How Did I Miss Calories Don’t Count Day At IHOP?: Oculus Movie Review

The movie Oculus (released yesterday, 72% on Rotten Tomatoes) is the tale of how sometimes, you get a bad idea, and then you build your life around it.

You stack your bad ideas on top of each other like it’s Calories Don’t Count day at IHOP and go to town.


In this film, an evil mirror caused a bro-sis duo’s parents to go on a murder-rampage. They survive the evil mirror/their parents and vow to grow up and get back at the mirror.

The movie opens up with the little brother being released from a psych ward for the first time in a decade. The psychiatrist says to him, “Seeing your sister will be nice, but she’s been in the real world not receiving treatment, so you need to focus on your recovery instead of whatever crazy she may harbor.”

The sister takes the brother out to lunch and starts talking about settling the parents’ estate, getting him a job, and finding a place for him to live.

Then she’s like, “Hey, remember that house where our parents died? I totally didn’t sell it. In fact, I brought the cursed mirror back — and put it back into the very same room! Who cares about your decade in the psych ward? We should pull an overnighter in this house.”

And they do!

And nothing happens!

It’s actually a quiet film about how they talk about their feelings in a fully-lit house. Then, at the end, they leave holding hands. There’s a moment after the credits where you see that they’re living in the suburbs in houses next to each other. Their partners and children are happily playing and there is no supernatural hanky-panky at all.

The end!


Did I get you? I feel like maybe I got you.

I didn’t? No? It’s because you saw the previews, right? Damn you.

Yeah, shit totally gets bad. Duh.

Do you ever get the feeling that horror movies were designed so you could feel smug about your own decision-making? Sure. I gained 10 pounds over the winter, but at least I didn’t purposely bring a cursed object into my home with an emotionally fragile sibling. You know?

Anyway, Amy Pond Karen Gillan does a really great job in this movie. Her accent’s weirdly flat (as English people’s American accents often are), but it goes with her character. Her character is very tight-laced in an effort to keep her crazy within bounds. A sort of affect-less voice works here. She’s not so much a person as part of a nightmare of her own creation.

The brother, however, carries the movie. A relative newb, he hasn’t been in much except some TV shows I’ve never heard of. But his career appears to be on the upswing: he’s in Maleficent and The Giver. His character’s “How is it possible I’ve been in a psych ward for a decade and I’m the same one?” schtick is great. He has a lot of emotions — protection for himself, fear of his past, love of his sister, frustration with her antics — that are played well.

I don’t want to ruin the ending or any of the plot, but this doesn’t end how you think it’ll end. It’s refreshingly dark.

People behind us brought a 10-year-old to this film. She left the theater crying. I don’t know if that’s an indication of terrible parenting or an effective horror movie, but there you have it.

If you like horror movies, you should check it out.


How to be Firm, Fit, and Jacked Forever

So many articles give conflicting information about exercise and nutrition. Will Crossfit destroy your body? Is Paleo historically accurate? Should we all be wearing those funny five-toe sneakers? Juicing sounds horrible; is it good for anyone? Which comes first — chicken or egg, strength or cardio?

Doesn’t all that make you want to lie down under a blanket with a bottle of wine and, like, never talk to anyone again? Especially people who know about sportsball and all that? 

I know. Yuck. That’s why I follow the Leah Lucci Super Starling Fitness Model.

Read on to be a Size 12 (or whatever, I don’t care) Superstar.


When exercising outside, dogs are your indication that it’s time to rest. Unless it’s a zombie apocalypse, you can feel free to stop and pet the dog. Breathe. Recuperate. Then get back in the game. Or not. Consult a physician.

Try not to eat a giant cookie the size of your head every day, like I used to do. These cookies are available everywhere. The cellophane crinkle upon opening is exactly the same pitch as Satan’s giggle. I’m not saying to cut them out — god no. Just, like, start at 6 days a week and maybe work your way down.

It’s okay to switch from running to walking when you’re tired. When the song changes to something good, run again. Or don’t. I’m not here to tell you what to do. But eventually the back-and-forth running-walking will turn into more running and less walking. If you care about that sort of thing.  (A 2-mile walk and a 2-mile run are different. But no one’s sure which is better. Enjoy reading all the evil, contradictory literature on this. I’ll wait.)

Water’s pretty good for you. Drinking it is boring, and then you have to pee all the time, and then people make fun of you for it. But scientists seem to agree on water. Down the hatch! 

You probably shouldn’t be chugging soda. But it’s delicious. Especially when mixed with spiced rum. So… I’m not going to lie to you, that’s tough.

Booze: the jury’s out. One or two a day is better than none, apparently. But a whole lot means your liver fails and/or your parents are disappointed. So you might want to err on “less.” 

It’s better to make your food at home. A lazy-ass peanut butter sandwich is healthier than almost anything you’re going to eat while you’re out. Even if you order from the “700 calories or fewer menu,” you’re going to wreck it by slamming approximately five Cheddar Bay Biscuits™. You and your husband will “jokingly” try to find out who can eat more biscuits in a meal. This battle cannot truly have a winner.


Television fucking rocks, so spend the first half of any show you’re watching idly doing leg lefts or flailing around with a kettle bell. You will be sweaty and your dog will try to get in on every single yoga pose. But you will feel superior to the couch-sitter beside you.

When you’re done working out, lay on the floor and finish watching your show. Drip sweat onto the floor. Assume a pose like you’re going to resume your workout at any second. You might! You’re down there in stretchy pants! It could happen!

If all else fails, just photoshop your body onto a fitter person’s body. Most people don’t see you in person; they see you on Facebook, which is online. Online, you can be anyone! ANYONE! 


Find a hobby that’s really fulfilling. The fitness thing is just so you don’t have to be cut out of your house when you die. In the meantime, now that you’re fairly healthy and like yourself okay, focus on what matters. Like catching all the Pokémon, for example. A lot of people seem really into that. 


We need to talk about the slime cube.

Back when people picked on me for being a nerd, I said defensively, “Well, at least I’m not one of those, you know, Dungeons and Dragons people.”

It’s always nice to have someone below you. (Please see chart at end of post.)

Alas. I have now joined the least cool kids.


Last Saturday was dreary, so I spent the afternoon with a large group of friends attacking the fuck out of some wolves and dragon-people and…


a giant slime cube or some shit.


(Cube image via source)

We need to talk about this slime cube. It was difficult to defeat; there was nothing behind it; and I will never, ever get that hour of my life back.


(Yeah. My character had a war pony. Jelly?)

On the whole, the experience was a little dry. It was a lot of rolling dice and consulting charts. Also, nobody knew what they were doing. The quest was meaningless and our introductory-level characters took forever to defeat really basic villains.

Which, of course, made me think: I could design one of these games and it would be better.

Like, there could be a haunted library, puzzles, plot twists, and monsters far cooler than a motherfucking gelatinous cube.


I don’t really care for the  fighting aspect. I want, like, literary references. And elves.

So I started drawing some concept art. Obviously. It’s how I deal with my problems, okay? 


I’m pretty excited about this. I just need victims test subjects friends to play through it.

Addendum: here’s that chart I was talking about. It doesn’t have role-players on it, but you get the idea.


Poor furries. Everyone hates on furries. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from hanging out in my town. (Please read that article. If it doesn’t cause you any glee, you are dead inside.)

All right, keep on keepin’ on, weirdos. Feel free to make fun of me in the comments if you must.


A Totally Free Movie Pitch

Dear movie producers: here is a movie pitch you can have completely free of charge. Consider it my gift to entertainment.


Opening scene: the night before her execution, Marie Antoinette finds a magic portal into the kind of future where space travel is a thing. 

In this future, aliens are attacking, and she has to save France — nay, the entire human race.

She puts her knowledge of fashion to good use, and she impresses the aliens so much that they wind up worshiping us instead of murdering us.

The aliens (or future-humans, whatever) use their robot nanotechnology to make a non-feeling simulcrum that they send back in time to get guillotined.

Marie lives a long, healthy, happy, and fabulous life. She eats cake every day. 

The end.


Is this a cosmic joke?

My new laptop doesn’t have a slot for CDs/DVDs.

I ran my hand along the front, then both sides. Then the back. Then the screen.

I frowned.

I Googled.

Turns out my computer just didn’t come with a CD/DVD Drive.

Thanks, God. (Or Apple. Whichever.)

The Internet was awash with confused people like me. (You know: people who didn’t read the specs that carefully.)

A battle raged between people applauding Apple for killing off the dying disc medium and others who couldn’t figure out what do with all of their damn DVDs.


There’s a $30 solution to this issue, so I was able to install my new Photoshop, which has fun brushes that I obviously don’t know how to use.

I anticipate enjoying the learning curve.