Nov 29, 2009

Logan's Life: Church Memories

Day 30

I was going to do my final The Write Stuff column to celebrate the NaNoWrMo competition and talk about some comic book writers but I decided to wait until tomorrow when NaNoWrMo officially wraps up its November writing fest.

So instead I present to you some memories of my son Logan. For those that don't know, my family and I are LDS (Mormons) and we go to Church every Sunday. Some of Logan's funniest moments have been at Church. Now the purpose of this blog was so I can write down some memories before I forget them so here is what I remember about Logan in Church.

-A couple of years ago during Sacrament meeting Logan was pretending to cook something in the microwave (they were crayons) and he got mad at me when I tried to eat one that he had not cooked. After he "microwaved" the pink crayon, that I picked out, he being the nice kid he is, he "cut" it in half and shared it with me. Instead I pretended to take it and then I hid behind the Hymn books. He looked over at me madly and jumped over Kristy yelling "OPEN YOUR MOUTH!" Logan thought I had actually ate the crayon. I couldn't stop giggling.

-When he was about two years old he played with these cars that he loved so much. He would carry them all over. One Sunday he took them to Church and unexpectedly yelled out "BEEEEEEEEEP!" at the top of his lungs.

-Another time when he was about two or three, when it was dead silent in Church he found some brown stuff on his fingers. He looked at Kristy and I and announced quite loudly "IT IS NOT POO!"

-One Sunday morning he must have been tired because Kristy and I heard him say his first cuss word. He slept in (cause he was up late last night at Grandpa’s and after his shower) and he was in a strange mood. He uttered his first swear word today, much to my chagrin. He was in his bedroom and his drawer wouldn’t open and he yells out "dammit!" Kristy and I looked at each other, did he really say what we thought he said? Then we hear "dammit!" again. Yup, he definitely was cussing so Kristy and I went in and asked him where he learned that and he replied "Dad says it everyday when he plays Star Wars." BUSTED! It probably was Madden. ;)

-One Sunday one of the members of our Church said "hi" to Logan after church and surprisingly he stopped to talk to him. Logan was probably about 4-5 years old. He asked him what his name is and how old he was and Logan answered. When the member asked him if he wanted to see a trick, Logan panicked and yelled "BYE!" and took off out the door. I grabbed him and we went to see his trick. He asked Logan to blow on his tie and when he did, his tie "melted". Logan said "WHOA!". Then the member put the other part of the tie in his mouth and blew the tie back up. Logan couldn’t believe his eyes. He ran to the door yelling "That is the weirdest tie‚ I have ever seen!" and took off.

-One Sunday, during Sacrament meeting, I found that Logan had a piece of glitter in his ear and Kristy took it out. I pretended that I put it back in and told him. He got mad and made a couple of fists and yelled out "YOU MEAN DADDY!"

Logan combed his own hair for Church in this picture. I really wish you could see it better. I tried so hard not to laugh.

-Every year the Primary (the children) gets to take part of the Sunday Services. This Sunday they were invited up to sing for all the dads for Father's Day. They went up and sang and it was so sweet. When they were done, the kids were supposed to come down and rejoin their parents. Logan didn't. He got up to the podium with a smirk on his face. It looked like he was about to give a sermon or something. The real speaker was standing right behind him and he laughed. He said the same thing when Logan finally decided to come down.

Logan is such a funny kid. I am so glad and happy that he is my son. For some of these experiences, you definitely had to be there.

Sunday Confessional: The Hair-Do

Day 29

Every once in awhile I like to change things up. After I graduated from high school I decided to do something that I never thought I would ever do.

I got a perm.

Like a real perm. Why? Beats me. I liked the look of having wavy hair. This was supposed to be a loose perm. So I went to my favorite hairdresser, Shirley Whitman, and set up a time for a perm.

So I went to get my hair permed and I spent the next couple of hours chatting with Shirely as she permed my hair. Shirely is fantastic to talk too, you can never run out of things to speak about with her and the time passed by so quickly. And then it was time to unveil the perm and I will never forget seeing myself for the first time with my hair permed. She had just finished blow drying my hair and she turned me around to the large mirror. And I broke down. I just burst out laughing. Then she laughed, which made me laugh even more. It was a good twenty minutes later that we stopped laughing. I just looked ridiculous. It was tighter than we both thought but after a few days it really looked nice. Surprisingly, that night I went to visit one of the girls I was interested at work and she LOVED it. Interesting to note though, she did stand me up on my next date and I was so heartbroken that I never asked her out again.

I still got my haircut by Shirley for many years after. I even interviewed her for the local paper, the Herald Journal, that was published. In that article I even included this very experience. But I never have got my hair permed again.

There are only a few pictures in that exist that show photographic evidence of my perm. And I like that just fine. It was like the brief time I had a small pony tail. I actually had it but there is no evidence to prove it.

Shirley is quite the character. She tried to embarrass me with a fart machine one time I got my haircut. She also came with my mom, Kristy and I to "The Music of the Night" which showcased the best of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Ogden and went to dinner with us. I don't think we ever laughed so hard.

Nov 28, 2009

Pic of the Week: Baddest Living Biker

Day 28

My wrists are hurting and my fingers have been worn down to a nub. Today has been the first day of my challenge that I have not felt like writing/typing. I still have loads to say but as the saying goes "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak".

My wife Kristy is soon to be joining the madness of the 365 Challenge starting December 1st. Her idea for the blog is to post a picture a day and write something about it. Whether it is a current picture that she took that day or something from the past. I like this idea so like a good blogger, I am totally stealing it. So today I am unveiling a new Saturday column called "Pic of the Week". Basically it is the same column as hers only I am going to do it once a week.

So I had to find the perfect picture to blog about and I think I have a winner. This picture (or cover I should say) was taken way back in 1987. My mom and I were moving to the States, leaving my dad and sister behind. So I spent the weekend before we moved with my sister Jennifer. I crashed at her apartment and we hit the sights of Edmonton. We ate at the Progi House (YUM!) and hit the world's largest mall (at the time), West Edmonton Mall. Jennifer spent a ton of money on me and wanted to send me off in fashion.

Aren't we bad? It was such a perfect gift, I couldn't forget my sister after making the cover of Biker Lifestyle. We took another couple of pictures while at West Ed too. I know, I said I would post ONE pic a week but these were just too good not to pass up.

FUN FACT: Can you spot the glaring typo? Drives me nuts to see that this would be misspelled.

I had a lot of fun and I didn't think I would miss my sister all that much but I did. It was a long time before I got to see her again. Now, she lives just blocks away and I am glad I have her in my life. Thanks sis!

Nov 27, 2009

List-Mania: Comic Book Movies

Day 27

Last Sunday I confessed my love (re: addiction) for comic books. For most of my life, comic books that were translated into movies did not fare so well. In fact, most of them were so cheesy that it just echoed the stereotype that comics are JUST for kids. Now we are in the golden age of comic book movies and the best part of this new age is most of the them are actually pretty good.

I am not a stickler for comic book movies needing to stick to the source material. I do hope that the movie studios stay true to the concept but I can forgive the often glaring differences between the actual comic and the movie. Take the X-Men movie franchise for example. There are more differences than similarities between the movie and the comics but in the end it doesn't bug me. The X-Men franchise was entertaining and that was the most important thing to me. What annoys this comic geek fan is when the movie that comes out does not come anywhere close to its potential. That is what irks me the most and there are quite a few comic book movies that have done this.

So here are my Top 5 comic book movies. Now let me remind you, this is MY list. You can argue all you want or make fun of the movies I picked out here but in the end it doesn't matter. These are the comic book movies I personally liked the best. Yours will probably differ.

5) The Rocketeer
This movie just might have more to do with my man-crush on Timothy Dalton than anything else. This is the story about a pilot that finds a rocket pack and battles Nazis as the Rocketeer. Simple premise, simple story and simply entertaining.

4) Iron Man
Marvel started strong out of the gate with some fantastic movies based on their characters but soon a bunch of duds hit the screen. I went to see this movie with the expectation that it would be a dud too. Boy was I wrong. Everything about this film was fantastic, the special effects were spectacular but Robert Downey Jr. owned this movie. The man in the suit stole the show.

3) Hellboy II
Sequels rarely are better than the original but there are exceptions to the rule and Hellboy II was one of them. I loved the first one quite a bit, I thought it captured everything Hellboy should be but this one hit it out of the park. Visually this movie was eye candy. The special effects were amazing and the colors were spectacular. The storyline felt like something right out of the Hellboy comics. The creatures were fascinating, the Death Angel was creepy but yet elegant. I love this movie so much.

2) Spider-Man
The first X-Men movie blew me away. They captured exactly what the X-Men were about. I hoped that Marvel would strike comic gold again with Spider-Man and I was so happy that they did. There was a lot I was leery about (Sam Raimi, organic Web-shooters, metal-looking Green Goblin) but I was so taken by the story. They nailed what Peter Parker was all about. I know a lot of people complained about the ending with Peter leaving MJ but that was spot on what Peter would do.

1) X2: X-Men United
Like I said, the first X-Men blew me away and I couldn't wait until this came out. This was probably the only sequel that topped my expectations. I don't think my eyes could get any bigger watching one of my favorite characters, Nightcrawler, teleporting all through the White House but that was just the start. This movie scratched everything this fanboy had an itch for. Sadly, the rest of the X-franchise has not been near this good.

Now I can hear it now. Spider-Man 2 was way better than the first one. Or, The Dark Knight is the greatest comic book movie ever! Those are good movies. Those are GREAT comic book movies but I didn't like them as much as the ones I listed. I hear someone screaming Sin City was the best adaptation! I can probably agree with that. As pure adaptations go, Sin City and 300 were the best ones. But they were not my favorite comic book movies.

But what was the best and worst comic book movie of all-time? This movie is a guilty pleasure. So bad that it is so good.

Honorable Mention: Flash Gordon
Hmmmm. Timothy Dalton again. But he is not the only reason I love this film. I love the costumes and the sets, so vibrant and colorful. Max von Sydow as Emperor Ming and Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan stole the show, everyone looked like they were having the time of their life making this movie. And who can forget the soundtrack by Queen? FLASH! AHHHHHHH AHHHHHHH! SAVIOR OF THE UNIVERSE! I could write a column all about this movie.

FUN FACT: One of my favorite memories is watching this movie with my cousins the Case's. Watching that movie with them is like being on Mystery Science Theater 3000. But we poke fun at the movie because we love it. I'll have to get together with the Case's again for another viewing. It has been too long!

Nov 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Day 26

Happy Thanksgiving!

You know what I am thankful for? I am thankful for the many 365 bloggers that I can steal topics and ideas from. So thanks to Andrea for stealing it from her mom Lewis, and thanks to Lewis for getting it from Karey. ;)

Small Things I am Thankful For: (in no particular order)

1. Bunny Rabbits
2. Cadbury Creme Eggs (and the rabbits that lay them)
3. Comic books
4. The smell of rain with thunder and lightning
5. Mountain Dew in all its forms
6. Fleece jackets
7. iPods
8. Caller ID
9. Putting Logan to bed
10. Irish Creme Hot Chocolate
11. Those Keebler Elves and there tasty goodies
12. Laughing
13. Music
14. Good drawing pens
15. Computers that make writing easier
16. Disney cartoons
17. Winona Ryder (just seeing if you are paying attention)
18. Glasses
19. Kalamata Greek olives
20. Football

I hope everyone out there has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Nov 25, 2009

The Write Stuff: Completing the Trilogy

Day 25

I officially did it.

NaNoWrMo opened up their official word counter and I plugged in my novel and I won. The word count for my little novel is currently at 59,624. And I am VERY close to the end and I am pretty pumped.

So what happens next? My next goal is to have it completely ended by the month's end and then it goes to some serious editing. The goal after that is to get it ready to publish. I confirmed on NaNoWrMo's site that everything I heard from Tyler is correct. So now I am doubly pumped!

So what are my influences? I'll be honest, I am not a big book reader. I own few novels. Comic books has been the biggest influence of my writing. And for those that think comic books are just juvenile because they contain muscular men and women with big boobs you are mistaken. Sure, there are some books like that but that is merely a stereotype and not always the norm. But comics have not been the only thing, just the majority. This column will just cover the novels. I will write a comic book one sometime in the near future with some recommendations.

One of the first novels I read really made an impact on me. It was back in the 5th grade we read "The White Mountains" By John Christopher. I remember this book rather fondly, it made me appreciate science fiction and made me want to create a world and write. Christopher followed this up with two other books in the "Tripod Trilogy". The middle book, "They City of Gold and Lead" was my favorite. In this book we are introduced to the aliens behind the Tripods. And this is what caught my eye, these villains were not straight bad guys, they had their own personality. That stuck with me quite a bit. I'll have to dig these books out and re-read them sometime.

But my all-time favorite novel is Dracula by Bram Stroker. I try to read this novel every Halloween. There is so much that I love about this book. What made it a unique read was that it was not just a novel but more of a historical record. It is mainly composed of journal and diaries writings and letters written by the main characters. It certainly made it more believable to me. But what got me was Dracula himself. He was so charming, so controlling of a villain. When I write villains, I try to bring those qualities to my characters.

Other books that have influenced me in some way are the Collected Works of Edgar Allen Poe and the Collected Works of Washington Irving. Whenever I want to get a shot of creative juice, I usually will read one of Poe's stories or poems.

I could go into comic book writers that have influenced me but I would also like to take the time to make some recommendations too. So that will be a separate column.

Nov 24, 2009

The Write Stuff: The Sequel

Day 24

I did it.

I passed the 50,000 mark just a few days ago. Currently I stand at 53,055 words and I am very close to actually concluding my novel with an ending. And I am quite thrilled.

Yesterday really fueled my writing fire. I and another writer named Tyler met at Borders and we were interviewed for the Herald Journal, the local paper. The journalist wanted to know more about NaNoWrMo and wanted our insights. I felt that the interview went extremely well and I am looking forward to seeing what the article comes out with. Afterwards Tyler and I hung around for a little bit talking about our novels and I found out some pretty cool news.

I still don't know if this is official (I am looking into it now) but apparently NaNoWrMo will reward those that pass the 50,000 challenge will have an opportunity to have their book published. They will print the book out for you and assist you in selling it on Amazon. You get about six months after the contest to edit it and get it ready to publish.

So now I am even more energized to get this novel completed.

Sorry for the shortness of the column today. I'll get into some writing influences in later columns. I gotta run and get some writing done. But before I go, you have to check this cool video.

Nov 23, 2009

My Dad was a Beatle!

Day 23

Did you know that my dad was part of the Beatles? I love this photo of my dad and I am sure he will kill me for publishing it.

On my sister's blog last Saturday she blogged about some of her memories about our dad in celebration of his 38th birthday. Strange, he has been 38 years old for YEARS! And I am only a few years behind!

I didn't want to step on her toes and steal any of the thunder from her fun column. But a good idea is a good idea! So this column is dedicated to my dad!

In future columns I will share memories about hunting and fishing, bowling and recycling, the Star Wars rides, and some other fun times. This column will be what I learned from my old man. He has taught me a lot but these are the ones that stand out the most.

Hard Work. My dad taught me the importance of hard work. The guy can certainly work hard. There have been times where he has worked many jobs just so he could earn money. He takes great pride in his work. I have had two great opportunities to work with my dad. He helped me get my job at Dutro and it was fun to work with him there. I worked in the evenings but I still got to see him for a couple of hours in the afternoon when I got to work. What impressed me was when I would ask people around what they thought of Paul (not knowing that I was his son) and every time, his co-workers said the same thing. Very nice and hard working. Dad had the respect of all those that worked for him. It doesn't matter how fast you are, it matters that it is done correct. I also work with him now and I cannot express how thankful I am for this time I get to share with my dad.

Showing Affection. My dad was never embarrassed to show affection, no matter how old I am. Funny story, Kristy and I dropped in on Dad at Dutro to tell him that we were engaged. I warned Kristy that he would hug her and she kinda laughed it off. Sure enough, in the middle of everyone, he hugged and kissed us both! My son will never have to wonder if I love him, just as I felt (and still do) as a child.

Details! Details! Details! I used to love watching (and scaring) my dad while he worked as a Landscape Architect in the basement. He was so precise and careful. My dad pays attention to the details in everything he does. Some say he might over analyze things but at least he pays attention to the small stuff. I remember when he helped me with a school science project about Mars. Unfortunately, I informed the family of it the night before (Ugh... ...Killarney again) but my parents helped me get it all finished. I was satisfied with what I had but my dad was not. We worked way past midnight and finally got it done. And I scored an almost perfect score, all because of the my dad. He gets the details and has taught me that the details are important.

Like I said before, my dad has taught me a lot. One of them, surprisingly is music. Why is that surprising? Because Jennifer and I used to make fun of ALL the music my dad would listen too. From Hugo Montenegro to the Shirelle's to the Bellamy Brothers to the Four Tops to Trini Lopez and to some classical music. And guess what? I have them all on my iPod. I have learned to appreciate all types of music and I find that my tastes in music have been heavily influenced by my dad. I am lucky to work with him at nights, we have very similar tastes in music and it is fun to listen to the ol' classics.

I could go on and on but I don't want to embarrass the guy. So I won't bring up the Cranberry pie or Lentil Soup. Or that time when the bat scared you. Or that other time I put a firecracker on the bathroom door. Or your strange dreams about snakes. I would say more but I still have over 300 more columns to do, I need to save some of those!

Thanks Dad! I appreciate all you do for me and the stuff you have taught me.

Love ya!

Nov 22, 2009

Sunday Confessional: My Addiction

Day 22

Anyone know who this is? I'll give you a hint, he is part of the problem. I have a huge addiction that I have spent thousands of dollars on.

I bet the vast majority of my readers have NO idea who that fella is. His name is Banshee and he is a member of the X-Men. Yeah, the same team Wolverine is on. But this character is no where near as popular as my fellow Canuck. Banshee is quite an obscure comic book character. And what does that make me? That pretty much makes me an obscure comic book collector.

Yes, I admit that I am an avid comic book collector.

I own a lot of comic books. There are tons of boxes in my bedroom loaded with hundreds of books. In my den, I have two full bookshelves loaded with graphic novels and tradepaperbooks. Basically, more comics in book form.

My comic book collecting habits have changed a little bit recently. Lately I have been on a one-man quest to complete my collection. I am working on getting a collection that has no filler, just all the good stuff I enjoy. That means rooting through thousands and thousands of comics and handpicking the ones I want to keep. It also means going back and picking up comics that I had as a kid. Comics that have vanished from my current collection and some are so battered and torn that they need replacing. And there are comics that I don't have and never had that I want part of my collection.

Is that geeky? Yes, so therefore I admit it. I am a geek. It should be pretty obvious, I run the Alan Davis Message Board (my favorite comic book artist) and I also have the world's only blog devoted to Banshee called the Banshee Blog. I have no problems being called a geek and I am proud of that fact. I read and enjoy comics quite a lot. My house is loaded with comics and trades and other comic stuff. I have comic shirts and I have a tattoo of Banshee on my chest. Okay, I am making that last part up. But I do have a mini statue of Banshee at my desk.

How many geeky things can you find in this picture of my desk? Can you see the Banshee statue? The Princess Leia in her Slave outfit action figure? I have another shelf on the other side of the desk full of comics.

Comics have influenced my life and will continue to do so. So how did I get into them? Lets start at the beginning. My parents were very supportive of my habit, in fact they are the ones that started it. It started out with Donald Duck and Archie comics and then they got me into Super-Friends, Spider-Man, Batman and a bunch of others. It was a random sampling of books but sometimes I would have small runs of comics. Super Friends was one of my favorite books.

Here I am at five years old reading an Archie book. Notice my cool curtains?

The late 70's and early 80's were a great time to be growing up. I was three years old when my parents took me to see Star Wars and like every other kid, I was absolutely taken by it. I remember back in the spring of 1979 when my dad came home from work with some Slurpee's and two comics. Battlestar Galactica #2 and Star Wars #22. My dad liked to read the comics too so I would get a new Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars comic almost every month. I used to re-enact the comics with my collection of action figures. I was a real happy kid growing up.

FUN FACT: I was not the only one that loved the old Marvel Star Wars comics. One of my best friends, Joel, was a huge fan of the series as well. He grew up collecting the comics and we were reminiscing and looking at the old Marvel series and picking out our favorite stories. He picked out issue #76 and remarked to me that he never got that issue, which was the conclusion of the fun Isakalon storyline. That story was one of my favorite ones too. Joel said that he saw the comic at the local 7-11 and ran home and asked his dad for some money to buy it. His dad made him do a ton of chores and finally gave him some money to buy it and he went back and it was gone. That issue was special to me, I was on vacation with my parents to the United States (I was from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) and I was with my dad and grandpa golfing at the local golf course. We stopped by the 7-11 to get some drinks on the way home and I found Star Wars #76 and begged my dad to buy it. He bought it for me so I could have something to read on the long drive home to Edmonton when we left the next week. After I had told Joel this story he looked at me funny and then it hit me. Joel lived in the same small town of Smithfield, the same small town that had a golf course and a 7-11! I was the one that bought that comic that Joel wanted! Who would have thought that twenty years later we would be best friends and that we would both remember that comic. I did let him borrow that trade so he could read the whole story. Small world.

Then in the Sixth grade my life was forever altered. Sixth grade was one of my favorite years in school. I had a teacher that I really liked and she was supportive of my comic reading as well. She allowed me to read comics during reading time. At this time I became friends with Neil White and he introduced me to a whole slew of comics, the first being Transformers and G.I.Joe. So I begged my parents to buy me some comics and they were supportive of me reading so I got some G.I.Joe and Transformers comics.

My friend Neil also reintroduced me to some familiar faces (like Spider-Man) but then he introduced me to a whole new set of characters, the Uncanny X-Men. And I have never stopped since. Eventually I branched out and have read all sorts of comics, straight super hero stuff, science fiction, fantasy, crime, horror, you name it, I probably have it.

This is an addiction that I am happy to pass down to my kids. It gives kids a new strange world to visit and more importantly it gets them reading. I am thankful that my parents introduced me to comics, I wouldn't be into reading without them. Comics are part of my everyday life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Nov 21, 2009

When Kristy Met Matt: True Aggies!

Day 21

Last night Kristy and I watched our hometown Utah State University play Boise State in football on ESPN2. That was big for a couple of reasons, as reported before my wife and I met on the campus of Utah State University and that was the first time Utah State's football team had a nationally televised game. We got trounced 52-21 but it brought back those college memories and the pride we had being a Utah State Aggie.

But did you know that we are True Aggies?

No? Well, let me give you a little history before we get into that.

Kristy graduated from Utah State but unfortunately I did not. I did go to USU for a number of years but when Kristy got the call to be a teacher down south we packed our bags and headed out. Those college days were a lot of fun and USU has a lot of unique things that make USU and Logan (the town) special. Two things that stick out are Aggie Ice Cream and Merlin Olsen.

First let's talk about Aggie Ice Cream. If you EVER come to Logan, you need to head up to campus and get yourself a scoop of Aggie Ice Cream. This is a tradition, alumni always come back to Aggie Ice Cream. My grandpa ate Aggie Ice Cream, my parents did, I did (and still do) and I have passed this tradition to my son. So what makes it different? Aggie Ice Cream has a 12% butterfat content. It's aged slightly longer and contains less air than most commercial brands. And it was the first ice cream to make it to outer space. You want to know more about it? Check out this page.

Aggie Ice Cream also is the background for one of the Breinholt's favorite family moments. Kristy's family were up visiting and Kristy (like she always does so successfully) got her mom to take us all for Aggie Ice Cream. We hopped out of the car and we were all excited for some ice cream so one of them decided to act out a little. He was singing "Fatso! Fatso Man! I want to be... ...a Fatso Man!" (sung to the tune of "Macho Man" by the Village People. Well, as it turns out, while he was singing he didn't notice the rather large man eating a huge ice cream cone. He turned right into him singing "I wanna be... ...a Fatso Man!" I was so embarrassed. Because that idiot that was singing was me.

Raise your hands if you know who Merlin Olsen is. Merlin Olsen played in the NFL for 15 seasons making the Pro Bowl 14 times. He became part of one of the best front fours in NFL history. Deacon Jones, Rosey Grier, Lamar Lundy and Merlin Olsen were named "The Fearsome Foursome." He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1999, he was ranked number 25 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. But most of you know him when he guest starred on Little House on the Prairie. He eventually got his own series called Father Murphy. He was born not to far from where I live now, the park a block away is named after him and his sister still lives here.

So history and tradition play an important part at USU. And one the more interesting traditions is becoming a True Aggie. On campus there is a little stand that is shaped like an "A". To become a "True Aggie" you stand on the "A" with your significant other and smooch. But you have to do that on the Friday night before Homecoming. And usually that is the same night as the Homecoming Dance. Kristy and I went to the dance with a bunch of friends (yes, that is a gun Kristy is holding, long story) we first had dinner and then to the dance. My friend Lared was suspecting that I would take Kristy and pay a visit to the "A". After the dance we all dropped off our dates and I snuck back and grabbed Kristy and we headed off.
FUN FACT: That red dress Kristy is wearing? She made it.

We were not the only ones. There was a small crowd of people watching (and this is well past midnight) and it was snowing quite a bit. Lared was right and he beat us up there and snapped some pics! So that is what a True Aggie is and yes, Kristy and I are True Aggies.

We really just believe in tradition is all. *wink* *wink*

Nov 20, 2009

List-Mania: Childhood Cartoons

Day 20

Reminiscing with my sister the other night made me think a lot about my childhood. Watching cartoons on Saturday morning while eating a big bowl of cereal is what made Saturday the best day of the week! So without further delay, here are my Top 5 favorite cartoons from when I was a kid. GI Joe and the Transformers would have placed on my list but these cartoons were not readily available in Canada. I had to watch Rocket Robin and that terrible Hercules cartoons instead.

5) Muppet Babies
I remember changing the channel quickly every time someone came into the room while I was watching this. I was so embarrassed that I actually liked this show during the seventh grade. I think the real reason I liked this was how they integrated real footage from other shows and made their imaginative world even more creative. I was not a huge fan of this new Muppet named Skeeter. Sadly there are no DVDs available or planned.

4) Gummi Bears
Aside from the cheesy title song, this show had some pretty good writing. I loved the concept of this family of Gummi Bears being the ones that stayed behind while the other Gummi's left to settle other lands. This story thread was visited multiple times and they even contacted their missing relatives. Surprisingly there was quite a bit of continuity used. The first couple seasons are available on DVD much to my (and my son Logan's) delight.

3) Real Ghostbusters
I don't think I was ever disappointed watching this series. It captured the fun concept from the movie and ran with it. It also kept continuity from the movies. I didn't care for what they did to Slimer (making him a friendly ghost) but aside from that I loved this series. I remember building a Lego ghost detector that Spengler used and building a Lego proton pack and gun. This is also available on DVD which I need to purchase.

2) Dungeons and Dragons
I think this is the first cartoon that I watched that had quite a few dark premises. The one episode I remember fondly was when Venger was kidnapping children from Earth. They would disappear under their beds. It was also quite violent and that combined with the dark feel made it a "must-watch" cartoon for me. It is also available in DVD and I really need to check it out.

1) Spider-Man/Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends
I lumped these two together since both Spider-Man shows made a huge impact on me. I remember fondly coming home from Sifton Elementary for lunch and watching Spider-Man while I was eating peanut butter sandwiches. I knew every episode by heart! A few years later, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends appeared and I loved that show even more. I didn't know it then but I would get to know all the guest stars of the Marvel Universe quite a bit when I later started to collect comics. The classic '67 series is all available on DVD and is on my wish list.

Nov 19, 2009

I Stared at Goats

Day 19

Last Saturday evening I had a couple of unexpected visitors. My brother-in-law Steven, his wife Andrea and daughter Addy, along with my niece Cassie dropped in for a visit. It was good to see them, I was happy that they dropped by. Addy and Logan (and Steven) played while the rest of us chatted. I keep forgetting that I am now a Breinholt Vet, meaning I have been part of this family for twelve years. Luckily Cassie was there so it reminded me how old I am. She was just a little older than Addy when I first met her. Hmmmm... ...that might be a good column in itself. About an hour later Kristy's parents came over too. It was a nice evening.

Here is a pic of Logan hugging Addy goodnight. She is such a cutie!

I invited my sister over for some good ol' fashioned sibling rivalry. Well, it was not much of a contest when it comes to the Atari and Ice Hockey. She came over after all the kids were put to bed. Jennifer came to play the Atari and I went through a whole load of old pictures that we confiscated from our mom. I wanted to find some pictures for the blog and boy I got some gems. It was fun to sit and reminisce about our childhood. And it was a lot of fun teaming up together to wipe out some aliens in Space Invaders. We will need to do that again sometime.

Even when I was young I loved my soda.

Logan was sick today and had a fever of 102. So we kept him home from school today and I didn't work last night so I could watch him during the morning. The best part of a sick Logan is that he likes to cuddle. We watched a marathon of "Phineas and Ferb" the whole afternoon. If you have not seen that show, you need too! Seriously. Here are two of my favorite clips.

It has a platypus! How could I not love it?

Tonight I went to a movie with my dad and brother Nathan. We saw an early showing of "The Men Who Stared At Goats." I was feeling a little blue today and that movie certainly cheered me up. I can't describe it but I can only say that was my type of movie. Clooney and Ewan were so great in this film, I laughed through the whole thing. If you like quirky movies or love either of these actors, you gotta check this movie out. I have to see this again.

I have a pretty cool family and I am happy for the chance to spend time with them.

Nov 18, 2009

Matt at Work: The Double McGriddle

Day 18

I can eat fast food every day, I just love that greasy stuff. When I worked at WestHost, our department used to go on McGriddle runs for our meetings. And there was a time where we would do it weekly. For those that have not had a McGriddle, let me tell you, they have to be one of the tastiest breakfast sandwiches EVER! It comes with a spicy sausage, melted cheese and egg on two pancake-like buns which it littered in maple syrup. So bad for your health but so good for your taste buds.

One time my friend Zack and I were discussing why we loved these things and it came down to the sausage. There was something about it that made the sandwich complete. He laughed about having a double sausage McGriddle.

That next week, it was Zack's turn to make the McGriddle run and he came back with a grin on his face. He plopped down my McGriddle and said, "I have done something." I opened my sandwich and found that he got us DOUBLE McGriddles. For an extra 30 cents (or something like that) he got them to give us double the meat. That first bite was wonderful but by the time we finished them up we were sick. It was too much of a good thing. It took us months before we got another McGriddle. And there is no way we would get a double one again.

The funny thing about going on these McGriddle runs was that we had to do it in secret. Our CEO and the puppy dog that followed him would hold going out for some food against us. We were not working hard if we had time to go grab some food. I remember when Zack and I went to grab some Mountain Dew for a large Sales meeting we had and I went to my car (I clocked out just so they couldn't really nail me) and drove around to the back of the building to pick up Zack. We ran to the gas station and on the way back I dropped off Zack with the Dews and parked the car. We did this so we could avoid the CEO's office window so he wouldn't see Zack coming with. You did what you had to do to survive!

I must have gained fifteen pounds while working at WestHost. Between all the treats (ohhh, Heidi's homemade Oreos) and Betos and McGriddle runs it shouldn't be a surprise that I have high cholesterol. The only thing that I did lose at WestHost was my hair.

Nov 17, 2009

Damond's Dog

Day 17

I am not a dog person. I can count the amount of dogs I like on one hand. I have even passed that trait down to my son. He doesn't like dogs either and that matter was made worse when he was bit by a dog a few weeks ago.

But there was a dog that I did like. My friend and neighbor Damond had a full-bred Cocker Spaniel named Princeton. Everyone called him Prince and he was one of the good dogs. Like I said before, I am not a huge fan of dogs. In fact I remember being stranded on their trampoline with his sister Denise while this large black dog was wandering around. That black dog looked totally scary!

But anyway, I liked Prince. He was a pretty dog and I would often walk the dog with Damond. One night Damond, Denise and I walked over to visit our friends (the Yates family) and we spent the remainder of the evening with them. They were such a fun family, we danced and laughed and sang "Lean On Me" to the top of our lungs. We had tied Prince to the tree in their yard and played inside. It was getting pretty late (around eleven or midnight) so we decided to come home. Well, that Prince dog was pretty smart. I went to untie him from the tree and he snipped at my hand when I tried to get his leash on him. Since I am a chicken when it comes to dogs, I instinctively pulled my hand back. And off Prince went!

I quickly told Damond I was sorry. Prince was a dog that liked his freedom and would not come back when you called. In fact, he was already gone out of sight. I felt guilty and Damond was no help. He kept saying things like "I hope Prince doesn't get run over" and stuff like that. I am sure Damond meant no harm with those comments but they made me feel even worse. I walked them home and said good night and walked back to my house feeling absolutely horrible. So I thought to myself that I need to go get Prince myself!

I walked back to the Yates house and sat on their porch hoping to catch a glimpse of Prince. Prince was still hanging around but would not come when I called him. Finally after an hour he finally came over and let me pet him. It was then that I discovered that I have no way of getting him back. The leash was back at Damond's house. I thought about putting my hand under his collar but Prince sensed it and took off before I had a chance. I looked around the yard and found some rope. I thought if I could get Prince to come over again, I might be able to slip this rope under his collar. After another thirty minutes or so, Prince finally came back. He would not let me near his collar so I had to hug him and let him lick my face. Ugh. While he was doing this I managed to get the rope under his leash and I caught him!

I walked Prince home and knocked quietly on Damond's door. But it was very late and I am sure he was dead asleep. I didn't want to wake up his dad either. I went to their backyard and barked like a dog, hoping Damond would wake up and see Prince. But nothing. Another twenty minutes went by and I got the idea of throwing dog food at his second story window. Finally Damond came downstairs and looked out the window. Damond was relived that I was not some guy wanting to kill him and we laughed about me hunting down Prince. Damond was extremely thankful that I spent so much time hunting his dog down.

Sadly, I learned after I returned home from my LDS mission from New York, Prince had been put to sleep. I heard it was because no one was around to take care of him. That really bugged me. Prince was one of the good dogs and now he was gone. Still bugs me to this day.

Nov 16, 2009

School Daze: Wrestling with Intimidation

Day 16

I loved elementary school but hated my junior high and middle dchool years but when I got into high school it became a little better. It was not like the good old days but I did have some fun times.

I didn't hate high school ALL the time but looking back it sure felt like I hated it at least half the time. But when it was good, it was great! I had some fantastic teachers that I owe and I made some fantastic friends too. But there were some altercations in high school that made it horrible.

I had a teacher at high school that I thought I got along with. He was my Weight Lifting Coach and that is when I liked him. He really helped my try my hardest in that class but it was his Economics class that I really had a hard time getting along with him.

He was rather intimidating in his class. He tried really hard to push his way onto people. At first I tolerated it because there was really nothing I could do about it. But the final straw came when he made one of the girls in class cry. I didn't even know her all that well but I was pretty mad.

I got smart with him one day and he kicked me out of class. I forgot how it all went down but I was talking to a friend of mine a little louder than I should have (even though I wanted him to overhear it) and he was pretty mad. I came to class the next day and everything seemed to be back to normal.

At the end of the semester he invited us to give him a review of the class. It was to be completely anonymous. Now to be honest, I liked the class as far as what he was teaching. But I didn't like him and the way he taught. So I took that opportunity to let him know. I had nothing to lose. Or at least I thought I didn't have anything to lose.

I handed it in and went my way. During my 4th grade class he comes in to talk with Mr. Churchill and I didn't think anything. Then Churchill calls me out of class and tells me to go with the other teacher. I looked at his hand and saw he was holding a couple of those teacher reviews. "Let's go take a walk Matt." he said and we walked to his classroom. He had a class in there and he dismissed them and told them to take the extra lunch. Then he took me into his office and sat me down. As he circled to his desk he showed me my paper and asked if it was mine. I should have lied but I was feeling cornered. I said that it was and then he threw it toward me as he sat down and said, "You want to change anything?"

I wonder if this had anything to do with me being snagged out of class.

I sat there and read my paper. I got a little nervous and laughed a bit at what I wrote. I was much nicer than I remembered until I got to the second page. After I finished I looked up and tossed the paper back and said, "Nope. I said all I wanted too." My brain was screaming at me to shut up but I didn't have anything to lose. What was he going to do? Beat me up? He looked at the paper and looked at me for what seemed forever. "Why do you think this way?" he asked. And we hammered it out. I told him that I thought it was awful to make that girl cry and that he shouldn't try to intimidate people. This was not weight lifting class, this was not wrestling, this was Economics. I was with him for about an hour but I think I must have earned his respect. He was totally nice to me after and even told me that he was proud that I stood up to him. And my final grade out of that class was a B+. Better than I thought I would get.

He didn't want to keep the paper so he gave it back to me. And after how many years, I still have it. I wonder what my old Coach is up to now?

Nov 15, 2009

Sunday Confessional: The Musical Matt

Day 15

I love musicals. I absolutely love them. It combines my love of acting with my love of singing. I don't care if they are cheesy (and some of them are) I just find the whole genre captivating.

I discovered musicals while I was serving my LDS mission in New York. My first one that I started to listen to was Phantom of the Opera and I was lucky enough to see this musical while I was living in New York. I was swept away by the music and the lyrics, it was just magical. There is just something about seeing a musical live. I then purchased the Complete Les Miserables and loved it and I was lucky enough to see that musical in New York as well. And that is where I got addicted.

I quickly picked up various other musicals and CD compilations. I love to sing and would sing along all the time. I still like to do this even though I do not listen to them as much anymore. I have seen quite a few musicals.

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: Like I said, I saw this in New York. I was amazed at what was able to be done on stage. The music was absolutely beautiful and the set and costumes were amazing. So glad that I was able to see this live in New York. One day I would like to see this again. The great Tracy Shayne was Christine when I saw this.

LES MISERABLES: I saw this also in New York and was blown away. A very touching musical that really made me appreciate musical theatre. I saw this a second time in Salt Lake when I took Kristy while we were dating. I would see this again for sure. I have the complete recordings on CD and I have the whole thing memorized. I went on a date with a girl named Brenae and saw Gary Morris (he was Valjean on the Cd’s I had) in concert. After the concert was over, we were heading back to the car and Mr. Morris was outside of the building having a smoke. I wasn't about to go and approach him but Brenae made me do it. We went up and spoke to him. He was a very kind man and she even got him to sign my little libretto of Les Mis. Very cool.

You know what makes me feel old? I saw Lea Michele play the young Cosette. For those that don't know (and shame on you if you don't!) she is Rachel on the fun TV show Glee! Cosette's mother Fantine was played by Paige O'Hara who is most know for being the voice of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Both were in the New York performance.

RENT: I saw this in New York when I went back with Joel. Great musical, what I liked was that the band was on the stage the whole time as part of the background and set. I have not seen the movie but I want to check it out. Rent was still a new musical when I went and saw it so much of the original cast was still performing it. I am a fan of Adam Pascal who would eventually become Freddie in the recent Chess in Concert.

MUSIC OF THE NIGHT: This was a compilation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Greatest Hits. This was fantastic. It was in Ogden and I went with Kristy and my mom and Shirley Whitman. This was the first time that Kristy had met either of them. We ate at Maddox’s and all I remember is laughing and laughing. Very fun company indeed.

SWEENEY TODD: Jennifer saw this dark macabre musical and I borrowed the CD and LOVED it. Angela Lansbury (the old lady from Murder She Wrote) was on the CD. Basically it is about a man who seeks revenge‚ he kills them in his barber shop and she makes them into pies. Kristy, Jennifer and I went and saw a production of this in Ogden and saw it very recently here at Utah State. One of my favorite musicals. Poor Kristy, Jennifer and I sang the whole time down and back the first time we saw it and that will be a column all unto itself. The movie was great but unfortunately it didn't contain the ending ballad of Sweeney Todd, which is pretty creepy the way they all come back to sing in the end.

CHESS: My all-time favorite musical. I didn’t see this musical but I was extremely lucky that I was able to play in it. I played the main Merchandiser. I will cover this extensively in a separate column altogether.

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLORED DREAMCOAT/THE SECRET GARDEN/FIDDLER ON THE ROOF: I saw all of these productions with Kristy at the StageStop Theatre. This is when I learned that Chess was in production. All of them were fantastic and very enjoyable. I really like local theatre and I am sad that the StageStop Theatre is no more.

STARLIGHT EXPRESS: This musical was FUN! I saw this in Las Vegas when Joel, Justin and Jonathon did our whirlwind temple trip. The fun thing was that all of the singers were on roller-skates. And we were also told to vote for "Greaseball" and cheer for me. I would have anyway, he was the best character in the whole show. One song we were watching and I had this feeling like I was being watched. I turned around and one of the cars with Electra was dancing and looking right at me. What a fun production, I would see this again in a flash.

MAMMA MIA: This was the last musical that I have seen. Kristy and I, mom, Jennifer and Justin went to Salt Lake to see this musical. If you are a fan of ABBA, I would definitely go see this musical. It was funny, had great music and was very enjoyable. After the show, the actors came back on stage in loud 70's costumes and sung more songs and invited the audience to sing along. Not sure if Justin liked it but the rest of us loved it!

There are a ton of other musicals that I have not seen in person that I listen to all the time. From Evita to Little Shop of Horrors to Grease to We Will Rock You; the list just goes on and on and on.

Now most of these shows have had movies made of them too. Most of them are pretty good but I highly recommend you see these shows as they were intended, on stage.

Nov 14, 2009

An Evening with Tom Petty

Day 14

One of my favorite music artists is Tom Petty. Sure, he doesn't have the greatest voice in the world but his music is just awesome.

The first song I heard of his was his duet with Stevie Nicks and I kinda dug that song. I next saw his freaky video for "Don’t Come Around Here No More", (which was a play on Alice in Wonderland and the memorable ending with them all eating cake which was Alice). I liked the song but never totally got into Petty until I heard the song " I Won’t Back Down". I bought that album (Full Moon Fever) and picked up his next album and also his collaborations with the Traveling Wilburys.

Since then I have picked up every single album that he has come out with faithfully. I was quite excited to hear that he was coming on tour and he made a stop in Salt Lake City to support his "The Last DJ" album.

The only problem was that Kristy was 8 months pregnant with Logan. We went to the doctors and asked if that would be a problem if he went to a loud concert and the doctor assured us that he wouldn’t be hurt. It would be like us sticking our head in a bathtub full of water. So we went! The opening act was Jackson Browne and we missed it completely because of the stupid parking. We drove all over trying to find where we parked and we finally found a place. It charged us 5 stinking bucks to park and it was a couple of blocks to the E Center. We trucked along and I got in line to purchase a shirt and we made it to our seats as they were closing. We had fantastic seats. Any seat would be cool because really, no matter where you are, you can hear and feel the music.

The best part of concerts, other than the acts themselves, is people watching. There were a few kids younger than us but most were a little older. Most of them looked like hippies. Then the concert started and it was a fantastic concert. Tom was very personal, thanking us after each song he sang. He also made a point that no one (company) was sponsoring him and then he went into "Joe". We also saw a lot of fans getting kicked out for lighting up a little Mary Jane. Speaking of that, by far, the best song was "Last Dance With Mary Jane". Logan certainly kicked around a bit when the concert first started but then calmed down towards the end.

Here is the setlist:
The Last DJ
Love Is A Long Road
Have Love Will Travel
Free Fallin'
When A Kid Goes Bad
Shadow Of A Doubt
I Won't Back Down
You Don't Know How It Feels
Feel A Whole Lot Better
Can't Stop The Sun
A Woman In Love
The Waiting
King’s Highway
Yer So Bad
Lost Children
Running Down A Dream
You Wreck Me
Oh Carol

It's too bad that Tom has not been back to Salt Lake since.

Nov 13, 2009

List-Mania: 15 Movies

Day 13

I'll admit that the constant blogging and 50,000 novel writing is taking a bit of a toll on me. Instead of typing, I am just staring at the computer screen while singing Pendulum songs. Now I did store up some future columns but stupidly I didn't write any new List-Mania columns. So I was looking around and found something I wrote awhile ago. It was one of those Facebook Note thingys. You were supposed to take about twenty minutes and list 15 movies that stuck with you. I wrote them down but never published them, until now. I could have listed the best Friday the 13th movies to celebrate today but I just couldn't get into it.

Now before you judge me and poke fun or laugh, remember, these movies are NOT necessarily my favorite movies (although there are a few), these are movies that stuck with me; ones that I cannot shake and easily forget. They are not in any order.

Science Fiction to me was all about Star Wars and the old Battlestar Galactica television until my dad and I rented this movie one night. I knew little of what it was about and I remember sitting impatiently for the aliens to finally come out. And then all hell broke loose when they did, I was at the edge of my seat. When the movie was over (and my heart was still beating like mad) my dad shoved his hand in his shirt and acted like an alien was popping out of his chest. And I about peed my pyjamas! I watch this movie quite a lot and is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Devil's Rejects:
I like Rob Zombie's music and my brother-in-law went and saw his first film. House of a 1,000 Corpses was not a terrible film but it offered no surprise to me. When the sequel rolled out, Eric and I went to see it too. Now this is definitely not one of my favorite movies but one that stuck with me for weeks after I saw it. It was brutal and hard to watch at times but it surprised me. I found myself starting to feel sympathy for the bad guys. By the ending of the film I liked them and felt bad for what these evil, EVIL people were suffering. At the beginning of the movie you hate these guys and you want the cop to get them. Then there is a shocking role reversal. the cop treats them like they had treated their victims. It left me with an empty feeling. The last 9 minutes are set to the song "Free Bird" and there is no dialogue. The ending totally stuck with me, I cannot hear that song and not think of the Devil's Rejects.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:
My dad loves Clint Eastwood and this was one of the first Western movies I saw. My dad had the soundtrack on LP and we listened to it over and over again. A lot of scenes from the movie I can still picture in my mind like I saw it the first time. The suspense at the scene of the graveyard was so awesome.

12 Angry Men:
I saw this in high school and I thought I was going to be bored to tears and I was so wrong. This movie made me become interested in the Judicial Branch and Political Science in general. I was so impressed by the acting and story, this movie proved that a story is all you really need to make a captivating movie.

Strange Brew:
Being Canadian and growing up with SCTV this was a "must-watch" film. When I think of funny movies, I think of this one first. Even though I have not seen it for a couple of years, I can still quote it.

Star Wars (Original Trilogy):
Where would my childhood be without this film? This was my first movie I saw at the theatre (I was 3) and boy did it change my whole childhood. I still love Star Wars as much as I did as a kid. The Empire Strikes Back is still my favorite. I used to play the Hoth scene over and over, it was easy during those cold Canadian winters. I could write a whole blog column just about Star Wars! I saw this movie a couple of times when it was re-released as a Special Edition too.

Silver Bullet:
Scary movies don't scare me much. But this movie scarred me and werewolves really freak me out. I saw this when I was a kid and it scared the hell out of me. I will never forget the scene when the werewolf tore open that pregnant lady right in the beginning. Believe it or not, I have seen it since and it still freaks me out even though it is pretty tame by today's standards.

The baseball bat scene. Do I need to say more? The music, the sets, the acting, everything about this film to me was so perfect. And the scene when Sean Connery is shot, such an agonizing scene. I still love this film.

I love comic books and the X-Men are one of my favorites. When I heard they were making an X-Men movie I held my breath. I went in thinking it would be so crappy and I was blown away by how good it was. When Wolverine first popped his claws, I knew this was a winner. I took my friend Joel and he felt the same way. X2 is superior to this but this certainly raised the bar for comic movies.

The Professional:
My friend highly recommended this movie and I finally relented and saw it. And I was drawn in. I like movies where I don't see the ending coming. And I thought for sure I was going to see a happy ending but felt so helpless when it didn't come. And there was something to Leon, he almost seemed supernatural. And when the psycho cop catches Mathilda in the bathroom? So tense!

Army of Darkness:
I had no idea that this was related to the Evil Dead movies but after seeing the trailers I wanted to see it bad. I missed it in the theaters since no one I knew wanted to see this. So I rented it years later and wondered "What the crap am I watching?" to myself. Was this comedy? Horror? Action? It was Bruce Campbell. Oh how I wish I was Bruce Campbell. Now it is a cult classic in this household and one of my favorite movies.

Edward Scissorhands:
Confession time! One of my celebrity crushes is Winona Ryder. But she is just one of the reasons why I love this film. I feel like I have been transported to another realm when watching this film. So surreal, unique and beautiful and yet so hauntingly sad.

The Matrix:
This totally takes me back to my college days. My friends saw it so many times and tried to get me to go but I wouldn't. I thought it was just another action type flick but I finally relented and saw it. One of the few movies that were filled with "oh crap!" moments. Totally took me by surprise.

Blade Runner:
I saw scenes from this movie when I younger that stuck with me, especially the scene where Deckard kills the lady replicant in the streets. It was many, many years later I finally saw the whole thing. A lot of scenes stick out, all involving Roy. When he crushes Tyrell's head while sticking his thumbs into his eyes was a defining moment. But the end of Roy was especially hard hitting. His gentle speech was truly touching and stuck with me.

The Birds:
This movie introduced me to the world of Alfred Hitchcock. Only he could make something so mundane like seagulls so terrifying. It was spooky enough that birds would attack you but when you see Annie dead on the porch with her eyes plucked out. And I love the ending so much, it doesn't try to explain things, it doesn't tell you what happened, it just ends with them escaping. Or did they?

Honorable Mention
Night of the Living Dead:
I love zombies even though they freak me out. I remember watching this movie on TV with my dad on Halloween. We were both drawn in. What made this movie great was not the zombies themselves (even though the little girl in the cellar was chilling) but it was how the survivors dealt with each other. I don't want to ruin the ending because I highly recommend watching this movie, even if you are not a horror buff, you need to see this movie! But the ending I didn't see coming and it was shocking!