Just next door to the Japanese-American Cemetery in Oxnard, California is the Masonic Cemetery. Both cemeteries were neglected for years. Litter and weeds dominated the grounds. But recently the Heuneme Masonic Cemetery Association led volunteers to restore the properties. These photos are from before the refurbishment. I'll have to take some new pictures and compare them. Next trip north, I suppose.
Masonic Cemetery Pleasant Valley Road and Etting Road Oxnard, CA
Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849, in The Bronx at Poe Cottage, now located at Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. A small wooden farmhouse built about 1812, the cottage once commanded unobstructed vistas over the rolling Bronx hills to the shores of Long Island. It was a bucolic setting in which the great writer penned many of his most enduring poetical works, including “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells” and “Eureka.”
Poe spent much of his life moving from place to place in restless search of literary recognition and financial security. In April 1844, he and his wife, Virginia, and mother-in-law, Maria Clemm, moved to New York, where Poe sought the opportunity for international acclaim. But Virginia was ill, and in early summer of 1846 Poe brought her to The Bronx, where he hoped the country air would rescue her failing health. However, in January of 1847, she died of tuberculosis. Poe himself died two years later, under mysterious circumstances, in Baltimore, MD.
Administered by The Bronx County Historical Society since 1975, the cottage is restored to its original appearance, with authentic period furnishings. A film presentation and guided tour help bring Poe Cottage to life. Visitors can see the bed in which Virginia died and the rocking chair Poe used. In the kitchen, the dishes on the table appear as if the great author had just stepped out for air.
The Cottage is going to be undergoing a major renovation and restoration during 2008-2009. Please check our website for possible closures and alternative programming sites.
Poe Park is getting a new addition! A state of the art visitor’s center,designed by world-renowned architect Toshiko Mori, will be constructed in park. Please check our website for updates and images of this auspcious project.
We've had pet store rats for years. They are terrific apartment pets. They are self-contained and behave much like cats. They clean themselves. They can be trained to sit on your shoulder for a period of time before you must put them back in their cage to shit. But they can be more friendly than cats. If you spend quality time with a rat, they will bond with you. They will cheer when you enter the room and live to play with you.
Manny enjoyed the back rubs we gave him, but didn't get the rat-human thing at all. He remained a "scaredy" rat. But we loved him just the same. His cagemate and probable brother MOE served as the aggressor. Moe took the food to his corner and Manny ate the scraps. We compensated by feeding Manny separately. After Moe died, we cared for Manny through his old age. He warmed up to us at the end and made it through our move from Santa Monica to Westwood. He died quietly. At this moment he resides in our freezer with Moe. We plan to bury them at the earliest convenience.
MANNY was a very shy rat, but despite his reserved temperment, Manny proved to be a nice rat with a big heart. We miss him.
On May 23, 1934, on-the-road, romantic fugitives Bonnie Parker, 23, and Clyde Barrow, 25, stopped their car on the roadside to help a friend and received a fatal barrage of lead from the lawmen hiding behind the foliage. It's possible Clyde never knew what hit him. One report is the first shot entered his head. But Bonnie knew at least for a moment that her life had ended. Witnesses have said they heard her screaming. Someone said it sounded like a wounded animal. Why not? The laws tracked them down like bear.
Poe Forward has included Bonnie Parker as one of the Historical Dead Girls from day one. Bonnie Parker is a tragic figure. She was smart in school and nice to people and to some degree she believed in romance. Her poetry shows this. I've been researching Bonnie and Clyde since childhood. In my opinion, Bonnie fell in love and got swept up in her devotion. There is no evidence that Bonnie Parker ever killed anyone herself. She was a tiny woman. My mother was a tiny woman and she had problems with the vacuum. The BAR weapon Bonnie was supposed to have used was simply too heavy for her to carry, much less fire without breaking her shoulder and knocking her down. While the police records reflect the evidence collection techniques of the period and the press always dramatized the worst, even the gang's members testified that Bonnie never fired a shot. "But she was a hell of a loader," one of them remarked. I bet she was. She was fighting for her man, for herself, and for romance.
(Our current essay on our website is filled with the best facts and details possible, but takes a darker look on the Barrow Gang. I hope this brief reflection compensates for that inequity.)
Two days before her 29th birthday, English actress and model Lucy Gordon was found hanging in her Paris apartment, a two bedroom flat in the "bohemian" 10th arrondissement. Her boyfriend found her. He had been sleeping while she hanged herself. She left two suicide notes. One was an improvised will regarding her estate. The other was a letter for her parents. Friends reported she had been "deeply affected by the recent suicide of a friend back in Britain."
Lucy was born in Oxford, attended Oxford High School, and became a model. She made her acting debut in PERFUME (2001), a film set in the fashion world. She appeared with the late Heath Ledger in THE FOUR FEATHERS (2001). In her most famous role, she played the reporter Jennifer Dugan in SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007). However, greatness may have been in her immediate future. She had just played the actress and singer Jane Birkin in a biopic of singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg before her death. The film SERGE GAINSBOURG, A HEROIC LIFE has been presented at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and will be released soon. This could have been her ticket to stardom, but now it is her swan song.
Unfortunately, today, May 22, would have been her 29th birthday. Happy Birthday Lucy and In pace requiescat!
“My whole existence has been the merest Romance,” Poe wrote, the year before his death, “in the sense of the most utter unworldliness.” This is Byronic bunk. Poe’s life was tragic, but he was about as unworldly as a bale of cotton. Poe’s world was Andrew Jackson’s America, a world of banking collapse, financial panic, and grinding depression that had a particularly devastating effect on the publishing industry, where Poe sought a perch. His biography really is a series of unfortunate events. But two of those events were transatlantic financial crises: the Panic of 1819 and the Panic of 1837, the pit and the pendulum of the antebellum economy. Poe died at the end of a decade known, in Europe, as “the Hungry Forties,” and he wasn’t the only American to fall face down in the gutter during a seven-year-long depression brought on by a credit collapse. He did not live out of time. He lived in hard times, dark times, up-and-down times. Indigence cast a shadow over everything he attempted. Poverty was his raven, tapping at the door, and it was Poe, not the bird, who uttered, helplessly, another rhyme for “Nevermore.” “I send you an original tale,” Poe once began a letter, and, at its end, added one line more: “P.S. I am poor.”
Jill Lepore has written a compelling essay on Poe's manipulation of the then contemporary media. Jill asks "Was the man an utter genius or a complete fraud?" She has good reason. However, if we compare Poe's journalistic efforts in 1840s media to today's free-for-all, we would find him an abject amateur at manipulation. Again, perhaps Poe is the true originator of media explotation. Perhaps he is the grandfather of our contemporary exploitive media? I don't mind Jill's criticism. But Poe was trying to make a buck in a time when real writers were hardly and barely paid. Like most writers, he worked for money and he wrote miracles at home.
But please read the essay. Jill's work illuminates so much of Poe not known to the average public. She reveals much of the true Poe. She even concludes by questioning herself, which I think is the best role of a critic.
My wife thinks double-jointed scream queen Jennifer Carpenter to be too skinny. But when I watch her face light up the tube, I can’t take my eyes off of her eyes. When the camera does this for me, I find her body to be ample enough for sexual recreation. I’m sure her husband does as well.
I first encountered Jennifer on the show DEXTER, playing the ambitious, horny, homicide cop and sister to the homicidal eponymous character. (in real life, she and the star of the show are married.) Her character is professional and competent. She wants the gold shield and all that. (Dupin’s Prefect would've been proud of her, after he got over a woman being a police officer in 1840’s Paris.) Her character’s compulsively nervous disposition always serves to slightly increase my own anxiety levels. Which is good when following a mystery story. But what adds to her complexity is that her emotionally unstable character seeks to replace her lost father figure with every penis she can capture. She even mounted Keith Carradine on her trophy wall of fatherhood fornication.
Then I watched QUARANTINE. This film’s closest comparisons to Poe would be the torture dungeon in THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM and the locked room homicide in MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE. Jennifer screams a lot. She whimpers at lot. She screams and whimpers a lot. At one point late in the movie it started to drive me mad. Which is good when following a horror story. She carries the film. Her athleticism serves her well for all the physical work she does (even with a stunt double). I hope her character survives for the sequel.
When I watched THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, I found her physical work to be even more demanding. I read that this is where her being double-jointed came in handy. It’s hard being a scream queen, especially when the devil is inside your character. Her character was girlish and not at all sexual. She makes up for this by portraying true horror. She also makes a hell of a demon. However, I couldn’t take my eyes off of Laura Linney. She carries this film.
(Poe Note: Concerning the “devil” genre, Poe wrote a satire titled “Never Bet the Devil Your Head.”)
Demon possessed rural teen, contaminated human prey, horny detective - these three roles solidify Jennifer Carpenter’s status as a Poe Forward Scream Queen. Now, she’s free to do Shakespeare. Perhaps, Lady MacBeth?
"I must have read a while, the latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style."
-- ABBA, 1982
The Book as World: James Joyce's Ulysses (1976) The Women's Room (1977) The Bleeding Heart (1980) Shakespeare's Division of Experience (1981) Beyond Power: On Women, Men, and Morals (1985) Her Mother's Daughter (1987) The War Against Women (1992) Our Father (1993) My Summer with George (1996) A Season in Hell: A Memoir (1998) Introduction: Almost Touching the Skies (2000) Women's History of the World (2000) From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women in Three Volumes (2002) The Love Children (2005) In the Name of Friendship (2006)
Edgar Allan Poe Group Art Show Halloween Town - The Parlour 2921 W. Magnolia Blvd. Burbank, CA 91505 May 9th - May 31st 818-848-3644
ARTISTS Delphia, Hideousboi, William Basso, Bob Lizarraga, Ken Brilliant, Nahrin, Frank Dietz, Eric Pigors, Bob Doucette, Queenie, Gris Grimly, Crab Scrambly, Dan Harding, Zombienose, and David Hartman.
"DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was — but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible." -- The Fall of the House of Usher
SNOOP DOGG'S HOOD OF HORROR (2006) provides us with a bevy of new Scream Queens. Even in the background there are delicious demonic delicacies to be enjoyed. I particularly liked the two vixens who hang with Snoop in his personal cinematic hell.
DANIELLA ALONSO rivals Rosario Dawson as "The Most Gorgeous Puerto Rican Actress." (Apologies to Jennifer Lopez and Rita Moreno.) She wins her wings as a geniune scream queen when her character reacts in true horror as her hip-hop would-be rapist fatally shoots himself in the groin.
BRANDE RODERICK visually defines the perfect Playboy Playmate: blonde, long legs, outrageous body. No wonder she became Playmate of the Year 2001. I've never seen her act before, but she performs the most flawless impersonation of Paris Hilton that I have ever seen.
Stunningly cute SYDNEY TAMIIA POITIER appears as the innocent in this episode -- all the more painful when her character dies too soon. Besides her TV work in "Joan of Arcadia" and "Veronica Mars," she acted in GRINDHOUSE (2007) and did a "Twilight Zone."
Veteran character actress LIN SHAYE has appeared in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) and two CRITTERS movies (1986, 1988). In this film, she plays a menacing authoritarian and plays it well.
Honorable mentions to Jesse L. DuBois as the Dead Blonde, Yadi Valerio as Foxy, Shana Montanez and Dawna Gonzalez as Groupie #1 and 2, & Tanisha Jones and Irina Voronina as Slank #1 and 2.