Tag Archives: header graveyard

Sprung

I think it’s safe to say that it’s time to retire my header. Last chance to see:

Just for the record, it’s a cropped still from “Tourist Trap”, that grand 80’s slasher flick about telekinetic redneck Mr. Slausen’s doomed romance with “last girl” Molly–or as one of Slausen’s mannequin henchmen calls her, Molllleeeeeee!!!

Slausen (right) is pictured here trying to convince Molly (left) to remain in his attic as his prisoner, and whenever my sister Diane and I see this movie, we kinda wish she’d say yes.  Chuck Connors’ longing is so palpable, his ability to control showroom dummies with telekinesis so dashing.  All this and overalls!  What’s with the cognitive dissonance, Molly?

* * *

This header went up when I felt ready to commit to a summer spent in the trailer with my very own Mr. Slausen, who you know as Bob.  And what a summer it was, just the one we expected to have when we first came up here, full of unexpected fun and relaxation.  I still fondly recall the arrival of the heavy metal cow deity to Morris Lake, the cheap-wine-tasting night at our neighbor’s double-wide, etc.  I was as happy as I’d always imagine Molly might have been, had she stuck to the script.

Then winter set in, and Bob got busy with work.  Soon lightbulbs started to fizzle, pipes started to freeze, and my psychic redneck princess fantasy began to crumble and crack.  If the apartment hadn’t come through when it did, it’s quite possible that things in the Prowler would have resolved the way Molly’s and Mr. Slausen’s romance did–with a hatchet.

So this header is being retired, in the hopes that our new life in the apartment will be one with a little more fairness for both of us.  No more heavy lifting for Bob, no more heavy leaning for me, and a creepy new town to explore besides.

This is how we always pictured it, now it’s time to see the picture through–and the new header is just the picture for that.

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Summer Is Icumen In…

The below header (recognized with my congrats by Harrybadface) is of course from everybody’s favorite springtime flick:

The new banner is pretty tricky unless you’re fairly obsessed with the film in question, or else really good with foreheads.  I’ll give you a hint–it’s one of The Trailer 100…

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A Golden Land of Opportunity and Adventure

This was a busy header, but it made me laugh:

When I was a kid, I turned to “Blade Runner” for instructions on how to love The City.  It made everything that was ugly about my hometown seem cool–watch it enough, and you could kiss every streaky concrete auto ramp, every burntout neon sign, every pushy-shovy pedestrian.

A spot like Lonesome Valley wouldn’t seem to have any place in the landscape of “Blade Runner”.  Yet it does, and not just in those Kubrick-pilfered shots of trees that roll under the ending credits: It’s there too in those cheesy ads for the Off-World colonies that periodically float through futuristic San Francisco.  Luring people who are sick of cars and crowds with the promise of a cleaner, simpler way of living.

To their deaths, we must presume, at the oh-so-knuckly hands of face-huggers…

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Shine On, You Crazy Header

The significance of the header I’ve just retired should be obvious to anyone who’s read this blog long enough, and/or has any love for King-a-la-Kubrick:

Suffice to say that writing a book in the oversnown wilderness while trying your best to avoid partnercide is not just for fictional protags anymore.

Though these days, with Bob trying to quit smoking by way of Chantix, he’s the more Torrancely resident of the trailer by far…

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The Post-Je Era?

As you may have noticed, I’ve retired the banner that featured The Je…

…and replaced it with a seasonal image.

For anyone who read foreshadowing into the elimination of my ride’s graven mug, you get ten points: The Je’s been making more scary noises than usual lately.  Even Bob, who has shown approximately fifty-seven times more tolerance for its antics in the past, has gone on-record as being nervous–he talked yesterday about scrapping it.

I got defensive when he brought that up.  I didn’t want to give up The Je, not just because of the freedom it represented, but because it was The Je–one of the only things about me that matches my new neighborhood.  Well that, and all this plaid I wear…

But this morning, the thought of retiring The Je began to relax me a great deal.  I’d save on gas,  see more of my local friends, and be able to outsource my constant transportational panic to the Lonesome Valley bus.

That’s right: Believe it or not, there is some modicum of public tranportation up here, and I’ve already signed-up for a round-trip dose.  Starting Monday, said bus will come right past my trailer, pick me up outside Red’s General Store, and drive me to The Practice…

…where it’s affectionately known among the staff as “The Loser Cruiser”.

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Pixelated Transcendentalism

I’m trying to do a lot of “site business” today, posting drafts that have been languishing on my dashboard, and even switching the banner on the site to a grungier jpg that should require no introduction.

But this makes me realize that I’ve been lax in explaining the significance of the original banner.  For the uninitiated, it was this:

Here’s the story: I’ve lived in The City all my life, and it wasn’t until I went to college that I actually “got out” for an extended period of time.  Straight after that, I moved back home, and I’ve pretty much stayed there until this summer, barring the odd wedding.

So when Bob and I first started coming up to Lonesome Valley for vacations, I didn’t have much to compare this place to.  The local towns and villages were faintly Lovecraftian, sure, but the land out here looked like nothing I’d ever seen.

And yet there was something that drew me to it, something familiar that reminded me of being much younger–an elusive happy memory that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  It was only a few months before we actually made the move out that I realized what it was: The horizons out here were Activision horizons.

For those of you who don’t know the score, Activision is a video game company that started designing back in the day, for the Atari 2600.  This was a system whose graphics were decidedly pixely, and in order to convey basic visual concepts like “man” and “spaceship” and “giant spider”, they depended on blending cubism and impressionism–specifically, by making impressionist images out of cubes.  Everything looked like it had been stacked together from Lego blocks.

For most companies designing for the 2600, this limited palette was a liability, and their games tended to look like crude stick-figure versions of what you’d see in the arcades.  But Activision, whose designers had a penchant for taking their games a step further, took a step further with their graphics, too.  Rather than making their human characters look like gingerbread men, they kept them in recognizable proportion, and put little nooks in the chins to give them the faintest hint of detail–your eye filled in the rest.  Their spiders and beasties were reminiscent of hieroglyphs.  And when it came to the top of the screen, they used those little bars and blocks of color that were holding back the other designers, and fashioned them into worlds.

With no vanishing point to speak of in the crush of The City, Activision video games were where I saw my first truly beautiful horizons.  The shifting sky over the car race in Larry Miller’s “Enduro”.  The cotton-candy clouds over the titular squid-besieged mammal in Matthew Hubbard’s “Dolphin”.  The mountain range behind the endless mechanized war of Alan Miller’s “Robot Tank”.

The banner posted above is my favorite of all the horizons, and it belonged to Steve Cartwright’s “Barnstorming”.  It was used on this site as an appreciation of the fact that, with a pocketful of pixels, the Activision designers not only pushed the genre they were working in to the limit, but gave this particular nerd some faint idea of what it was like to admire natural beauty, back in a time when it was in short supply.  The way modern tots having “Baby Einstein” CDs foisted upon them in the nursery will (theoretically) develop a warm and fuzzy association with classical music, so I’ve developed one for mountains and skies, thanks directly to these designers.

But of course, this isn’t to say that I moved to the middle of nowhere just because the place reminds me of Atari games.  Let’s not get carried away here: Lonesome Valley also reminds me of Playstation’s “Silent Hill”.

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