Free April 2010 Desktop Wallpaper Calendar Is Ready!

Preview:

(Please do not save the preview as it is a small size and will NOT fit on your desktop very well as a Wallpaper.)

Because I am a writer, this month I decided to do the Desktop Wallpaper a little softer as if it were a story rising off of the pages. I didn’t want to do anything 3D crazy, just something supple that might sweep you away into your daydreams every time you look at it.

The Fantasy Wallpaper features some holidays (but nothing insane or cluttering), moon phases (as always), and a day or setting of the sun on one side and a mystical moon scene on the other. There are gentle colors because spring is just beginning and there is a ton of room around the border to put your desktop icons without  running them into the actual picture. That way you can keep everything neat and organized.

I hope you enjoy, if not…tell me what you didn’t like so we can maybe fix it. If you like it, then do shout out because it encourages me to keep making them.

Click on the size below and it will take you to my Photo bucket album where you can RIGHT CLICK and SAVE AS.

Size 1024 x 768

Size 1680 x 1050

Size 1680 x 1200

I didn’t make a 800x 600 anymore because I was unsure if everyone still used this size or not. If you do, shout so I can get one sized. If there is a size you use that isn’t here, let me know as well. if its a common one, I will make that too.

As always, you can add your own information to these but when sharing with others, please use the originals.

All Artists are watermarked if I could find them unless it was art I purchased or was free rights. No copyright infringement intended. These calendars are FREE for personal use and NOT for resale.

C.H. Scarlett

Movie Reviews from The Fox Hole – The Haunting (1963)

After a surprising and busy week, the pup and I decided to set back, relax, and enjoy a classic black & white horror movie. It might have you reaching for the Pepto during some scenes if you have a sensitive tummy i.e. motion sickness, not for the gore factor. Why not the gore factor? Because this one was made when film directors still knew less was more. A lesson today’s studios need to learn in short order although I doubt they will.

The Haunting (1963)

The Haunting (1963)

Trailer HERE

Cast: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn

Review –

In this day and age of remakes, few studios in Hollywood have a clue as to what is truly scary.

Uncertainty has become the most terrifying word in the English language to many people I know. With the economy as it stands, many of us don’t know from one day to the next whether we’ll have a job come tomorrow. Uncertainty breeds confusion and that leads to fear; that is what horror was bred from our fears. Whether that fear is real or if it originates from our imagination doesn’t matter—it is real to us.

Uncertainty is the focus of the 1963 classic Robert Wise horror film The Haunting based on Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House. Although, I’ve never had the pleasure of reading Jackson’s novel if it is anything like the movie (which is hard to tell sometimes) then I applaud her for the mind fuck of the 20th century.

The movie starts with a shot of Hill House a forbidding 90-year-old mansion built, as the voice over tells us, by the wealthy Hugh Crain for his young wife and daughter in remote New England. The narrator we later learn is one Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson) an anthropologist, researching the existence of ghosts. He informs us that the house was born bad beginning with the death of Crain’s wife, before she ever sets eyes on his gift, in a carriage accident. A bitter, angry man Huge Crain stays in Hill House to raise a young daughter on his own. His story continues with the death of Crain’s second wife from a fall down the main staircase a few years after. Crain then leaves his young daughter in the care of a nurse and travels to England where he dies in a drowning accident.

Crain’s death isn’t the end of the story though. His daughter, Abigail, continues to live there until she is old and bed-ridden. She dies when her paid companion ignores her pleas for help in favor of lust in the arms of a young farm hand. The companion inherits the house only to end her life by hanging herself from the library ceiling at the stop of an iron spiral staircase.

It is here that we finally meet Dr. Markway, who is meeting with the present owner of Hill House, convincing her to rent him the house against her better judgment so that he may do an experiment in the search for the supernatural. He has selected a handful of people, all who have had experiences with the unknown, and the owner is sending her nephew Luke (Russ Tamblyn, father of Amber Tamblyn of Joan of Arcadia fame) to keep an eye on things.

We are then introduced to our main character, Eleanor ‘Nell’ Lance (the talented Julie Harris, you might recall her as Val’s mother in Knot’s Landing), a young woman trapped in an unhappy situation with her sister after the death of their mother. For years, she was primary caregiver to their deathly ill and not nice mother. She’s looking for a way out of her own unhappiness and she believes Hill House is it. Stealing her sister’s car (which she insists is half hers) Nell arrives at the house with a belly full of doubts, greeted by the caretaker Mr. Dudley who sets her nerves on edge. Dudley’s wife isn’t much better warning her that no one comes to the house after dark (they use almost the exact same line in the 1999 version).

Fearful that she’s the only one to arrive, she starts to panic, but then meets Theodora ‘Theo’, a flashy dark-haired beauty, who makes Nell feel at ease. Together the two of them begin exploring the house, getting lost in the winding corridors as a result. Nell’s doubts begin getting the best of her and she insists to Theo that something is following them. She hears voices and Theo doesn’t although she comments off-hand that the house wants Nell. Eventually Dr. Markway makes his appearance and introduces himself along with Luke, who finds the talk of ghosts and the supernatural hilarious. During dinner theories are tossed about and we discover two things 1) Originally there were to be six participants and one by one they backed out, and 2) Theo possesses ESP and Nell had, at the age of ten, a run in with a poltergeist that she vehemently denies.

Over the course of the movie, a number of questionable scenarios offered up to the viewer make us doubt the truth of what is going on. Noises in the night, thuds, and cold spots that Theo and the others witness, but the darkest things are for Nell’s ears and eyes alone. She becomes drawn more and more to Markway and begins forming an unnatural attachment to him. Theo seems to be the only one that notices and constantly confronts Nell at every turn.

When the good professor’s wife shows up Nell’s obsessive delusion shatters and the shit hits the fan. It’s then we think back at Nell’s poltergeist experience as a child and we begin to wonder if Nell might be responsible for the occurrences since their arrival. Just as she was responsible for the poltergeist years before that was a manifestation of her frustration and anger towards her mother. The question is now—is the house truly haunted or is everything inside Eleanor’s mind?

Robert Wise does an exquisite job establishing not only the atmosphere of the house but Nell’s descent into madness. Warped and oddly angled camera shots, lighting that shifts and changes at the drop of a hat, and Nell’s internal dialogue, all play to her state of mind. Filming in black & white only emphasized the surreal feel of the story.

The Haunting is a well-balanced psychological thriller with a taste of the supernatural. It takes us on ride through a troubled mind that may or may not be responsible for manifesting a darkness that permeates an inanimate object, giving it a life of its own. After watching The Haunting, you may begin to wonder if the supernatural is an exterior force or if it resides inside all of us.

Final Rating: 4/5 Fox Pups

~*~

Ratings System:

5 Fox Pups – Must See/Can’t Miss

4 Fox Pups – Excellent

3 Fox Pups – Good

2 Fox Pups – Passable

1 Fox Pups – Skip It

Walking the talk

The family creates a space in which we are, all of us, able to share, express, promote and make real our values. When we are operating within other people’s systems, that can be harder to do, but in our own homes and family groups, we have the freedom to construct our own ways of doing.

Part of the joy of this, is that there is no one true way. It just requires some thought, creativity, discussion and willingness to explore. If you have beliefs, or ideals, how can you best express those in your private life? Every choice we make, every action we undertake and everything we choose not to be, contributes to the sum of who we are. My feeling is that while what goes on inside anyone’s head is important to them, the real measure of a person lies in what they do.

Here’s a few areas of life to consider. Do please post comments, it’s great to hear how other people handle things.

How do you resolve conflict within your family? How are rules decided (if you have them, and you might choose not to), and who has the right to question, change or shape them? Is there authority, and if so, why, and how does it function? Do you take votes, seek consensus, or does someone make all the decisions?

What responsibilities to individuals have, for themselves, and as duties to each other? What responsibilities do people have for maintaining space, connections, for celebrating, care giving, listening etc?

What do you prioritise? Is your household governed by financial concerns? Is sustainable living the ideal that underpins everything you do? Is family life geared for maximum ease and convenience? And if so, whose? Does earning power equate to the right to make spending decisions? Do you give equal weight to non-economic activities that support your clan? How much energy is given to those outside your clan? Who much time and energy is invested into care and mutual support?

If we look at older cultures for inspiration, the Celts and Norse alike had guidelines about hospitality, care giving, duty, loyalty, responsibility and justice. These are things that, as pagans, we should take seriously and manifest in our lives. Changing our entire culture is perhaps ambitious, but the more we can do at home and with those immediately around us, the more scope we have for creating change.

It’s impossible to live ethically, or honourably without thought. Contemplate what you do, and why. Imagine how you would like the world to be, and where you can, act as though the world was already like that. You don’t need the folk around you to be pagan for it to work.