We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Last Illusion ~ A Book Review

 
"There are two worlds of magic. One is the glittering domain of the illusionist. The other is a secret place, where magic is a terrifying reality. Here, men have the power of demons. And Death itself is an illusion." ~ from 'Lord of Illusions'
 
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The Last Illusion” is a short story written by none other than author and film director Clive Barker and is part of a collaboration of horror stories from Volume 6 of his book, “Books of Blood.” Barker had also written the screenplay for the movie, “Lord of Illusions” which was very loosely based on his short story.
 
Why do I say ‘loosely’? Well, in contrast to his novella, “The Hellbound Heart,” and his movie  “Hellraiser,” of which had such minor differences between the two that it was hardly worth mentioning, “Lord of Illusions” was very different from the short story. Aside from some of the character names remaining the same, both the story itself and the dynamic between the characters were significantly changed for the big screen.
 
Like “Hellraiser,” I saw the movie first before I actually read the book "The Hellbound Heart" I had thoroughly enjoyed both!  Although, I must admit that “Lord of Illusions” with its’ very different storyline, gave a better insight into the characters which actually were included in the book. For instance, the magician Philip Swann (played by Kevin J. O’Connor in the movie) was killed off within the first two pages of the story in the book, and further, did not die from an illusion gone horribly wrong as in the movie version. Furthermore, he fakes his death in order to protect his wife Dorothea (played by Famke Janssen) from Nix (Daniel Von Bergen) seeking his revenge on them for shooting, binding, then burying him "so deep that no one will ever find him." Dorothea was not the little girl who, in the beginning of the movie, was kidnapped by occult madman Nix (aka “The Puritan”) and years later married Swann ~ one of Nix’s ex-occult followers who helped saved her life. Instead, she is said to be a former prostitute in the book.
 
On the other hand, the troubled detective, Harry D’Amour, (as played by Scott Bakula) was taken from a recurring character of Clive Barker’s and is found in some of his other writings as well. In the book D’Amour is attracted to Dorothea (as in the movie version), but they never have a relationship other than detective-client. Another substantial difference are the characters of Nix and Butterfield, an avid follower of Nix and the movie’s catalyst in bringing back Nix from the “dead.” To start with, there is no such character named “Nix” in the book ~ only in the movie. And, Butterfield was Dorothea’s antagonist lawyer in the book version. 
 
As with the novel, “The Hellbound Heart,” both the book and the movie offer us something captivating and exciting as only Barker can. And, although I do usually prefer that the two medias resemble one another as closely as possible, Barker does a wonderful job adding new characters to his changed storyline. Furthermore, he takes a 70-some page short story and turns it into a wonderfully successful and entertaining motion picture! As far as the barely recognizable storyline is concerned ~ Hey, it is his story both on and off screen and he can do what he wants with it. Most especially because he knows what he is doing and how to do it so very well!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Day ~ 2015

 
Greetings, my dear friends! I hope that everyone had a nice holiday. Hubby and I had a bit of excitement on Christmas Eve when we received a call that my father-in-law was admitted into the emergency room at the hospital. Although he was still breathing, my MIL couldn't wake him up or get him to respond to her voice at all. When we arrived at the hospital, he was awake and we were waiting for the doctors to do their thing. They decided to keep him overnight for observation and then they discharged him yesterday afternoon. He is currently at home and we will be visiting with my in-laws tomorrow for a belated Christmas gathering. 

Yesterday, we spent the day with my mom and brother eating and exchanging our gifts. Here are a few pics from our day ...

 The cats presents from "Auntie Judy"
 
 
 Kiki, Tabitha & Midnight

From hubby: a mermaid on a canvas holding a flickering light starfish
 
At my mom's house ...
 
 Her dog Brandi opening up her Greenie Treats
 
Me 'n' mom

My Beatles t-shirt from my Bro
  
With my bro, Kerry
 
 
 
Today, hubby and I went shopping at one of our local flea markets, called "Zerns Auction House" to do a little browsing around  for some cheap deals on food and other items. It is a great place to just walk around and enjoy yourself for the day!

I found some cool stuff ...

Musical Christmas Horse Carousel

Yule Ornaments made from recycled soda bottle bottoms

Vintage Home Mist

Have blessed weekend all!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas (and a little holiday humor)! ...


 
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The Holly Laughs
 
 Said daffodil to holly,
My petals are gold
In early spring
They are so bold!
And the holly laughs ... 
Come summertime,
The roses will bloom
to cheer us from
The winter's gloom
But the holly laughs ...
When colors burst,
In the season of fall
And lavender's beauty
 Hears Nature's call
Still the holly laughs ...
The holly now taunts,
"Ah, winter is near!"
For you have all gone
And I am still here
 Forever the holly laughs
 
~ Lady Caer Morganna
 
 
>^^<    >^^<    >^^<    >^^<    >^^<    >^^<    >^^<   



 >^^<    >^^<    >^^<    >^^<    >^^<    >^^<    >^^<


)o(    )o(    )o(    )o(    )o(    )o(    )o(    )o(    )o(


And, for my friends who are missing a white and snowy Christmas this year, here is a vid clip to cheer you up! We had temperatures here in the early 70's on Christmas Eve and, personally, I am loving it! Merry Christmas to all of my Christian friends and Blessed Be!

"O Holy Night" ~ Johnny Mathis
   https://youtu.be/5fExtU-NlPA

     

For My Beloved Dad on Christmas Eve

 
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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Yule (and some other stuff) ...




A very Blessed Yule to you, my friends! I am off on my last week of vacation and spent yesterday getting a few things done. Beginning with a dentist appointment in the late morning and ending with a get together with my sister Aurora Skye and her hubby for dinner and to exchange our Yule gifts to one another. It is always great to be able to find the time in both our busy schedules to enjoy some very needed family time. We met at one of our favorite old haunts called Flanagan's Pub.
 
 
 
Hubby surprised me with a lovely gift. A beautiful mermaid painting on canvas which we had decided to hang up on the wall above the entertainment center ...


Today I plan on getting some cleaning up done around the house and then later on in the afternoon our kitty, Kiki has an appointment with our new vet for a check up and evaluation (second opinion) regarding her chronic bacterial infection in her nasal area which we have been treating for several months now and were told by our previous vet that she will be plagued with for the rest of her life. We will wait and see what Dr. Mike's assessment of the situation is and allow him to perform whatever tests and such he deems necessary in order to know where we stand with the situation. Keeping our finger's crossed.

Christmas will be the usual thing of visiting with the rest of the family and dropping off their gifts and so forth. They are calling for temperatures in the late 50's to early 60's which, although it hardly gives one a feeling of the winter solstice, is just fine with me! If I had my way, I would have spring and fall weather ALL year round! LOL! 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Say What?

Greetings all and pleasant Saturday to you, dear friends!!! Well, it would appear that since my last post, I dropped (so far anyhow) a total of 25 Google followers and still counting (coincidence? ... not sure). Is anyone else experiencing this ridiculously huge drop in Google connect followers or am I the only one?? In any case, it wasn't meant to "offend" or piss anyone off, turn them away, or lead them to believe that I am a Wiccan/Pagan who believes in Hell simply because I enjoy a good horror book or movie (especially this one in particular) every now and again! Trust me, Hell is not something that I believe in. Besides, THAT is a completely different topic all together!

No offense meant to anyone out there, but you can't please everyone. And, although I post about many different subjects and/or themes, and although I make every effort to post mostly positive things here on my blog, if you are looking for someone who posts nothing except for fantasyland, everything is wonderful all of the time type of posts,  I am not your gal. I deal in reality for the most part ... sorry.

Anyhow, I do wish to express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of my blog friends for sticking with me throughout the past few years. Your are all the best and I am blessed to have met you!

 
UPDATE TO THIS POST:  I was searching the web looking for possible answers to "why" some of us are experiencing such a drastic drop in such a short amount of time and I found this interesting link about Blogger follower limitations. Please read, perhaps it would explain a lot, perhaps not?
 
 
 
 

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Hellbound Heart ~ A Book Review



“Spring, if it lingers more than a week beyond its span, starts to hunger for summer to end the days of perpetual promise. Summer in its turn soon begins to sweat for something to quench its heat, and the mellowest of autumns will tire of gentility at last, and ache for a quick sharp frost to kill its fruitfulness. Even winter — the hardest season, the most implacable — dreams, as February creeps on, of the flame that will presently melt it away. Everything tires with time, and starts to seek some opposition, to save it from itself.”   ~ Clive Barker, The Hellbound Heart


"The Hellbound Heart" is a novella written by acclaimed author Clive Barker. The movie, "Hellraiser" was based on this novel and it has always been one of my favorite horror/suspense flicks of all time. Strangely enough; however,  I have never actually gotten around to reading the novel itself until this past week. Of course, there are some minor differences between the book and the movie (both of which Barker was involved with), but for the most part the movie is true to the novel. And so, I have written this post to serve as the synopsis of the book's story line and plot (with added pics from the movie as well). Here goes ...


 
 
Frank is a selfish immoral degenerate who has participated in every hedonistic pleasure, extreme experience and sexual perversion known to man, each time seeking a greater sensual pleasure higher than the last. Frank explores a rumor of a mysterious puzzle box, “Lemarchand’s Configuration,” that provides the gateway into a realm of unfathomable carnal pleasures. Through great effort and unrelenting pursuit, Frank tracks down the box and eventually solves the puzzle. A gateway does indeed open and through it the Cenobites, a race of distorted creatures who practice an extreme form of sadomasochism centered around agonizing torture and mutilation. They see little difference between extreme pleasure and extreme pain. The Cenobites offer him the experience of unimaginable pleasures; all he need do is say “yes.” Frank, unwilling to turn back after his long awaited anticipation of this moment, accepts their proposal to which bring him intolerable pain throughout all of his bodily senses and leaving him to beg his tormentors to make it all stop. The Cenobites; however, are unmoved by his screams and his pleas are hopelessly futile. They then proceed to take him to their extradimensional realm; a place where a second of "our" time lasts for what seems to be an eternity.

 
Frank’s brother, Rory, and his wife Julia move into their grandmother’s abandoned house. Julia, who had willingly allowed herself to be seduced by “Brother Frank” on the eve of her wedding to Rory, has been going through the motions in her life ~ beginning with her marriage to Rory and setting up a life with him. Beneath her calm facade festers self-loathing and a barely contained desire for the raw, seductive physicality she had through her one night stand with Frank of whom she cannot stop thinking about. She buries herself in the mendacity of her daily existence with Rory in order to avoid dealing with this while still yearning for the ecstasy she once reveled in with his brother; a man whom had left her with little but a memory of their mating. What she wouldn’t do to know that feeling now, to once again have him ~ and he her.


 
Whilst working on the floorboards, Rory manages to cut his hand deeply with a chisel, warranting a trip to the emergency room. However, not before his blood had spilt onto the floor in the room where Frank performed his ritual that summoned the cenobites; thus providing the conduit for Frank to find a way back into the real world again. Furthermore, this weakens the barrier between the Cenobites' realm and the real world, allowing Frank to escape from their clutches. His form is incomplete, manifesting as an emaciated corpse, his consciousness fading in and out of reality through a wall in the room. Julia soon discovers “monster” Frank hiding in this room on one of her “trips down memory lane” which she often took in order to get away from it all. Startled and frightened at first, even appalled, she agrees to help bring him back in the promise that they will be together again ~ forever. She brings men home while Rory is at work under the pretense of having sex with them. Julia picks them up at a local pub,  then lures them to their emanate demise. Each sacrifice of blood and nutrients causes Frank's body to become stronger and more whole again ~ his consciousness to become more stable. However, Frank knows that it would be merely a matter of time before the Cenobites realize that he had escaped them. Time was of the essence.

 
Meanwhile Kirsty, a good friend of Rory’s and, a woman whom has harbored romantic feelings toward him for many years, comes to the house in an attempt to speak with Julia upon Rory’s urging as he is concerned about his wife's strange behavior. Kirsty suspects that Julia is cheating on Rory and keeps vigil outside the house with the intention of confirming her suspicions before confronting Rory about them. She finally decides to sneak inside the house in the hopes of once and for all finding out what is going on.  She shows up immediately after one of Frank’s “feedings” and sees “Monster Frank”; not recognizing him until he reveals himself to her. Frank then attacks her and she barely manages to escape with her life, but not before she gets a hold of the puzzle box which she had picked up off of the floor to use as a weapon to hit Frank in the head with. Upon realizing that she has the puzzle box in her hand, he immediately stops attacking her, practically begging her to give him the box. She vehemently refuses and hurls it out of the window and into the street just before making her narrow escape from him. She runs out of the house and down the street for as far as her legs could carry her until eventually passing out where a pedestrian finds her and gets her to a nearby hospital.

 
While in the hospital, she is questioned by the authorities regarding the box as, not only was it found in her possession when she was brought in, but it also had “someone’s” blood on it. The box was given back to her in an attempt to jog her memory as she had lied and told them that she could not remember what had happened to her. She decided not to reveal what she had seen until she could go back to the house and acquire proof of her story in order to be taken seriously by the authorities. In the meantime, she herself begins to play with the puzzle box in hopes of perhaps getting some answers by solving it. She succeeds and “The Engineer” Cenobite appears to her. It tells her that she must return to hell with it and she bargains for her life, vying to take it to Frank who had, still unbeknownst to the Cenobites, managed to escape their realm and therefore suggesting it take him back to hell instead of her. It agrees to do so, but only if Frank himself confesses it from his own lips it to be true. Furthermore, it warns her that if she dare betray them, they will “tear her soul apart!” She then returns to the house in order to get the Cenobite its’ “confession” and to send Frank back to hell. Now, for Kirsty, the REAL terror begins!
 

I would also like to add that the score for the movie, "Hellraiser" written by well-renowned composer Christopher Young, is absolutely incredible! Here is a vid clip of my favorite piece from the movie's CD ... Enjoy!

"The Hellbound Heart" (music from the Hellraiser soundtrack)


 Next book I plan to read and review will be Clive Barker's novel, "Lord of Illusions."
 
Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

This and That ...


Blessings all! As this is usually a very busy time of the season anyhow, we have been extra busy as of late. Between two out of our five fur babies currently under a vets care (hence we have been making trip after trip to the vets hospital either picking up meds and/or having examinations/tests done) and family responsibilities that is.
 
First, an update on Mr. Midnight. We had a biopsy performed on one of the tumors on the dorsal part of his tail. Last night, Dr. Mike called us regarding Midnight’s results. He is diagnosed with Supracaudal Gland Hyperplasia: commonly known as “stud tail.” Now, Dr. Mike said that stud tail is mainly found in intact males, but occasionally neutered males and females can be affected by it as well. It results in skin disease at the base of the tail. Symptoms may often include (as is in Midnight’s case) greasy (sometimes matted) hair at the base of the tail, blackheads (comedones) on the skin at the base of the tail, and skin infection at the base of the tail. He said that the cause of this skin problem is an overactive supracaudal gland which contains sebaceous glands that secrete an oily substance known as sebum. In stud tail, these glands secrete abnormal amounts of sebum.
 
 
 
 
In addition, Midnight has a few ruptured glands in his tail which we will need to give him antibiotics for and most likely some type of medicated shampoo (like we are already using on his tail) quite possibly for the rest of his life. Furthermore, Dr. Mike informed us that there is no cure for stud tail, but we can keep it under control. He will go over the full treatment plan next week when we take him for his suture removal. The good news: No cancer was found!!
 
Moving on, this weekend I had finally gotten around to a task which I usually get to on Black Friday ~ my seasonal decorating of the house for Yule …
 
 
 
However, no tree for the first time in eight years (the last time was because Kiki was just a 4 month old kitten and thought it best to wait until the next year to put up a Yule tree). This year, it is due to the fact that we have a large holding cage in the middle of our rather small living room and therefore there is simply no room for one. No matter, there is always next year.
 
 
Also, hubby’s birthday was last Friday and his gift finally arrived in mail yesterday via international/air mail. I love to shop on Amazon.com and I found an out of print book and one that isn’t sold here in the United States which I was able to purchase in very good condition from the United Kingdom.  It is a hard cover autobiography written by Gary Numan titled, “Praying to the Aliens.” He loved it!