Last night I watched one of the most disturbing movies I’ve ever seen. The movie was The Human Centipede, a 2009 horror film about a mad doctor who stitches people together to form a human centipede.
The doctor, brilliantly played by Dieter Laser, is a retired surgeon who is experienced at performing operations to separate conjoined twins. He kidnaps strangers and brings them back to his lab in the basement of his home. He then uses his medical expertise to fuse them together into a human chain.
During the first 15 minutes of the movie, I was not impressed. The story opened with two girls who were stranded with a flat tire on an empty stretch of road winding through the woods. That opening chain of events was rather weak, and the acting from both actresses was not very convincing. My eyes rolled, but I pressed on. I’m glad that I saw the movie through because what came later was the true gravy of the film.
(I hope that what I am about to tell you isn’t a spoiler because it is essentially the entire premise of the movie. If you know what this movie is about, then it’s pretty much common knowledge. But if you haven’t seen it and are worried about spoilers, perhaps you should stop reading and watch the movie first.)
The crazed doctor stitches the three kidnapped victims together by surgically attaching them to each other, mouth-to-anus, forming a human digestive chain. After the operation is complete, he forces the man in front of the human chain to eat food on his knees from a dog bowl. There was evidence that the food contained a laxative.
And the kicker! Soon after the feeding, the front man in the centipede grunts that he has to use the bathroom. The girl behind him, whose mouth is surgically infused to his anus, begins to squirm and flail her arms around. At this point, the mad doctor clasps his hands in delight, jumping and chanting, “Feed her! Feed her!” It was one of the craziest movie scenes I’d ever seen. I howled, in equal laughter and anguish.
I can’t decide of this movie is horrible or brilliant. During the initial lackluster portion, I was rather critical of the writing and execution. However, as the movie progressed to the point of absurdity and beyond, I began to think that the overarching idea was rather brilliant. The premise is so far gone, so over the top, that I can’t help but find myself in awe of the twisted minds that brought this idea to the screen.
If you’ve watched this movie, it’s worth checking out its IMDB page. It’s filled with interesting facts about the filming, awards, and goofs. For instance, I learned that many actresses who auditioned for a role as a female victim walked out in disgust when they discovered what the plot actually entailed. I don’t blame them.
The Human Centipede won a 2009 Audience Award for best feature film at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, as well as a 2011 Chainsaw Award for best limited-release/direct-to-video film.
Two years after its release, a sequel was filmed in 2011. I haven’t seen the sequel yet, but I plan to watch it soon. A third installment is slated for release next year in 2014. I can’t even imagine how far over the top the sequels could possibly go beyond the original, but I feel oddly compelled to find out.
A popular local radio station recently changed their music format to country. The station had long been among my presets on my car stereo. In the past week, country tunes began working their way in to the mix as my radio scanned through the station presets. It was startling, and horrible.
I listened to some country music when I was growing up. I am still fond of the songs that I remember hearing when I was a kid. I don’t think I can only attribute that to pure nostalgia. Country music was actually pretty good back then. Artists like Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, George Strait, and Randy Travis all recorded some great music. I think that their songs appealed to a broader audience than country music does today. People who didn’t care for the genre could still find something in it to like.
Today, things have changed drastically. Country music has eroded to the point of being nothing but a caricature of itself. The songs I’ve heard on the new radio station are absolutely atrocious. Each song is more ridiculous than the one before it. All of the songs sound like music parodies. The amount of twang in this music has reached a level of absurdity. The genre is wearing dangerously thin. The tired rehashed themes that have been in practically every country song since the beginning of time are now completely played out.
I truly cannot imagine how anyone can listen to this music even for a moment and take it seriously. It’s become a joke. The people who consume this garbage and support this laughingstock of a genre need to take a giant step backward and hear this music for what it really is… Pure shit.
Recently, I was groaning about the fact that area malls already have Christmas decorations up when Halloween hadn’t even come yet. I bring this up every year, so this is nothing new.
The discussion spawned a brilliant idea. My brother gets full credit for this, as was completely his idea. He proposed that someone should open a store that sells seasonal goods year-round.
The store could be named “Four Seasons.” Imagine the inventory! Valentines hearts, Cadbury Eggs, peeps, fireworks, pilgrim hats, Christmas decorations, pumpkin-flavored foods, Halloween decorations, you name it. He said, “I should be able to buy eggnog in July.” Right on.
I think this could work. After all, some towns already have those terrible year-round Christmas stores that somehow are able to stay in business. I despise them. I could, however, see myself stopping in at a Four Seasons store from time to time. Wouldn’t it be great? Discuss.
There is a sad little restaurant on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, NC called India Mahal. I have driven past this lonely place for countless years. It looks like a hole in the wall.
It’s amazes me that they have been in business for so many years. I hardly ever see any cars in the parking lot. I’ve always wondered if anyone actually eats there. I don’t really know how long they’ve been in business. I wasn’t able to find that information in my limited research. I can attest that it has been open for at least a decade, at minimum.
I decided to put my curiosity into action and dine at India Mahal myself. I had a hard time finding someone who was willing to go with me. No one in their right mind would intentionally eat there, I was told by a few friends.
After talking it up for weeks, I finally had the chance to go over this past weekend. I went for lunch around 12:30. To my surprise, they offered a lunch buffet. I was even more surprised to find other customers inside. There were two couples eating lunch when we arrived. Another young gentleman came and went while we were there.
Once I arrived, I realized that I had never really taken a close look at India Mahal, at least not on foot. I’d always driven by in a moving car and only had glimpses of how it actually looked. When I parked and stepped out of the car, I was a taken aback by the worn appearance of the structure. It looked worrisomely small and aged. I couldn’t help in that moment but wonder what I’d gotten myself in to.
The interior isn’t as small as the outside would have you believe. Booths lined the outside wall and there were tables in the center of the room. Inside, it was fairly well decorated, to my surprise. It did seem very aged. The ceiling tiles had a few water stains on them and the vinyl seat covers in my booth had a few tears, exposing some of the inner foam. That said, I had honestly expected worse. The sanitation grade is a solid 95. I was pleased to see that.
I only saw one lady working in the restaurant. She was nice. She tended to everyone’s drinks and stirred the food on the buffet cart. She didn’t say very much and was rather quiet. In fact, the whole restaurant was very quiet. Too quiet. Some weird, repetitive music eventually began playing from overhead speakers, but even that didn’t add much life to the lifelessness inside the dining room.
I can’t specifically recount the names of the things that I ate. I don’t know what the dishes were individually called, as I ate from the buffet. There were worn handwritten place cards on the buffet line, but I didn’t pay enough attention to them. I got a variety of foods on two plates. Several were chicken and rice dishes.
So how was the food? I’ll be honest. It wasn’t very good. It was all rather bland. All of the dishes had very little taste, which is not what you would expect from an Indian restaurant. I’ve eaten at Indian buffets before, and it seems as though food prepared for the buffet has less spices in comparison to when you order directly from the menu. A light use of spices is to be expected on a buffet. The problem is, the food at India Mahal was super bland. The quality of the food wasn’t really an issue, just the lack of flavor. It wasn’t very satisfying. Also, parts of the rice were dry from sitting out on the buffet.
Overall, it was an interesting experience. I don’t quite know how to summarize it all. I read the reviews on Yelp and found it to have 2 stars out of 5. I would agree with that assessment. My experience fell short of liking it, which would grant it 2 stars from me as well. I’m glad that I finally went and tried it firsthand. Having said that, I don’t foresee going back to eat there again. The price was very good for a lunch buffet, but there are much better alternatives for a few dollars more.
Has anyone had problems with Siri lately? I’ve used it occasionally for the past year, but lately it has been very hit and miss. Mostly miss. I don’t know if it is iOS 7 related, network congestion, or what. Siri has become completely unreliable, whether I am accessing it on LTE data or my home WiFi.
For the past month or so, when I voice dictate text, it takes an unacceptable amount of time to complete. It regularly takes 20 seconds or more, much longer than it would take to type out the text by hand. And when I ask Siri a direct question, at least half the time she says she can’t take any requests at the moment. And when it does work, it regularly takes up to 30 seconds to respond. Unacceptable.
When I need directions on the go, I’ll ask Siri to navigate to a location or to a contact in my address book. That has always worked well for me in the past, but lately it just spins its wheels, often not responding at all. A few nights ago, I had to pull over and type in where I was trying to go.
I can’t be alone in this problem. It’s getting on my nerves. This has not been an issue for me until about a month ago. Siri has become nearly unusable. It’s a possibility that the millions of new iPhones sold since the release of the 5S are clogging up the pipes. Apple needs to address this immediately or risk alienating their users.
Yesterday morning I rushed out the door and left my phone at home by mistake. I didn’t realize it until I was at work. Beyond the sheer inconvenience of not having it, I became a little worried because I was supposed to meet a friend after work, and the details were not finalized.
I have darted out the door without my phone a few times in the past, but I assumed I wouldn’t be completely disconnected. I can always access the Gmail and Google Voice websites from my work computer to email or text someone if I need to.
Not so fast! For security, I had recently enabled 2-factor authentication on my Google account. I hadn’t logged in to Google on my work computer in a while, so when I went to the Google Voice website to text my friend about my lack of a phone, I was hit with the 2nd-factor verification. Somewhere at home on my pillow, my lonely phone lit up with the code I needed to authenticate the untrusted computer. Crap. My security conscious nature had locked myself out of my own account, which included my personal contacts.
No worry, I figured. I could just dial my friend from my work phone and tell them my dilemma. Nope! I have no idea what their number is…or hardly anyones number for that matter. How many phone numbers do you know from memory these days?
This experience got me thinking about how I could better prepare myself for the next time that this inevitably happens, or worse, if my phone were lost or stolen.
Perhaps it would be a wise idea to simply print out a short list of phone numbers of important contacts and stick it in my wallet. If I don’t have my phone and need to actually dial someone, this could be a lifesaver.
Alternatively, if you are confident that you will have access to a computer of some sort, I suppose you could store important contact info in the cloud using a service like Evernote. I also found out that it is possible to print out a list of 2nd-factor authentication codes for your Google account in the instance that you lose access to your second device (phone.)
Either of the above alternatives are potentially good backup plans, but for simplicity sake, I like the list of printed phone numbers as a simple old school solution.