Thanks, Sephora, that's fine by me.
I recently came to the realization that, for the past few year or so, I've been buying mostly useless things to fill a void in my life. Typing that out feels good, honestly, and I suppose that honesty is where change begins. I know why it happened, but I just wasn't ready to wrap my mind around it until it became impossible to ignore. Some major losses had me feeling pretty empty so I found some problematic ways to fill up. Shopping is just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm not going to deep dive into things because I'm focusing on keeping afloat.
I don't want everything I discuss here to be so heavy. Yes, I have depression, and it can feel pretty awful but I'm still a goofy weirdo with passions on passions and I feel like that probably doesn't come across as often as it should. On that note, let me tell you about my new addiction...carrots. It's weird, I know, but I eat raw carrots every single day now and find myself craving them often. I remember hearing a story about Susan Dey struggling with an eating disorder while she worked on The Partridge Family; she ate only carrots for an extended period of time and her skin turned orange. I'm sure it's not true, but I remember thinking about it a lot when I was a kid. In my mind, she transformed like Violet Beauregarde. I'm keeping a close eye on my skin, just in case.
The Partridge Family was one of my favourite shows. I've probably mentioned this before, but I thought shows from days gone by were current, including The Partridge Family, Batman and The Brady Bunch. I thought the characters just had better style. Susan Dey's style was actually an early influence on my fashion choices. She was so beautiful and cool.
I have always loved vintage clothing and collectables, particularly anything from the '70s. It's my dream era. It's also partly why I strongly believe that season 2 is the best season of Fargo. Sometimes I'll throw on a random episode from that season just to ogle the clothing...and Bokeem Woodbine with that afro.
Lately I've been wearing my vintage pieces more, because I feel more like myself when I do. The tackier the better, too. I love weird patterns and bright colours and things that are ugly. Ugly is beautiful. I should get that printed on a t-shirt.
I've been buying and selling vintage since I was a teenager, and it's something I feel quite passionate about. Vintage is sustainable and I feel good about that, plus wearing vintage makes you stand out like the unique person you are. I especially love having someone try on something they ordinarily would never gravitate towards and watching their face light up with excitement when they see how cool they look. I just had a flashback to vintage shopping with my friend, Rose, and having her looking Marcia Brady-esque in a cute pair of jeans with a fitted vintage top that she likely would never have picked out for herself. It makes my heart happy. Sometimes I think that I should be a personal vintage shopper. I really should! I'd be so good at it. I just know it. Alright, who wants to hire me? But, seriously.
I'm currently working on launching a vintage shop online--exploring platforms, digging out some of my favourite gems, taking pictures, doing research. That's another thing I love-- learning about different eras and items and piecing together a backstory in preparation for the item's next venture. I really am in my element when I'm immersed in this stuff, I tell ya. Researching, writing, being creative, getting stupid and having fun. That's it. That's the life.
Now I will leave you with, not one song, but two! Two songs that I find myself listening to a lot lately. Songs I've loved since I was a wild child, when I was into having fun, experimenting and not being afraid to look stupid. I'm glad to have reconnected with that kiddo, because she's pretty great. I hope these songs inspire you to dance and feel your oats, because that's the energy we need in this world. And good lord do the girls from Shonen Knife have kickass style. I love them so much.
Cheers, friends! I hope to catch up with you guys soon, and hope to entice you to fill your baskets with some vintage gems that you will love and get tons of use out of. Maybe even something you never thought you could pull off before. Believe me, you totally can.
Jessie Buckley in Charlie Kaufman's I'm Thinking of Ending Things
I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't already. It's brilliant, and currently on Netflix. I still need to pick up Iain Reid's novel of the same name. It's on my "must read" list that's growing exponentially. So many books, so little time, as the story goes. And here's where my story goes south.
I wasn't going to share this, because it felt almost irresponsible. Like, maybe putting that kind of energy out into the world isn't helpful, especially in light of how heavy things are right now. That's partly why I've been steering clear of social media, for the most part. I see a lot of unhelpful, unhealthy shit being shared around and I have no intention of being a part of that. But then I thought, if sharing reaches someone who's feeling just as desperate and alone in the darkness then maybe they won't feel as much so? Whatever the case, here I am writing anyway, from a place with better lighting. And I hope that it helps.
So I was thinking of ending things. I'd been thinking about it for some time, more seriously for a matter of months. Three months to be exact. I would wade out into the ocean in my favourite vintage suede jacket and a pair of rainboots. I would face one of my biggest fears head-on, but with no intention of overcoming it. I would just be carried away. I would disappear. That's what I envisioned and it felt right. But it was wrong. First of all, how dare I ruin my beautiful vintage jacket?! And second, how could I give up on myself? I deserved better. But I kept seeing the signs.
They were all around me, but I wasn't really seeing them. I was seeing what my unbalanced mind was telling me to see--that things were coming to an end--that there was no way out. I didn't see the blue skies on the horizon, didn't feel the green grass cushioning my feet, I didn't bask in the warmth of the sun's rays. I was cold and numb. But I was trying not to be.
I would do yoga, meditate, watch birds or walk in nature, and would even find myself at the water's edge, knowing that I wasn't going in. I would just sit and be still. And I could do that for a while. Convince myself that I was ok. That everything was going to be alright.
Then I began seeing posters around the neighbourhood. A missing man. He was believed to have gone for a walk, maybe near the water. He never returned. I wondered if he was thinking the same things I'd been thinking. Sadly, we may never know.
Then something wonderful happened. The Bengals lost in the Super Bowl. I should have been over the moon with joy, and I was glad, but wasn't really happy. The Halftime Show even featured some of my favourites: Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick even performed the song that's kept me going through all of this. The song I've been performing in my head and singing in an effort to lift my spirits and inspire me to push on. It was a sign! But the very next night, everything came crashing down. I couldn't hold it in any longer. I broke. I cried so hard that my whole body was trembling. I had been trying so hard to hold it together and carry on with life while appearing like everything was peachy fucking keen and I just crashed. I couldn't take the pressure of having to be "on" any longer. I had actually hit rock bottom, and I'm so grateful that I did.
In the moment I wasn't, of course. I felt like I was dying. Actually, I felt like I had died. I wasn't even in my body. I was on the outside looking in and I hated everything that I saw. I said the most awful things to myself and I believed it was all true. That I was worthless and my life was never going to improve, so what was the point? Nothing mattered. I just wanted to disappear. I cried and shook for what seemed like forever until I couldn't anymore. I was exhausted. And I was exactly where I needed to be.
I had a very honest talk with James and it became clear that my situation was going to change--that it had to--and it was going to be difficult. Sometimes things have to get harder before they get better. At least that's what I'm trying to tell myself.
The next day I reached out to my therapist, and we met that week to develop a safety plan. It's a strategy for when you're feeling overwhelmed and can't see a way out. So now I have another weapon in my arsenal. That doesn't mean that I'll always be ready for the fight, but it does mean that I have something to reference when I'm not. It's a document I typed, and I'm going to print out a few copies to stash around my room. Can't hurt, right? While chatting with my therapist, it became clear as to why this depression had hit me so hard this time around. I've been exploring past trauma and, I've talked about this before, but sometimes while excavating you unearth things that you're not really sure what to do with. Those things can just stick around, and you start wearing them like a bad outfit that doesn't fit you well at all or reflect who you really are. But in time, I guess you figure out how to make alterations. I'm not sure how effective this fashion analogy is, but I've been watching tons of Drag Race, so what can I say? I guess what I mean is that you can learn to work with what you've got, without pretending to be something you're not. That rhymed and I hate it, but I'm going to leave it because I'm corny like that.
On a rainy walk today, I came across something that helped shift my perspective. I was watching some birds digging for worms. One bird, a robin, was watching me. I said hi and she began hopping away. That's when I noticed that one of her legs was broken. I felt sad and thought I should try to help. I moved towards her, but she hopped away, then started flying. That's when I realized that she didn't need me. She was fine on her own. Even amidst the struggle, she was able to get by. It all made sense to me in that moment. Nature is cool like that.
I dedicate this post to that little robin, and to all of you birds out there struggling. Maybe there are some worms out there for us after all. Keep digging.
On that note, I will leave you with my jam. The song that's been getting me through. Kendrick is such an inspiration to me. I've only recently come to love his music, and I believe that it found me at the right time. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do, and I hope it makes you dance. Dancing helps to move stagnant energy, and it's something I haven't done for a while. Ah, another realization. Alright, this cornball is gonna peace out for now. Until next time...
Take good care,
I'm planning on taking a trip to Canton, Ohio, in five years. I've always wanted to go, and five years from now seems like just the right time.
Canton, Ohio, is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and in five years Big Ben will be retired long enough to get in on a first ballot. That's right, my quarterback is retiring, and I'm feeling all kinds of things about it.
Watching his last game at Heinz Field Monday night was an emotional journey. He played very well, as did the whole team, and it was nice to get the win. But it was tough to watch. The last game at Heinz for Big Ben. It's also the last time any Steelers will play at Heinz Field because Heinz will no longer be a sponsor. That's big. This kind of thing happens in pro sports so it's not shocking, but it will be so weird having the stadium change names. So many changes.
Here I sit in my Roethlisberger jersey which I've had since his first season with the Steelers, 18 years ago. Eighteen years and it's never been washed. That may sound gross to some, but it's not to me. I wore this jersey when we won Super Bowl 40, when we won Super Bowl 43, when we lost Super Bowl 45, and many games before, in between and since. And I'll probably wear it more. Actually, it looks like I may be wearing it for an upcoming playoff game if all goes well and the Chargers or the Raiders win tonight. They can't tie, that's it. A playoff run? I like the sound of that. Who kn0ws what can happen. It's the NFL. Anything's possible. I mean, the Jaguars (the team with the worst record in the league) beat the Colts (a pretty solid team) today to give us a chance to grab a wildcard spot. This shit gets crazy! I love this game. And I love the fans.
My neighbours are currently flying their 12 flag, cheering on the Seahawks in their final game of the season. I'm watching the game as well, and let me just say that it's a shame this team is not going to the playoffs because they're sure playing like they are. It's nice to see the fans on both sides gets excited for this game which doesn't mean a lot for either team, especially not for Seattle. But winning means something. It makes you feel good. Ya hear that, Raiders and Chargers?! WINNING FEELS GOOD! So please, one of you go out and get that win so we can make a trip to Kansas City next weekend. Win or lose, it'd be nice to be there.
On the topic of winning, it felt good to beat the Ravens in that last game. In Baltimore. The fans were great, as always. The team played a tribute to Big Ben, showing all of the times they've sacked him. It was incredible and brought a tear to my eye. I wouldn't expect anything less from the Ravens. They're great rivals. The best. I'm so happy that Ben got that win in Baltimore. What a crazy game. What a crazy career. Eighteen years with the same team. Eighteen years without a losing season. Year after year, record after record. It's been a wild ride and I'm gonna miss him.
Now I will leave you with a smile and a song, as you know I often do. "Renegade," of course. I'm gonna play this one loud for my Steelers, my Yinzers in the Burgh, Steelers fans everywhere, and for my quarterback.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Ben.
See you in Canton!
Your biggest fan,
Earlier today I picked up my new favourite glasses from the optometrist and I'm feeling good. I love my eye doctor and everyone who works at the office. They're so cool, and I always leave feeling happy and more confident than when I went in. This time, I discovered that these ladies are even cooler than I thought. As I was getting ready to leave, they started playing Biggie's "One More Chance/Stay With Me." I'm sure it was censored to some degree, but still. I hadn't heard that song in ages.
Afterwards, I decided to take my ass on a nature walk and plugged Biggie into the headphones, starting with that song. God, it's so good. That man was a pure genius. The opening lyrics always make me smile.
"First thing's first: I, Poppa, freaks all the honeys/Dummies, Playboy bunnies, those wanting money/Those the one's I like 'cause they don't get Nathan/But penetration, unless it smells like sanitation/Gar-bage, I turn like doorknobs/Heartthrob, never, black and ugly as ever."
That song gives me such good vibes, which made me wonder why I don't listen to it more often. I think it's partly because I tend to listen to Ready to Die (one of my favourite albums of all time) or Life After Death when I'm on my Biggie kicks, and the song isn't on either of those albums.
Sitting atop my perch, enjoying the view, I played the song on repeat. I like to do that sometimes. I'll play a song over and over if it makes me feel good or I'll revisit my favourite shows and movies. I'm currently plowing through a Fargo (the series) re-watch and loving the hell out of it. I'm even making connections I didn't make the first time. That's the best feeling for me--uncovering something new from a land once traveled. It's like when you catch a scent of something from the past, and while it takes you back, the actual feeling is something different. It's brand new.
That's kind of how I felt about that song. It's not like I discovered lyrics I was previously unaware of, but it was a feeling that I hadn't had before. It meant more. It got me thinking about giving other things another chance; things that used to make me feel good that I've strayed from. I do that sometimes. I'm sure I've written about it before, but it feels like an act of self-sabotage. Why deprive yourself of things that make you feel good? I suppose it's best not to question it too much, but rather take note of what those things are. Literally. Sometimes I forget, so I'm making a list. At the top: Biggie. Next up...sports. Yes, I know, I just wrote about taking a break from my flailing teams because I didn't think I could handle those crazy emotions, but I'm learning that I can. I can handle tough things. Also, I've decided to start wearing my Big Ben jersey again for each of the remaining Steelers games. I can't allow the craziness to let me forget how important this season is and how much I love Steelers football, even when they're down and out--even when I'm down and out. So I'll be repping the number 7 hard again. I've got to. It's who I am, and I can't lose sight of that. Here We Go!
As always, I will leave you with a smile and a song.
And If you don't know, now you know.
I had a dream the other night that I was watching the NFL playoffs and the Steelers were playing (that's the first cruel joke). They were playing the Rams for some reason, and there were a bunch of other games on, too. I ended up being on the field chatting with some players and Deebo (James Harrison) was there. So was Big Ben, and we were discussing plays. I checked the score, and it was 60-30 for the Rams. As I type this, the Steelers are losing to the Bengals 41-3. Maybe that dream predicted the final score of this game. Naw, there's no way we're scoring 30 points. I'm not watching because thankfully the game isn't televised, but I'm feeling it. This has been a season. For all of my teams. Remember a couple months ago when I said I had a good feeling about the Canucks? I just laughed out loud. This is the way things go sometimes. And, once again, I'm seeing sports as a barometer for my own life.
Things aren't really jiving and haven't been for some time, so I'm making an effort to switch things up by redirecting my focus back onto myself. That means stepping away more, spending more time alone (I'm almost always alone, but somehow it feels like it's not enough) and brainstorming about what my next step is. This also means not torturing myself by turning on games when I don't think I can handle the emotions that accompany them. Even the highs (when they actually occur) can be overwhelming and I'm just not feeling balanced enough to accept that ride, especially when the prospect of a crash seems all too real. Being depleted of energy is huge. It can lead to depression and illness and really fuck you up. This time of year can be very draining so I'm taking a page from my own book by slowing down, winding down and calming down.
One thing that I like to incorporate into my routine that helps is...you guessed it...music. And I'm not just listening to stuff that pumps me up, though of course I'm bumping some Rush here and there, but I'm listening to the stuff that allows me to sink into my emotions a bit. Lots of Mazzy Star, Dinosaur Jr. and Bjork are currently in rotation, along with one of my all time favourites and OG crushes, Hayden. I thought of this song while doing yoga this morning. During a moment of surrender in a child's pose, in tears, I heard a small child's hysterical laughter coming from downstairs. It made me smile, then made me laugh, too. It reminded me that, yes, things feel pretty bad right now, but laughter and music are always available, even in the darkest of times.
Now I will leave you with this picture of me with Hayden, who is likely annoyed that this fan asked for a picture. Actually, I'm pretty sure I felt uncomfortable asking so my friend asked for me. Even better. This was taken after seeing his show with the incredible Julie Doiron. Excellent show. I love how Hayden raised the age of the girl from 16 to 23 when he performed "Bad As They Seem." A good call.
Well, that's it for now, folks. I'm going to tap out and tune in to some ritual practices, have a bath and meditate, and watch this video, because I know it will make me smile. Hopefully it does the same for you.
Cheers! I just remembered the cheers I used to do when I was younger and drank a lot. Some of you will remember these. Cheers to beers and tears and cheers to booze and boobs. I dunno, you guys. Take what you need and leave the rest. And above all, take good care.
Ah, the "old" filters. Jesus Christ, that's actually pretty scary. And I've seen a lot of horror movies. That reminds me, I kind of want to check out that Shyamalan movie OLD, mostly because there's a character named Mid-Sized Sedan, but I'm afraid that the rapid aging will send me into a panic.
It seems like I've aged a lot over the past few years. Like it all happened at once. Maybe it didn't, though. Maybe I just started noticing. But there's a difference between noticing and caring, and I'm doing my best to not care. Because why bother worrying about something you can't control, right? And yet, if I'm being honest, it still scares me a little.
The alternative to aging is death, but then aging reminds us of death, doesn't it? Maybe that's the scary part. For some, perhaps, but I think it goes beyond that, especially for women.
The fact is that we love old men and we don't love old women. I mean, how many times have we heard people gush about how they would bone the hell out of Sean Connery when he was like 85? When was the last time you heard someone say the same about Julie Newmar?
It's almost like women aren't allowed to get old. Like we're not worth talking about once we hit a certain age. I'm not sure what that age is exactly, but I'm quite sure the number's not that high. I think the idea of a woman getting old isn't appealing because her value is based on appearance. That's so sad because women are amazing. Also, I would still bone the hell out of Julie Newmar. Wanted to get that on record.
Speaking of boning, the other day I watched The Witches of Eastwick, one of the horniest movies ever, and found myself very attracted to Jack Nicholson as Daryl Van Horne. I've been attracted to him in other roles, but never in this one...until now. I related to Cher's character, Alex, when she goes off about how repulsive he is, yet she finds herself drawn to him. This time, when he said "Use me, Alex. I can take it" it wasn't just funny, it was sexy. Between that and all the cock talk, I was super turned on by Daryl, even with the stupid ponytail. Even when he says things like "I always like a little pussy after lunch." Maybe it's the older man thing, but he was only about 50 in that role (not that much older than me). I'm catching up. That's got to be it.
It makes sense. I think you reach a certain age where you don't typically find yourself as attracted to younger people. Well, I'm sure I don't speak for everyone, but that's how I feel. I can certainly appreciate that smooth twenty-something skin, especially when it's wearing a football uniform, but I pretty much think of them as kids, because looking back I know that's what I was at that age. Nothing wrong with it. I love people in their twenties, I just don't want to bone them anymore.
Alright, let's drop the bone for a while because that's not why I'm writing this. I've just been thinking about how growing old seems to have negative connotations, when it's really not negative at all. We buy creams and serums that "diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles" as though those things need to be banished. The funny thing is that none of that stuff magically makes you look younger. And that's fine. We have this obsession with looking young as though that's the standard. But we all get to be young. We've all experienced that, and some of you are still in it. And I'm not about to say something like, "enjoy it while you can," because I think you can enjoy every stage of life. Getting old doesn't have to be so serious. Sure, your body and mind begin to deteriorate and whatnot, but I'm not about to fall into the trap of allowing my stock to plummet with my tits.
I just thought of the lyrics to Outkast's "Growing Old."
Fat titties turn to teardrops as fat ass turns to flab
Sores that was open wounds eventually turn to scab
Trees bright and green turn yellow brown
Autumn called 'em, see all them leaves must fall down
Love that song.
Rather than ending with that one, which has a kind of sad energy, I'm going to share the title track, "ATLiens." The tone is exactly what I want to end on.
Now throw your hands in the ai-yer
And wave 'em like you just don't cay-er
And if you like fish and grits and all that pimp shit
Everybody let me hear you say O-Yea-yer.
That's the motto I choose to live by.
Halloween is one day away, and it's a Saturday. That reminds me, I've yet to check David Lynch's weather report. I also didn't watch a horror movie or anything spooky last night. I'm kind of off my game, guys. Speaking of, I didn't watch a single football game last Sunday. Or Monday. Or Thursday. It was the Steelers' bye week, but still. I always watch football no matter how I'm feeling. That's another thing...about this Halloween...I kind of don't care about it much. It's not as though I haven't been trying to get into the spooky spirit. I've been watching horror movies and Halloween-related content nearly nightly and I've put together over 100 treat bags for the kids in anticipation of the big day. I've also put up some decorations, but not nearly as many as I normally would, and some only went up today. I usually decorate my place during the first week of October, but I guess things just don't feel so usual. And, you know what? I kind of don't care. I mean, so what? It's really not that serious. I'm also feeling run down and sick, which isn't ideal as I've had to reconfigure my plans, but it'll be fine. I'm still gonna marathon horror movies, eat tons of candy and carve more pumpkins tomorrow. Sounds alright to me. Actually, I might carve my last one tonight. I don't like the idea of watching the Steelers game with knife in hand.
If you're carving pumpkins and planning on roasting pumpkin seeds, I highly recommend using Dinosaur Dracula's awesome recipe. It does not disappoint. I went a bit too ham with the cayenne, but other than that, the first batch was delicious.
Aside from movies, decorating and preparing a costume (I may or may not dress up, but my costume is ready to go) another thing I usually love doing is compiling a Halloween playlist. Well, guess what...it didn't happen this year. I'm on a roll, hey? I just remembered something funny about last year's Halloween playlist. Metallica's "Seek and Destroy" crept its way in there, and no matter how many times I tried to remove it, it kept reappearing. The song is fine. Not my favourite Metallica song, but it's alright and makes me think about hockey. In any case, it didn't belong on my Halloween playlist. It was all wrong, especially right at the end. Eventually I was able to get rid of it, but that shit was weird. I didn't realize that playlists could be highjacked. Did one of you do it? I want names. Anyway, rather than making a new Halloween playlist I put together a spooky season metal playlist called Something Wicked This Way Cums. I made an effort not to use any songs from previous Spotify Halloween-type playlists I've made. I probably did, though. Who am I kidding? I'll also share last year's Halloween playlist, The Hunt For Dead October, because why not? I apologize if Metallica creeps back on there, but if they do, I hope it's another song. Maybe "Creeping Death" or something. Gotta stay on brand at least.
On that note, I will now share a list of what I've watched during the month of October. I'm not going to say too much about most of them because I don't feel like it and also I've written about some of these films in the past, but I'll probably say a thing or two about some. I picked several first time watches as well as some that I haven't seen in ages. I hope you guys feel inspired to watch something from this list or just inspired to watch something spooky.
Oct 1: Creepshow: Season 3, episodes 1 and 2. Not into either one, really. Thankfully, the show gets better. The Stuff (1985), Suspiria (1977). Goblin's music always puts me in a trance. Such a beautiful film.
Oct 2: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) One of my favourite sequels, Ms. 45 (1981) This was a first time watch for me and oh my lord Jesus Christ was it good! I already knew the premise which is why I've been avoiding it. The rape scene(s). Ick, you guys. It was bad, but worth it if you can get through it. I was thoroughly impressed, start to finish. And that Halloween party scene is iconic. I say put it on your Halloween watch list, for sure.
Oct 3: Steelers vs Packers, Evil Dead II (1987), Black Sunday (1977) Classics all around. Too bad we lost.
Oct 4: Dig Two Graves (2014) This was terrible. Based on the description, I thought I would love it, but no.
Oct 5: Did I watch something? I dunno. I didn't write it down if I did.
Oct 6: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988). Elvira forever! I've been in love with her since childhood.
Oct 7: Near Dark (1987) That bar scene is just everything. Never gets old.
Oct 8: Ma (2019) I actually found this one entertaining, maybe because it reminded me of when me and my friends would get older people to boot for us and hung around creeps just to get booze and drugs. The movie was pretty funny, and gross at times. Dumb at times, too, but whatever. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1977). I was intrigued because I'm a little obsessed with the actual horrific murders that the film is based on, but it sucked. It shouldn't even be on the list because I turned it off after half an hour. I hated the narration so much that I couldn't bring myself to continue. I didn't used to turn off movies when I hated them, but now I do. *cough, cough, Fear Street* I'm too old to waste whatever time I've got left on something I'm not enjoying. Hmm...that's got me thinking about some other aspects of life. Okay, okay. Next up was The Hand (1981) I hadn't seen this one before and I thought it was great! Written and directed by Oliver Stone. Super fun effects and a wildly entertaining performance from Michael Caine. Knock Knock (2015). I did not like this film, but I LOVED Keanu Reeves in this film. The premise is so incredibly unbelievable and stupid, but I loved seeing Keanu step into a totally different kind of role. Plus, we get to see him bone.
Oct 9: Phantasm (1979). I love me some tall man. Suspiria (2018) Fantastic remake. Loved all the dancing. I wish we had that in the original. Music was gorgeous, too. Thom Yorke is amazing.
Oct 10: The Guest (2014), Fright Night (1985) Halloween essentials.
Oct 11: Night of the Demons (1988) Same. A must watch for the season.
Oct 12: Ghoul Log/Return of the Ghoul Log. I think I threw this on a few times when I didn't feel like committing to a movie or show. It's always fun to have on in the background. You can find it on Shudder.
Oct 13: Creepshow Episode 3. I really enjoyed this one. It felt like an old school Tales From The Crypt episode. Ain't nothin' wrong with that.
Oct 14: Child's Play (2018) So I finally checked this one out. It was something. I actually didn't hate it.
Oct 15: Halloween Kills (2021). It had great kills so the title was fitting. That's all I've got.
Oct 16: Creepshow Episode 4: Good stuff!
Oct 17: I dunno. Something? Nothing?
Oct 18: The Haunting Hour: The Dead Body (2010) Luke from The Guest being bullied again. WNUF Halloween Special (2013). Shoutout to Jimmy George! This movie is such a fun watch for the spooky season. Anyone who grew up in the 80's will especially appreciate it. Great stuff.
Oct 19: Basket Case (1982) So messed up and so much fun.
Oct 20: The Haunting Hour: Fear Never Knocks (2011)
Oct 21: Child's Play (1988). Aw yeah. I'll never forget my mom having to call my friends' parents and say that we were renting this movie for my sleepover one year. Hah.
Oct 22: Dracula (1979). Frank Langella, you sexy beast. The Wicker Man (1973). I need to re-watch the remake with Nicolas Cage. It seems that I'm the only one who loves it. But I do, what can I say? Creepshow Episode 5. This one was pretty good.
Oct 23: The Dead Zone (1983) I haven't seen this in ages and, holy shit, Christopher Walken is sexy as HELL. I guess I was previously too young to appreciate his hotness back in the day, but I'm not too young for anything these days. Also, the movie is awesome. Nightbreed (1990). I had to watch some Clive Barker. I mean, I did steal my blog post title from one of his incredible books. Many seem to dislike this one, but I like it! It's no Hellraiser, but it's fun. Maybe a bit too long, but I watched the director's cut and I feel like it's a bit longer. But maybe not.
Oct 24: Halloween (2018). I didn't mind this one as much as I did the upon the first watch, but it's just ok in my opinion. Vampyres (1974). Hot naked lesbian vampires. If that's not enough to make you watch it, I don't know what else to say. Lost Highway (1997).
Lost Highway is the only movie I've seen multiple times in the theatre. I was so obsessed with this movie that I cut my own bangs super short immediately after returning from the theatre to make my hair look just like Patricia Arquette's. She is absolutely stunning. Everyone is hot in this movie. David Lynch has very good taste. I must say, though, Bill Pullman is one of my biggest crushes. He has been giving my lady boners since Spaceballs (1987). Along with Rick Moranis, obviously. In any case, Lost Highway is amazing and horny as hell, and has one of the best soundtracks of all time. I've said it before and I'll say it again, God bless Trent Reznor. He is the man.
Oct 25: The Dead Don't Die (2019). I enjoyed this one, plus Tom Waits is in it. I'll watch him in anything.
Oct 26: Some episodes of The Haunting Hour. I didn't record which ones. I'm no good at this, as it turns out.
Oct 27: The Evil (1978)
Oct 28: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). I actually gave up on this one half way through. Not because I didn't think it was good, but because I was not in a great mood. I absolutely loved Anton Yelchin in it, but he was exceptional in everything. I look forward to giving this one another shot soon.
Oct 29: Nada
Oct 30: That's today. So far I watched Creepshow: Episode 6 and enjoyed it quite a bit. I haven't settled on a movie lineup for the night, though I feel like The House of the Devil (2009) is fitting, since it's Devil's Night. Then maybe The Lost Boys (1987) as it's one of my go-to comfort films.
Oct 31: Halloween (1978) will definitely go on during the day, and I'll probably watch Halloween II (1981) and will most definitely watch Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982). Trick 'r Treat (2007) will probably go on a little later in the evening, and who knows what else. Something scary, I'm sure. Or funny. Or both.
Alright, I'm done. Does anyone actually read this stuff? These lists? Meh, whatever. If not, it's at least a great way to keep track of what I've watched as the years go by. And they seem to be going by quickly. Soak it up, my spooky ones, and make it a season to dismember. And remember, things don't always go as planned. For example, the other day a creepy dude drove by slowly, staring at me like a loser, and I stared back thinking CRASH! CRASH! Nothing. Things don't always work out the way you think they ought to. It's fine. It's really not that serious. Nothing to lose your head over. Just do something that makes you happy. Something that makes you laugh. Something that makes you cry. Something that makes you hurl. That one's for you, Toni. ;)
In an effort to seek and destroy any possible bad juju (get well, Juju Smith-Shuster) I will end this post by sharing this Metallica song. Hey, I haven't had Metallica after me since the Napster days and I don't need them after me now. Consider this a truce. Oh, and I blame any typos on my glasses. This is my first day wearing glasses and so far I feel a little drunk. I'm not sure if that's normal, but I was told that my eyes will adjust. Ok, this is KR, signing out on this chilly Devil's Night.
Stay spooky, pals, and have a very happy Halloween!
I had a dream the other night that made me laugh out loud when I woke up. I don't remember what the dream was about or most of what happened, but I do remember what made me laugh. I was a teenager in the dream, and I was meeting another teenage girl who looked really cool. She was wearing a baggy band shirt, had a piercing in her nose and eyebrow and messy blonde hair with black roots. My kinda gal. Anyway, she introduced herself by saying "I'm so-and-so, so-and-so's girlfriend"(I don't remember the names). My reply was, "I'm Kenna, I'm nobody's girlfriend."
It was so funny to me, because that's totally something I would say, back then and now. And it didn't come across as cheeky or anything either. I was just stating the facts. We continued talking about who knows what, and the dream continued to who knows where, but the takeaway for me was the authenticity. It feels good being authentic, in dreams and in waking life. I hate fakeness so much, and hate when I feel the need to be fake. It's repulsive, even in dreams. But sometimes we have to be fake in order to protect ourselves. Some people just don't deserve our authentic selves or our energy.
What does deserve our energy is the spirit of the Halloween season! I can't believe it's actually the last day of September, and I'm finally feeling like myself again. After being dizzy for roughly 7 weeks, I have found my balance, literally and figuratively. And what timing! I feel like the ghosts of Halloween's past, present and future, got together and decided to scare away all the shitty energy and hit me with a blast of ghoulish goodness. I'm currently watching The Ghoul Log: Trick 'r Treat Sam O'Lantern and I'm about to drag out some more decorations. I also made seasonal candles that I'm looking forward to testing. I tried the pumpkin chai one last night and it smells incredible. Now I really want to get some pumpkins! That's one of my favourite parts of the season. Except I tend to get overly emotional when pumpkins are left behind in those bins. I feel this way about Christmas trees, too. But that's just me and that's ok. One day, if I have the means, I will take all the leftovers and make a giant pumpkin graveyard. And a giant Christmas tree graveyard. Basically, my yard will be a mess.
Speaking of a mess, the Steelers aren't off to the greatest start. It's not an epic fail just yet as they're only 1-2 but losing to the Bengals always sucks, and this Sunday we play the Packers. It's gonna be tough, but you know what? I'm here for it. I really want to enjoy this season for all it's worth. This is likely Big Ben's last year and although that makes me emotional, I'm ok with it. Transitional times are always challenging but they are necessary. I'm loving the young talent this team has and it's gonna be fun to watch them grow. Hockey's about to get going, too. It was cool watching the Canucks play the Kraken for the first time the other night. Preseason, but still. I have a good feeling about the Canucks. But I always do. What can I say, I love my teams.
Here's a fun little comparison. Me as a teen and me now (with only slightly better eyebrows). Well, it's me earlier this year, before the Steelers last playoff game. Oof, that was a doozy. But, you know what? I was proud of them then and I still am now. I kinda feel that way about myself, actually. Things have been tough and I'm still going. Still waking, still sleeping, still dreaming. Sometimes it feels like that's all life is, but I believe that better days are ahead. I hope that's the case for all of us.
Now I will leave you with another favourite song from a favourite album and I will continue decorating and get started on my movie/music playlists for October. It's gonna be a spooky good time. It was always more fun with my dear Beans, but alas, she'll have to use her haunting skills to make an appearance once again. I look forward to it, Mean Joe Beans! Hope to see you soon!
I've been writing on this blog for over six years now. That's a pretty big commitment for me, and I'm honestly quite proud. But I have to admit that, like me, this website is getting old. It's definitely time for a facelift. Not for me, for the website.
I kind of didn't care too much about what it looked like for a long time, but now I think it deserves some extra care. I want to take pride in what I do more, and I'm starting to make some changes here and there to reflect my style and growth.
I finally caved and realized that white font is the best for a black background. I'm not sure why I was fighting this for so long. It's pretty ridiculous, actually, but whatever. It's really not a big deal. It's just something I want to do for myself, and I guess for my readers, too. That's right, I'm looking out for all ten of you. ;) It's just better on the eyes and makes more sense.
I'm also going through and making sure my links are all working. I almost never go back and read old posts, and that's not really what I'm doing now, but it does help to make sure things are in working order. It's maintenance.
I'm also starting to do this for myself.
I recently took a trip to the emergency room, because I was having a reaction to the second vaccine and felt it was time to get things sorted out. It had been over 3 weeks and I was still experiencing symptoms, including what scared me the most, a racing heart. I had already sought out medical advice, but once you jump on that Google train and envision the wreckage ahead, it's hard to get off (eww).
In any case, I had a bunch of tests done and more bloodwork, and it turns out I'm actually in great shape outside of this reaction. I think the symptoms were worrying me so much that I actually had a panic attack. Thankfully, even though the side effects continue, I feel much more calm.
The ER doctor's advice was to "rest up and ride it out" and I think that's exactly what I needed to hear. And the funny thing is, I kind of knew that but didn't trust myself.
When things started spinning out, I would put my hand on my heart, slow my breathing and say "You're ok, just trust the process." But I just wasn't willing to do it. Honestly, it's been pretty scary, and I think it's ok to be scared, especially when you're reading all kinds of horror stories about adverse reactions, but there's a part of me that just doesn't trust myself when I know what's right and what isn't and I'm working on checking in and identifying what that's all about. Again, maintenance.
But it's more than that, it's investigation. Now this part, I like. Getting curious and uncovering things and really seeing the truth of what's there. It's something I keep circling back to and I feel like I'm getting closer to solving the case. But these things can take time, especially when the case was once cold.
On that note, I think I'm going to step away and listen to a true crime podcast, and I'll leave you with another favourite song from another favourite album. And it's not even Music Monday. Maybe I'll call it Facelift Friday. God, I love Layne Staley. His style in those pics is absolutely everything. Facelift shirt, sweet fanny pack, Docs, and that sweet smile. I love seeing his goofy side. He was the best.
Enjoy, dear readers. Take good care, and if you need to, rest up and ride it out.
Lately I've been sharing some of my favourite songs from favourite albums as "Music Mondays" on Twitter, in an effort to kick off the week with some good vibes. This week, I decided to share something from an absolutely perfect album which I've loved from the very first time I heard it back in the day, Ice Cube's Lethal Injection (1993). While my initial thought was to share "Really Doe," which is probably my favourite, I realized that there's a song on the album that means more to me: "Ghetto Bird." The reason it's so important to me is because it instantly makes me think of one of my favourite movies of all time, Menace II Society. Funny thing is, the song isn't even in the film.
Menace II Society features an aerial shot of Watts, paired with one of producer QD3's iconic pieces of music, "Ghetto Bird" (instrumental). The piece samples Ohio Players' "Funky Worm." This song has been sampled by literally hundreds of rappers, including N.W.A., Kris Kross, De La Soul, Beastie Boys and Kendrick Lamar. Basically, if you've listened to rap music at all, you've heard "Funky Worm." Of all the songs sampling Funky Worm that I've heard, I must say that "Ghetto Bird" is my favourite. Not only does it have the sickest beats, but also some of my favourite rap lyrics of all time. "All that night, I heard the bird circle/while I was eating fish and watching Urkle/She said I could sleep on the couch/by 2A.M. I was digging her out." I mean, come on! The story behind the song seems to be that QD3 was riding around South Central with Ice Cube, playing some of his beats, in hopes of producing a song for Cube's upcoming album. That car ride lead to a collaboration on "You Know How We Do It," "Make It Ruff, Make It Smooth, "Bop Gun (One Nation)" and, of course, "Ghetto Bird." To this day, I consider QD3's beat in that song to be one of the best of all time. It's the first that comes to mind when I think of West Coast rap. It also helps set the tone for Menace II Society.
Menace is an unrelenting tale of racism, poverty, drug addiction and violence that begins and ends with a literal bang. If you haven't seen this movie, you should probably watch it immediately (it's currently on Netflix in Canada). And you should probably stop reading as some spoilers lie ahead. I truly feel that the movie, while critically acclaimed, never really got the accolades it deserved. Funny, I feel the same way about Lethal Injection.
Menace does an incredible job of telling a tragic story with tremendous heart, without shying away from the brutality. It is raw, it is mean and it is heartbreaking as hell. The message that "being a black man in America isn't easy" is evident from the jump. Even though O-Dog kills the couple in the convenience store, you still feel for what he's going through. You're still on his side. At least I am. The first time I watched it on The Showcase Revue (Shout out to my fellow Canadian film geeks out there) I was devastated by the ending. I mean, of course. The character we're all pulling for dies in an all-out bloodbath. But what really took me aback was the fact that you realize the film's narrator is dead. It was a dead guy telling his story. As a young teen, I hadn't even considered the possibility that Caine would die, because, duh, he was telling the story. I was duped. But it was awesome. What a powerful way to get the message across. When he finally realizes he wants to live, it's too late.
On the topic of Caine, good God is Tyrin Turner ever outstanding in that role. A perfectly nuanced performance, from the sensitive emotional side to the tough guy G to the scared child that never got to grow up. Plus, that scene where he rolls up in his car with the freshly stolen rims and macks on that chick while "Computer Love" plays is the best. Interestingly enough, that cute, seemingly innocent scene is what ultimately leads to his demise. Every actor in this film deserves serious cred. Jada Pinkett as Ronnie, Larenz Tate as O-Dog, MC Eiht as A-Wax. The list goes on. All great. That's another thing I love. The film features two of my favourite rappers: MC Eiht and Too $hort. I suppose that this is the perfect segue into another favourite film that also features one of my favourite rappers.
It's near impossible to discuss Menace II Society without bringing up Boyz N The Hood. And I love that. Two outstanding films that deserve more praise than they will ever receive.
I believe that Boyz was made before the Rodney King beating/ L.A. Riots whereas Menace was made after. It makes a lot of sense if you watch these two films with that in mind. While both hit heavy on the same issues, there's something a little more edgy about Menace. I think it had to be. Not to take anything away from Boyz. There are some brutally violent scenes in that one, too, but there's a different vibe about it. I mean, it ends with the message "Increase the Peace" whereas the last line in Menace is "Now it's too late." Both films were directed by young black men in their early twenties. John Singleton was only 24 (and nominated for an Oscar) and the Hughes brothers were only 21. That's crazy when you think about it. To be that talented when you're that young?!
One of my favourite things about Boyz N The Hood is that it's Stand By Me in the hood. If you've ever met me, you're probably aware that Stand By Me is my favourite movie of all time. I have a feeling that John Singleton felt just as strongly about it. There are the obvious ways that Boyz gives a nod to Stand By Me, such as the scene on the railroad tracks followed by the dead body and the way that Doughboy (Ice Cube) fades away at the end, just as Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) does, but it goes beyond that. I would argue that not only is Doughboy the film's Chris Chambers, but also Gordie Lachance. Look at the relationship with his family; his mother puts his brother Ricky (Morris Chestnut) on a pedestal and constantly emphasizes the potential in him while knocking Doughboy down. It's really sad. In both cases, the "good son" dies. Well, in this case, Gordie (Doughboy) dies, too.
Ice Cube's portrayal of Doughboy hits all the notes for me. Truly impressive. But among the incredible actors and performances in this film, the standout has to be Cuba Gooding Jr. This is his best role. I feel like every scene with Tre and Furious Styles (one of the best character names ever) looks like an Oscar clip. I hate using the Academy Awards as an example, because I happen to think they're bullshit, but I think it gets the point across. If you're acting in a scene with Laurence (Larry) Fishburne and you're the standout, you pretty much hit it out of the park.
When it comes to Menace II Society and Boyz N The Hood, I don't necessarily believe that one is better than the other, but I think everyone who loves these films has a favourite. For me, I want to say it's a tie but I think it's Menace. By a nose. Both excellent films with great soundtracks, and both pack a punch in a short amount of time. I'm pretty sure both films are under an hour and a half. Brilliant storytelling. I highly recommend watching them as a double feature: Boyz followed by Menace.
Now I will leave you with what I think is one of the best songs ever written for a film, "Streiht Up Menace" by MC Eiht and Compton's Most Wanted. Yes, that's how it's spelled. I'm not sure why most people spell it wrong. Even in the YouTube video. It's a damn shame.
This Cavebitch is gonna keep listening to Lethal Injection and hope that it motivates me to get through this week with a smile and a booty shake. I hope it does the same for you.
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!