Chapter 39: COVID Chronicles

May 6, 2020

By Karen

Day 56

My New Grocery Phobia & Laughing in the Shadows

Just went online to pay bills and found my $1,200 stimulus sitting in my checking account as “pending,” so that’s progress.

I haven’t had fresh produce in a week and I’m nearly out of frozen veggies, so it’s time for groceries. After the extra $40 for fees and tip for home delivery, I’m going to go myself, but I’ve been procrastinating because…

  1. It’s been nearly two months since I last shopped in person. Should I make the longer trip to Aldi (small store, quicker to get through, but doesn’t have everything) or hit Food Lion a mile away (larger store, better selection, but higher prices)? I’m leaning toward the Lion.
  2. It might be full of Trumpers not wearing masks, pawing over everything and not keeping their distance. Could it turn ugly?
  3. I dread the extra work of bleaching every blessed thing I bring into the house.

Decisions, decisions. In the meantime, until I muster the nerve to leave the house, there’s no green in my diet.

Last night I caught up on my current all-time favorite, actually funny, sitcom. It’s on FX and called What We Do in the Shadows.

It’s sort of like Dark Shadows, had it intentionally been written as comedy, with hints of The Addams Family and The Munsters. Back in the ‘60s, I watched them all. The format is mockumentary, like The Office and Modern Family.

It stars traditional Eastern European vampires who still dress as they did in their mortal prime hundreds of years ago. They also live by normal vampire rules, which I love. No Twilight sparkling shit. And no sunlight.

There’s a married couple named Nadja and Laszlo, and a senior vampire, Nandor. They live in a creepy house on Staten Island and have a human nerd named Guillermo who serves and protects them. Guillermo wants Nandor to make him a vampire, but then discovers he’s descended from Dracula’s nemesis, Professor Van Helsing, so now he’s conflicted.

There’s also a seemingly normal human roommate named Colin who’s actually an energy vampire that preys on his victims by boring them. These videos give you a good snapshot of the Shadows world…

It’s based on a 2014 movie that I haven’t seen.

Most episodes are about clashes with other monsters or misunderstandings of modern life. For example, their next-door neighbor invites them to his Super Bowl party, and they go, thinking it’s a “Superb Owl” party.

This season is attracting a variety of celebrity guests, so they seem to be gaining a following.


New Moon Sucks the Life Out of Vampires

November 25, 2009

By Karen

I was sort of railroaded into seeing New Moon last week (don’t ask). I know I’m spitting in the face of the film’s rampaging success, but as a vampire aficionado, I hated almost every minute of it.

At least Mathew DeKinder of the St. Louis Suburban Journals is in my corner.

First, I don’t understand why author Stephanie Meyer gave nocturnal titles to any of her 4 Twilight saga books. She could have called the series High Noon. By ignoring or failing to research vampire legend, her vampires are basically ordinary folk with pale skin and red eyes — more albino than bloodsucker. They don’t drink human blood. In daylight, they sparkle like jewels. Sunlight doesn’t even sting.

Nighttime, coffins, native earth, crosses, mirrors, stakes, running water. Forget ‘em. These pathetic excuses for vamps probably order extra garlic on their Domino’s pizza.

I know, I know. I need to read the books to see why vampire Edward Cullen is so mesmerizing. But I never read the books because I suspected no good could come from a Mormon writer playing with the undead, and New Moon proves me right. She’s steered a whole generation wrong on vampires.

The audience consisted mostly of teen girls. God help them if they identify with boring Bella Swan. Bella loves the vacant Edward, while a werewolf named Jacob loves her, and we waste the better part of 2 hours watching the 3 of them stare deeply into each other’s shallow eyes.

In Twilight world, the ultimate sin a vampire can commit is to go shirtless and let people see him sparkle.

Werewolves don’t fare much better. A full moon doesn’t trigger their transformation. Just annoy them and they turn furry. As humans, they wear nothing but shorts year-round in the Northwest. Shorts that seem to miraculously disappear and reappear. I wondered if they represented the ubiquitous underwear Mitt Romney refuses to talk about.

The film never explains why Bella loves Edward, but much of her screen time is spent is moping around after he disappears “forever” to protect her — from what? Another vampire sparkling at her?

Except for a few moments of spectacular werewolf special effects, New Moon is sheer tedium, the brief appearance of Michael Sheen (Tony Blair in The Queen, David Frost in Frost/Nixon) as ancient vampire Aro notwithstanding. Why, Michael, why?

Dracula, Nosferatu, Lestat, and Eric from True Blood must be curling in their coffins to think the torch has been passed to a droopy drip like Edward Cullen.

I’m counting on Johnny Depp to restore vampires to their former gory glory in 2010 when he plays Barnabas Collins in the remake of Dark Shadows.


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