Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

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Hi friends! This past month has been a huge growth period for me. Some really awesome things have come about and I want to share them with you all. Of course, one really bad thing happened, too. Can’t have the light without the dark.

I got a promotion to full time at my day job earlier this month. I’m now a Clinical Records Assistant, which is such a fancy title. Basically, I maintain charts for mental health clients and serve as back-up receptionist. Who am I kidding…most of our clients still come to me. lol I got a slight raise as well, but it’s a nonprofit agency so I’m not rolling in the dough. I now work the day shift, so I’ve had to adapt from working afternoons. This is not easy for someone nocturnal like me. I’m exhausted, but happy. There is less stress usually because I don’t have to constantly answer the phone or resolve client concerns. I still have plenty of work to do though and that keeps me busy.

I am now also the Music Editor for Carpe Nocturne. Anyone that knows me knows that music is my number one love. I’m very honored and excited to begin this role. I’ll have quite a bit more responsibility, so I’ll need to step my game up. I’ve been a writer for the magazine for less than a year and I’ve learned tons and honed my writing/research skills during that time. I really never thought I’d ever be a part of something this epic. I aim to make you proud, Michael. Thank you for believing in me and boosting my confidence. 😀

Work finally began on the floors in my new house. When the workers ripped up the rotten wood, they found a bit of asbestos wrapped around a pipe in the kitchen and some in the bathroom as well. Luckily, it was a quick fix and the asbestos has been removed. The workers also discovered that the walls of the house were being held up by cinder blocks. :/ I’ve found that pretty much everything in the house wasn’t done correctly. We ripped out the tub surround in the bathroom and found a beautiful cast iron bathtub underneath covered in glue. The previous owners were stupid. I’ve started picking out my laminate wood flooring, tile, bathroom fixtures and vanity, etc. There’s so much to think about. I was in Home Depot and Lowe’s for about four hours and didn’t even accomplish much. lol Will I be moved in by Halloween? I damn sure better be. 😉

Earlier today, I passed my first kidney stone. That was quite an adventure I never want to experience again. I was abruptly awoken this morning with excruciating pain in my lower flank. I’ve never felt pain like that before. And it wouldn’t stop. I kind of thought it might be a kidney stone, even though I’d never had one before. So, my parents rushed me to the doctor, where he thought it was a kidney stone as well. He gave me a urine hat to collect the stone once it passed and it did not long after I got home, thankfully. We think I wasn’t drinking enough fluids/too much Coke. Needless to say, I’m virtually cutting out soda moving forward. The tears are real, but my health is all I have.

The worst news of all happened a week ago. My sister abruptly left home and moved in with a guy she had only known for a couple of days. My sister is 22 and has never lived on her own before, plus she’s very immature for her age. My whole family is in distress. My sister refuses to come home and is saying we are all horrible people. She brought cops to our home to collect her belongings, which was completely unnecessary and embarrassing. This guy and his mom are having my sister do all kinds of work around their house and drive them around, when she can barely drive. The situation is insane and my family knows these people are manipulating and taking advantage of my sister. The police say there is nothing they can do. I just want my sister to come home. She is not well and we can get her help.

It’s beyond difficult to focus on anything with my sister and family in crisis. I have to remember that she’s an adult. I can’t help but fight to save her. There have been many sleepless nights. I think I should do something for myself. It’s been a long time since my last photo shoot. Maybe that’s what I’ll plan next. Escape into fantasy for a bit. Reality is too much sometimes.

I’ll leave off with a new song from Swedish electronica group Ashbury Heights. Their progression is really fun to follow through the looking glass.

Frankie & Alice

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Frankie & Alice is a drama film set in the 1970’s relating the true story of a young African American woman named Frankie (played by Halle Berry) who has Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID (which used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder). Frankie works in a strip club as a go-go dancer and prides herself on her ability to step outside her body while she performs so that it’s not really her doing the stripping. This dissociation is revealed further when Frankie gets into a fight with a lover after being triggered by a doll on the floor. She seems to take on a completely different personality and ends up getting committed to a psychiatric hospital. Laying half-nude in the middle of a busy street is going to cause attention, after all. In the hospital, Frankie meets Dr. Oz, who’s convinced she’s not just another druggie on the streets having a meltdown. He ultimately diagnoses her with DID after uncovering her other two alters (names for other personalities), Genius and Alice. Genius is a super intelligent child who’s afraid of Alice, the white older woman who’s racist and despises her host Frankie. Frankie & Alice is definitely not a boring film.

I was drawn to this film because I love psychology. Dissociative Identity Disorder has long been an over-talked about topic because it’s so controversial. Anyone remember the film Sybil? I recall watching it in shock and I think that’s why it’s such an infamous disorder. The revelations fascinate people. There was shock value in Frankie & Alice, but I knew there would be and I eagerly anticipated the source of Frankie’s trauma. Not a super original concept for a film, but Halle’s acting was superb. It’s not easy to portray three vastly different people within one film and she pulled it off.

Frankie & Alice originally came out four years ago, but was only released to a wide audience recently. I thought Halle looked super young in the film and figured out why when I started researching it. Critics seem to hate the film, but I disagree with them. The film wasn’t outstanding, but I was entertained. Watching Frankie’s treatment progression, her interactions with the other patients, and her job at the strip club was fun. Frankie manages to get herself in trouble often when she transitions from one personality to the next. The viewer never can tell what will set her off.

I expect that Halle will be nominated come award season. She deserves recognition for her portrayal of Frankie. I recommend Frankie & Alice to anyone who has an interest in psychology or enjoys a comeback story.

Stoker

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Stoker

Initially, I was leery to watch this movie because I thought it was about vampires. I’m just not that into those creatures of the night. However, Stoker turned out to be a smart and mysterious psychological thriller with a very strange girl named India (Mia Wasikowska) at the center of the twisted plot. Keep your pencils away from this girl!

The film begins with the death of India’s father Richard on her 18th birthday. India doesn’t seem extremely upset over this. If anything, she’s apathetic. This is the first indication that India is not your normal teenage girl. India also doesn’t have a close bond with her mother, Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). India always spent more time hunting with her father, leaving her mother out. At Richard’s funeral, the two are reunited with India’s long lost Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). His thick layer of charm and good looks are rather unnerving. Charlie decides to stay with India and Evelyn during the difficult time. Let the odd events begin.

Evelyn falls for Charlie’s sly tricks instantly, but India is very standoffish at first as Charlie relentlessly tries to win her over. He buys her ice cream, offers her rides to school, and cooks lavish dinners, but India isn’t having any of it. Soon after Charlie’s arrival, people close to the women begin to disappear. The truth about Charlie’s past eventually comes out and once it does, India has to make a decision. Out with the old or in with the new?

There is so much to talk about in this film. Symbolism is very important here. Charlie’s belt, the spiders, India’s shoes…they all add to the mystery and drama of the plot. Every year on her birthday, India gets a new pair of the exact same black and white flats. These represent her childhood. Near the end of the film, Uncle Charlie gifts India a pair of black high heels, signaling her transition into womanhood. She cannot go back to simpler times. Also interesting is how India attracts spiders. One even crawls up her leg. India is much like a spider with the honed senses she used to hunt animals for years.

India's Shoes

Mia Wasikowska managed to portray the awkward, complex India with ease. I didn’t know that she also played Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never seen that version. After seeing Mia’s striking performance in Stoker, I just have to see her as Alice.  The dark visuals and eerie atmosphere of the film are similar to a Gothic fairy tale. The evil uncle, tragedy, and a loss of innocence are all themes that can be found in authentic fairy tales. Though, I don’t think Stoker would be appropriate to be made into a children’s story. It’s much too sexual and violent for that.

I kind of have a crush on crazy Uncle Charlie. There’s a ridiculous scene in the film where India refuses to take a ride from Charlie and all the girls on her school bus swoon and giggle over how handsome he is. Matthew Goode is certainly easy on the eyes. He dresses impeccably in Stoker and is always the perfect gentleman. His character reminds me of someone I once had a thing for: beautiful on the outside, but cuckoo bananas on the inside. Uncle Charlie spent some time in a psychiatric hospital, so maybe that’s why I like him. You know I’m drawn to the crazies!

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Nicole Kidman was also awesome in this film. The scene in which she wishes life would tear her daughter India apart is probably my favorite from the movie. So badass. It’s definitely a turning point.

I would highly recommend this film to my gothy readers. I think you’ll fall in love with India like I have. 🙂