to watch a scary movie with my husband. He likes the zombies and the bad guys, and I waver between moderate disgust and feeling bad that he doesn’t have any campy-gore-loving friends to watch these movies with. So, with a plea of “but it’s Halloween!” and a compromise on the selection, we picked a movie neither of us had seen: Paranormal Activity.

Now, I am all for suspense. I, like many peaceful-first-world-living people, don’t have to deal with actual terror and/or danger on a daily basis, so the whole experience of adrenaline and pretend danger without any real risk is totally enjoyable.

As the dumb guy is tiptoeing down the stairs into the basement with a candle, I am simultaneously yelling at him to WAIT UNTIL THE POWER COMES BACK ON, and squirming, and also loving that horrible endless span of time between the descent and the “BOO!”

Can’t take the gore, though. If a sharp implement makes contact with anyone’s neck area, that’s a good indication of a Movie Anna Won’t Watch. You just file that one away for the future.

In any case, I would rate my reaction to the movie as Pretty Okay. Hardly any gore, enough anxious anticipation. And I felt mostly calm afterwards, although I did sort of swing between Fine and Paranoid: turning all the lights on in the apartment, but not closing any curtains on our ground-level windows; afraid to close the bathroom door while I was peeing in case something jumped me when I opened it, but not checking behind the shower curtain (OBVIOUS DANGER).

I even fell asleep pretty quickly, without any nervous stream of chatter to my husband to distract me from the basement-nighttime-darkness.

I did, however, check to make sure he was breathing several times throughout the night.

Actually, I do this on a regular basis anyway. I am not kidding. It ranks in my Top 5 fears. Not every night, but several times a week I listen for the breathing (often not a problem; I could be deaf and still feel the vibrations from the log-sawing next to me) or feel for the heartbeat. I even do this with the dog. I feel his bellows of a chest for warmth, or hold my hand in front of his nose to test for air movement. Is that creepy?

Lesson? I don’t need violent movies to give me nightmares. Apparently my subconscious is sufficiently morbid all by itself.

Tense Icing on the Anxious Cake: either I am not a very talented sleeper, or I channeled all my stress into my left shoulder, because right now it feels like someone jammed in a wine corkscrew and wound it about 12 rotations. When I press the right spot I feel dizzy and nauseated all at once, even without the five glasses of wine I used to dull the memory of Paranormal Activity.

But, it could also be because I was trying to pinch my playing card of a phone between my shoulder and ear while baking. Come on, I don’t like speakerphone! It’s like trying to talk to someone who doesn’t understand English; I just end up repeating myself in English anyway, louder and LOUDER, which is no help to anyone.

Sorry. This post sort of spiraled into a dumb, semi-prejudiced joke. This is what happens when I don't plan ahead, I guess.

October 17, 2010

public display of affection

"Why don't we turn beautiful colors when we die?" - my brother

Well, autumn has spread out her welcome mat. Literally, in our case.

I wish I could tell you I've spent my time away fully enjoying every minute of it, busy with seasonally appropriate adventures, but that's just not the case. I've just had a lull, and haven't gotten out nearly as much as I mean to, so now of course I'm grieving the quickly fading sunset that is fall.
I even love the chilly, rainy days, because they are the perfect excuse to eat and wear and do all things cozy. And really, I don't mind so much when they fall on outing days either, even on an excursion to Toronto (first time for me) for a Sufjan Stevens concert.

So, today was an attempt to soak up that rare combination of clear, cool air, thin sunshine, and confetti-littered forest floors.

My plan A fell through, but after a bit of wandering, Toby and I meandered down Mountain Brow Road (it doesn't get any more promising than that name) and picked up a segment of the Bruce Trail, which runs along the Niagara Escarpment.

It was just a slice, but just the portion I needed.

Autumn, or at least the traits of autumn that I most love, is so brief compared to the other seasons. Really, autumn is still happening long after the last maple leaves have flared out, but the excitement is pretty much over after Halloween. And because no camera lens is wide enough, or sensitive enough to light and to color, or comes with scent-capturing technology... I will just have to enjoy pinches of autumn at its most potent, wherever I can.