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Pro Special Effects Makeup Artists Talk Monstrous Transformations

Before 1981 there was no special effects makeup category in the Academy Awards. One movie changed that: An American Werewolf in London. The film’s first transformation scene was shocking in its realness. It took a frightening folklore tale and dragged it, growling and biting, into the real world. Rick Baker, the special effects designer and creator of the film, is now a legend in the special effects makeup industry.                  Continued in Crixeo 


On Death

I’m wearing my dead brother’s shirt. I can’t remember ever seeing him wear it, but it was his, and now it’s mine. If you asked me what I get out of wearing this shirt, I’m not sure I could answer you. It’s just a shirt. It doesn’t hold anything that’s left of him: all that’s left of him are my memories, my family’s memories. Maybe that’s what ghosts are made of: memories and empty clothes and an over-active imagination. The funny thing about death is–and I mean funny-strange, not funny-ha-ha–the funny thing is that everyone always thinks about loss when they think about death. I used to think the same way too. Death means the loss of someone you love, and it’s something horrible, irrevocable and final, but there’s more. You never hear people talk about the things left behind, and I’m not talking about ghosts, unless that’s what you call t-shirts and memories and regret. Some things just stick around, long after the loss, and they haunt you.

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Wizard of Oz

The Magical Wizard of Oz

When I was little, my favorite book was The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. We had this ratty orange paperback version — nothing special, I’m not even sure if it had the illustrations in it. I must have read that book 5 or 6 times myself during my childhood, and my sisters had all read it too. Its popularity in our household was clearly evident: my sister Jenny and I had drawn pictures on the blank pages at the beginning and end of the book, and the spine had been reinforced several times with masking tape.

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Spam Haiku No. 3 – found poetry

This is the third in a series of quasi-haiku found-poems gleaned from various spam emails I have received.

Notes for Performance:

  1. The title of the original spam serves as the title of the poem and should not be read as part of the spam haiku itself.
  2. The symbol [–] indicates a place where there was once a hyperlink in the original spam email. It should be read as a significant pause in the haiku, building tension and offering the performer a chance to make meaningful connections with the audience.
  3. Punctuation: all punctuation and typographical spacing has been left as it was in the original spam email. The performer can interpret these as he or she sees fit, using the time to gesticulate sorrowfully at the sky, or to grind ones teeth in anguish.

———- Spam Haiku: No. 3 ———–


evening nothing
March ,
[–] nature morning ,
each during

received 4/26/2010


Interpretation and Significance: This spam haiku “Re:HelpMedicinesNow” reflects the Spammer’s views on what he/she perceives as the dangerous over-prescription of anti-depressants by medical providers for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD). Probably.

A close-reading of the haiku leads us to understand the ironic nature of its title. The first line, “evening nothing” evokes the feeling of the long, hopeless descent into the season of depression — a depression that lasts not a single evening, but an entire winter, carrying on through “March,” which we see set apart in the second line, like a small beacon of hope. These two lines create a tension for the reader, who feels the inextricable agony of being trapped by the relentless onslaught of uncaring seasons.

The third line, however, is the turning point of the haiku. The line “[–] nature morning ,” shows the reader that there is hope for the future, there is a dawn, and it will come sometime after March, with the spring, unless you happen to live in Alaska, and then it won’t come until May, or even June. In which case you’re probably better off taking the Zoloft, sweetie***.

The final line, “each during” is an acknowledgment of the difficulty one might have in trying to work through such seasonal depression without the help of pharmaceuticals. However, if one remembers the lesson of the seasons, one might be able to remember that SAD, too, is only a seasonal affliction, and that if one were only to get over one’s self already and stop being such a pussy, one would be better off.

***disclaimer: the author of this blog would like to remind her readers that this is the spammer talking, not her, and that the haiku should not be used as a replacement for going to see an actual medical professional to help you with all those fucked up issues you’ve got going on in that brain of yours.