Andrew Earles

Intermission: My Amusing Ordeal, August 2004

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on October 27, 2005

Screw this movie junk. I’m too tired and busy with other writing. You get a rerun

August 12, 2004
Countdown To The Colonoscopy: Day Seven
I’ve done some sitting down over the past decade. IT work and writing. Sitting down. Seven years ago, I noticed a side effect of this lifestyle: A hemorrhoid. Ever since, I’ve had either this original little friend, or its successor(s). They’re nothing to be ashamed of. Many of you have them. Many of you hide them. Some you can see. Mine, thankfully, have never been visable. Oh, but they make their presence known in other ways: pain, otherworldly itching, and the infrequent tendency to bleed a little. There are unnerving things, like people appearing out of nowhere and frantically waving down traffic. Unnerving. Passing a little blood during your special board meeting. Unnerving. It happened once, four years ago, and the escapist in me thanked it for not returning. Then, a year or so back, it happened again. “It’s just a hemorrhoid,” those trusted few would say. Makes sense. Without getting any more graphic, the occurrences do seem to be born of a more topical as opposed to internal, source. But I’m no doctor, and when it happened two weeks ago, I went to see one.

My new doctor is an older, jubilant, optimistic, Jewish lady. She talks faster than any woman I’ve ever met. After diagnosing a mild hernia on my front side, this older, jubilant, optimistic, Jewish lady commenced with the “bedside exam” – a sugarcoated way of saying that she had her entire hand in my ass. “Oh my god” is exactly what I said. Then I flashed through a series of great proctologic movie scenes, resting on the great M. Emmet Walsh (my favorite character actor) examining Chevy Chase in Fletch, though I can vouch for not getting the urge to do something stupid like sing “Moon River.” The exam registered a very faint trace of you-know-what, to which the Doc echoed the trusting few: “I feel pretty certain it’s a hemorrhoid, but I can’t be 100 percent sure with this exam. You need to get the gold standard of tests.”

The “gold standard of tests” is a colonoscopy, “the visual examination of the large intestine using a lighted, flexible fiberoptic or video endoscope.” So goes the helpful literature that was promptly sent to my mailbox. A very common test, I’m told. It’s scheduled for the 19th of this month. I moved it back from an original date of the 16th, the day after my birthday. Not that I have big plans, but those plans will not include consuming a bottle of Miralax, two tabs of Duicolax, a bottle of Gatorade, and then settling in for 12 straight hours of Democratic Republic of the Congo – style “preparation.”

The week prior (starts today) requires the following preparation: No Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Iron, Vioxx, Celebrex, or Aspirin products. They conclude with this childishly funny instruction: “No corn should be eaten.”

As usual, nothing alarming has occurred over the past 2 – 3 weeks. I’m probably in fine health, aside from my sizable neurosis. I’ve been regular and normal in appearance. This tempts me to cancel the whole ordeal – a foolish thought. This is ultimately a good idea. Things need to get checked out. I’m about to turn 31.

Every day leading up to the exam, I will write an entry about the procedure. I’ll discuss the drugs, the “induced amnesia”, my anticipation, my worries, and I’ll fish for things to say about the procedure. Then, I’ll end with an account of that day…the best I can manage, of course. No, this is not an attempt to woo the editors of Vice Magazine.

August 13, 2004
Countdown To The Colonoscopy: Day Six
“You’ll be given a cocktail drug that induces twilight sleep and amnesia.” This is the doctor talking. What’s troublesome is the mention of amnesia. It implies that I’ll be around for something I won’t remember later. I don’t want to be around at all. Ever. Everyone else I’ve consulted claims that it’s simply liquid Demerol. I tried to call the nurse today, but she was typically unavailable. A piece of advise to anyone expecting a future visit to the doctor, dentist, or a procedure of some type: It’s best to completely freak out in the presence of a doctor or nurse. Complain about fears, phobias, and pains. I mean, really, really complain. Roll around on the floor. Try to cry. This behavior can only result in positive things: Good treatment and better drugs.

August 14, 2004
Countdown To The Colonoscopy: Day Five
The nurse rang me back on my cell phone. I was driving, and caught off guard. Frantically, I told her how scared I was of the procedure. Then, I pulled into a parking lot, and for two whole minutes, loudly mock-vomited to prove to her my overwhelming fear.

“Sorry, I’m just really not looking forward to this.”

Countdown To The Colonoscopy: Day Three
Hey, while we’re at it, let’s just shoot that son of a bitch on through the small intestine, then maybe out through my right little finger.

Oh, so I didn’t post yesterday. It was my birthday, and for my birthday, I consumed banana pancakes with crunchy peanut butter syrup for breakfast, and a Belgium Waffle-sized steak for dinner. Hey, no corn! I know a couple of prescription laxatives that have their work cut out for them. Good luck, guys!

August 17, 2004
Countdown To The Colonoscopy: Day Two
Ok, I had a BBQ sandwich. Quality: Serviceable. I was pining for good Southern cooking, somewhere that would put the “ass” back in “casserole”, but was short on time. That’s entirely untrue; really, I was just looking for an excuse to make that casserole joke – one that’s had me giggling for the past hour. Just ate my last meal for almost two days. I’d prefer to keep it a secret.

Countdown To The Colonoscopy: Day Two
See, it gets a little boring when I post daily.

Countdown To The Colonoscopy: Day Two
Today I eat, then on to 48 hours of clear liquids or nothing at all. I could stand to lose five pounds. After no food and a liquid Demerol hangover, Thursday afternoon should see me looking like a filthy junkie. I’m leaving for lunch RIGHT NOW…stay tuned!

August 18, 2004
Countdown To The Colonoscopy: Day One
Any former whiff of this being a “good idea” has long been squelched. An exchange from earlier today:

“The soup wasn’t good?”

“No, it’s just that I can only eat the broth, which was great.”

“We could have served you just the broth.”

“That’s ok, you don’t know how relaxing it is to sit here staring at a huge bowl of shrimp, crab, scallops, noodles, and green onions that I can’t eat.”

An hour ago, I couldn’t have told you the last time I vomited. I made it count with this one…through the nose and loud. Most of it was “the formula” (64 ounces of Gatorade Ice and 255 GM of Miralax), making me worry that not enough of “the formula” traveled in the right direction. I’m in no way to post right now. Stay tuned for ground zero reports.

August 20, 2004
Ground Zero
The good news and the good news: I’m clean. No problems; barring the roids. The miniature coma was a bit irritating. I didn’t gather my bearings until this morning. I don’t remember the lunch with mom that followed the procedure, though I remember having salmon, cottage cheese, and applesauce.

Mom: “I’m not ready yet, I haven’t finished my salad and I want to smoke a cigarette.”

Me: “I’ve gotta get home to bed…now.”

When you are administered a Demerol/sedative cocktail, you do not get to enjoy the Demerol. You do, however, get the painkiller hangover. I got fucked on that deal.

Prior to the colonoscopy, I was asking every prep nurse/tech in sight if I was “going to be away” during the bizness. They all said “yes”, and one went so far as to ask if I smoked weed. Huh?

Horror Movie Countdown 10/26/05

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on October 26, 2005

Communion (1989) – Funny stuff, people. This is probably the quintessential Christopher Walken moment. Be it your co-workers or SNL writers, everyone has gotten a lot of mileage out of impersonating Walken. Watch this movie and understand why.

The Exterminator (1980) – Vietnam vet vigilante er…..horror. Police chief cooks hotdogs on his desk.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) – Solid classic. Always enjoyable.

The Howling (1980) – Ditto the above.

Bloodeaters AKA Toxic Zombies (1980) – One of the many quickies with a sub-porn budget, a set location of rural Florida (it’s supposed to be Kentucky in the film), and the partial plot of hippie slaughter (in 1980?!?!). Not so much a so-bad-it’s-good experience as it is a so-bad-I-need-to-go-look-in-the-mirror-for-five-minutes experience. Like LSD, this movie shouldn’t be consumed by those over the age of 24.

I’m already getting sick of trying to help you people.

Horror Movie Countdown 10/25/05

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on October 25, 2005

To count down the few days left before Mischief Night and it’s follow-up, Halloween, I will be posting a day-to-day guide to my favorite horror films. All are highly recommended. Most will date from the 70’s/80’s, as I’m less familiar with 90’s/00’s horror….or maybe I’ll turn that around, I just thought of some great recent horror, let’s just see how this goes, because it’s my world to control.

Sleepaway Camp (1983) – No spoilers. An absolute necessity. I once watched this with an earth-shattering hangover, and felt as if something was trying to yank my brain two feet to the right. Watch for the scene involving 1 – 2 year old toddlers being told to “FUCK OFF!!!!”

Jack Frost (1997) – Not the Michael Keaton pants-accident about the benevolent snowman embodied by a dead-daddy ghost, but the rollicking pants-accident about exactly what you think. You may be saying, “I’m a little too old to be wasting my time with a killer snowman movie,” and well, I’m a little too old to be writing about a killer snowman movie, but I’m also a little too old to be eating meals that are all one color. Followed by Jack Frost II: Return of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000), and surprisingly, both films were written/directed by the fellow that went on to write Identity.

Grizzly (1976) – Don’t rent this. I just felt like mentioning it, and if any readers have seen this movie, please get in touch. Again, scared the living shit out of me as a child…on TV as an afternoon horror/thriller (Channel 24 or 30…for Memphis people). Victims are squeezed to death and vomit blood, and one has an arm ripped off. Quite violent for TV/PG rating.

A Shivers/Rabid/The Brood triple feature of early (1975 – 1979) Cronenburg is a sure guest-pleaser.

John Carpenter’s ’82 remake of The Thing is an all-time fave. Whadda cast. Step off my Brimley!!!!

The original Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) – Also Carpenter, but pre-Halloween and not really horror. Shot before there were bans on depicting child death. I’ll leave you with that.

Currently listening:
My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama
By Dweezil Zappa
Release date: By 25 October, 1990

Horror Movie Countdown 10/24/05

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew Earles on October 24, 2005

To count down the few days left before Mischief Night and it’s follow-up, Halloween, I will be posting a day-to-day guide to my favorite horror films. All are highly recommended. Most will date from the 70’s/80’s, as I’m less familiar with 90’s/00’s horror….or maybe I’ll turn that around, I just thought of some great recent horror, let’s just see how this goes, because it’s my world to control.

Alone in the Dark (1982) – Slasher formula gets skewed all to hell in this one. Donald Pleasance, Jack Palance, and Martin Landau do what they do best: Chew up that fucking scenery with some absurd overacting!! Inventive kill scenes (a hospital orderly is broken in half across another man’s knee) and a strange humanization of the villains shows some desire to go leftfield with what is otherwise a genre exercise. It’s as if the screenwriter had a minor stroke prior to the last three rewrites. Best scene: Jack Palance wondering into a punk rock club and becoming oddly captivated by the band, The Sic Fucks (who were real, I believe), doing “Chop Up Your Mother.’

PIN: A Plastic Nightmare (1988) – Legitimate attempt at ripping off Psycho or Flowers In The Attic, a lot of folks see this movie as a serious and engaging affair. I don’t. Terry O’Quinn (Stepfather and Stepfather II: Make Room for Daddy, or as I like to call it, S2MRD) will always be a poor man’s Craig T. Nelson, but I must hand it to him for this one, a career definer/destroyer that required some grapes. Put simply, this is a “psychological thriller” about an anatomically correct medical dummy that a schizophrenic boy believes to be alive, due in part to his father using it as a therapeutic tool. There are plenty of “maybe it IS alive” scenes, and the sequences of Nelson (and the boy/teen lead) using ventriloquism through the dummy are blue-blooded, roll-in-the-floor gut-busters.

Rituals (1977) – A Deliverance rip that scared the living shit out of me as a kid, and this was the edited version on the Saturday night “Creature Feature” (Memphis’ horror showcase on regular TV in the 80’s…also where I watched Dogs, Frogs, and Ants). Still sort of creepy and worth checking out for the sheer alienation of the landscape shots and a few mildly disturbing moments. Has Hal Holbrook, so, walk fast, don’t walk. Maybe you shouldn’t rent this one. I don’t want complaints.

When A Stranger Calls (1979) – A classic. Could be in my top five horror films, or could be number one; I fluctuate. This is the original “the call is coming from inside the house” movie. Slow burning, with virtually no onscreen violence, but nonetheless manages to be super eerie. With Charles Durning as the obsessed cop/detective. He’s so fat in this film that he literally rips a set of swinging doors from their hinges during a foot chase scene. And why does Durning’s character chose “throwing nails” as his only weapon? Do “throwing nails” exist?

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