The Sound Of Silence
I'm officially over the heat and it's not even June. I knew it was fairly bold to entertain the idea of declaring myself a "summer person" after enjoying one hot sunny day. Funny enough, the morning after writing that last post, I woke up thinking Fuck, I want to die. I think the sudden onslaught of sunshine had me feeling pretty manic, and what goes up must come down.
I just realized that this happens to me every year. Manic episodes in April/May when we start getting a lot of sun. Now that I'm aware, I can focus on hanging in the shade more and cooling my jets.
In other news, the other day I went to the cemetery with a purpose, which is pretty rare since I mostly wander aimlessly. I wanted to just sit in silence. Another rarity for me, as I'm usually plugged in to my headphones, listening to music or podcasts. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I started to realize that I haven't been spending much time with my own thoughts. That's not always a bad thing, believe me, but sometimes I wonder how things would be without as much influence from the outside world. At times I fantasize about living in the woods with my animal friends and no connection to anyone or anything else. What would life be like? Would I still like the same things? Would I get to be that old witchy woman that the kids in the neighbouring town make up stories about? Dare to dream.
While sitting in silence in the cemetery, I became incredibly aware of how noisy it was. The maintenance crew was in full-force, mowing grass and whacking weeds, and a steady stream of nearby traffic flooded the grounds, but it wasn't so bad. During that time, I observed something about what happens to my mind without the music and chatter...my mind just fills it in. Otis Redding singing about ole man trouble, Devin Townsend telling me to let it roll, somebody's Heine' crowdin' my icebox. Random lyrics from songs I hadn't even listened to recently, and for some reason the Family Ties theme song. My mind is a strange place, people, but I don't need to tell you that.
This little experiment lead me to believe that true silence can only be achieved in death. Or maybe not even then. I just pictured a poor unfortunate spirit floating around, thinking does she ever shut the fuck up?!
After sitting for a while with my new squirrel friend, I decided to walk around, and came across the sweetest inscription on a headstone. It read, "He made home happy." How wonderful. I started thinking about what my grave will look like, if I have one, and what it might say. She loved animals and cried about bugs. Something like that, I presume, but who's to say. Is it weird if I write my own epitaph? Probably. I guess it's supposed to represent how you're remembered by others. But I don't know about others. I've also been thinking about writing my own obituary and creating an updated funeral playlist to make sure my mom doesn't play something awful. If I die before I'm able to make this playlist and you attend whatever service transpires, please don't let anyone play shitty music. I will haunt you forever if Michael Bublé gets airtime at my funeral, I can promise you that. On that note, I will leave you with something good to listen to; a song that I've been in love with ever since hearing it for the first time as a child. I felt those lyrics so hard then, and still do now.
Until next time...KR out!
You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat
It's the second-to-last day in April, and I spent a good chunk of it here. Man, am I lucky! Not only did I get to enjoy this incredible view, but I had the whole beach to myself. For a decent amount of time, too. Until I was ready to leave. Perfect.
It was really hot today so I knew I wanted to be at the water, and I was hoping there wouldn't be a crowd on the rocks, but also wasn't holding my breath. When you get nice weather like this, you kind of expect to see tons of people, but for some reason, at this little beach, there wasn't. I cannot believe my good fortune. It might sound weird, but I haven't felt this lucky in a long time. Today was everything I needed--fresh ocean air, glorious sunshine, climbing around barefoot on the rocks, playing in tidepools, watching the birds drifting in the breeze, listening to good tunes. Thank you, thank you, thank you universe.
I didn't really want to leave the beach, but I'm pale as all hell and needed to make sure not to overstay my welcome, so I packed up my stuff and climbed back over the rocks to make my trek home. As I was leaving, a lovely young woman appeared, scaling the rocks towards me. We chatted about how lucky we were to be at that beautiful spot with virtually no-one around. She said that everyone she'd come across today was just smiling away, in a fantastic mood. The same thing was true for me. After going our separate ways, I was thinking about how nice it was to share a moment of pure gratitude with a stranger, and also how cool she seemed.
My friend Leah and I have been hanging out quite a bit lately, walking in nature, talking about books, movies and life. Recently she asked me a cool question. She said, "I decided that if I could be one person from a film, I'd be Alabama (from True Romance)…who would you be?" I love this kind of question so much, and absolutely love that she chose Alabama, but the first character that came to mind for me was not what I expected.
I don't really know what I expected actually, but the first thing that came to mind was, I wanna be Indiana Jones. He's intelligent and resourceful, and goes on epic adventures with hot chicks. Life would be an endless whirlwind of excitement. The second character I thought of was Angelica Houston's Morticia Addams because she's so confident, cool and effortlessly sexy. I mean, same goes for Indy. Sexiness aside, I guess I've always viewed Indiana Jones as someone worth looking up to--someone admirable. And I also love the franchise.
From one Spielberg classic to another, upon returning home from the beach today, I decided to watch Jaws (and eat fish and chips because I love themed food).
Jaws is such a perfect summer movie, right up there with Dazed and Confused and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It's not summer, of course, but it sure feels like it. I still love that one scene where Brody is throwing chum into the water and Jaws (Bruce) appears, scaring the bejesus out of him. The line, "You're gonna need a bigger boat" makes me chuckle every time. Man, I really wish the shark didn't die at the end. It'll never not bother me. I am always rooting for the creature, no matter what the species. I wonder if anywhere nearby shows Jaws at the beach. I've heard of other places doing it--projecting the film and having people watching it while floating in innertubes at night. How terrifying. I don't know if I would do it, not necessarily because of how scary it would be, but because I doubt I'd want to hang out on the lake or ocean at night for that long. I'd need to beach myself or something. I'm too old for that shit.
On that note, I'm super zonked from the sun and need to step away from computing for a while. It's not even 6:00 and I'm already in my cozies (Kenna lingo for whatever you like to wear to bed). I think I'm going to sit on the porch for a bit, hang with my squirrels then maybe I'll watch the rest of the Leafs' game. It looks pretty boring so far. The Leafs literally just scored after I typed that. Hah. Alright, Leafs, you go.
Now I'm gonna go and get some more fresh air, and maybe fall asleep early as old folks do. And, of course, I will leave you with a song; a classic that came up on a Spotify shuffle as I watched the waves crash. It gives me total summer vibes. Beers on porches, dancing by myself. Am I becoming a summer person? You know what? I think I always have been. I just can't stand the heat. So maybe I'm not? Who the hell knows. I do know that I'm enjoying today, and I hope that you are, too.
The other day I was digging in my safe, which is really just a glorified book shelf, searching for a book I seem to have lost. I never found it, but I came across something else. Something of greater value. A message from an old friend. Ben used to write me notes when we worked together, and leave them in my drawer behind the counter, and sometimes I'd leave notes for him too. Silly little messages to make each other laugh, or words of encouragement, or just to let each other know when a hot guy or girl started working in the plaza ("Steelers Guy," for example). I loved that about Ben--he was always looking out for me. One of the funniest things he ever wrote was in response to me telling him about my first solo apartment. I told him that it didn't really have a bedroom, just a Murphy bed in a closet. He said, "Bedrooms are for wimps!" I laugh every time I think of it.
This particular note was an attempt to get me pumped up about life during a difficult time. In peak cheerleader form, the note contained comments like, "YOU ARE AMAZEBALLS! and "BIGGER, BADDER, LIFE CHANGING GOALS!" My favourite part was him trying to get me excited about taking vacations..."Two weeks? No! Too weak! Two months! Recharge and reconnect with you!" Strangely enough, that's kind of what I did to kick off this year. I mean, I was really sick and had to step away from things so it wasn't exactly a vacation, but I certainly did recharge and reconnect with myself. Ben would be happy about that. Another thing I think he'd be happy about is the fact that I'm still (kind of) keeping up with this blog.
That was the main point of that note he left me. He was encouraging me to start a blog. That was almost exactly eight years ago, and I'm still at it. So, happy anniversary to this thing! I don't know how long I'll keep it up, but it's been a great experience. Looking back at some of the things I've shared on here makes me cringe a little, but it's totally fine. I made an agreement with myself when I first started that I wouldn't delete anything, no matter how gross or embarrassing. William Faulkner once wrote, "Unless you're ashamed of yourself now and then, you're not honest." I guess that tracks.
Speaking of tracks, the one I'll be sharing with you with today has me all kinds of excited because, not only is it one of my favourites from one of the greatest of all-time, but it's a track I might get to hear live this Fall. On October 16th, I'm attending a juggernaut of a rap show: The N.Y. State of Mind Tour (Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and De La Soul). WHAT?! De La was just added to the bill, and while I feel a little sad about it since we lost Dave this year, I'm also looking forward to seeing an awesome tribute to an artist who had a hand in shaping my identity as a youngster. I always regretted not seeing De La, and now it's actually on the itinerary.
As for Wu-Tang, I mean...come on! This is a dream show for me. I have such fond memories of playing Donkey Kong Country all summer with my friend while listening to 36 Chambers on repeat (and some Too $hort, too). I'm not sure which Wu-Tang members are going to be there, but I'm inclined to believe that both Raekwon and Ghostface will be, which means that I'll likely be hearing some favourite songs from another favourite album, including one song in particular, featuring Nas, that I'll be sharing a little something about soon. This is going to be an epic night. Also, Guns N' Roses just happens to be playing in Vancouver, close by, on the same night. Fucking wild! Van City is going to be absolutely lit that night! I must admit that it was tempting to find a way to go to both, but it's not going to work out. Honestly, though, I'm happy with the one show. It's bonkers as it is, and if given the choice between the two, I'd choose the one I've already got tickets to. It's what Ben would call a "Maja-concert," something he wanted me to attend more often. In fact, in that note I found, he said I should attend "FOUR MAJA-CONCERTS A YEAR." Oh, Ben. Sometimes I wonder what you'd think of me now. How I've grown and changed. Everything is so different, and it's only been four years. Holy, it's been four years! And, to think, I'm actually older than you now! I hope you're having a chuckle about that. I hope everyone out there is finding something to laugh about, because one thing that I keep reminding myself of is not to take life too seriously.
And now I will leave you, as I often do, with a smile and a song. Nas' sophomore album, It Was Written, gets a lot of flack, because it follows arguably the greatest rap album of all-time, Illmatic, but I've always enjoyed it. It takes me back to simpler times of driving around with cool guys and gals and kickass stereos with killer base, causing a ruckus and having a laugh.
I hope you enjoy this incredible song, my friends, and I hope to be back with another chapter soon.
It's A Shame About Rae
If I make it through today
I'll know tomorrow not to leave my feelings out on display
Yeah right, who am I kidding?
I haven't shared anything on here since November, which makes sense to me because things have been a little nuts since then. I'm not going to go too far into it because I want to shift the direction of this blog pretty soon and focus more on music, movies and murders, but it's been a mess.
Long story short (a classic intro to a very long, drawn-out saga) I got The Rona around New Years and haven't been the same since. That said, I also don't want to go back to where I was before. I was in the midst of one of my longest bouts with depression and nothing seemed to help, then, wham! It was almost like the universe slammed on the brakes. I had to stop everything. I didn't leave the house for a month, left my job to focus on my health, and in the process lost my fucking mind. That last part was the best part.
When you get hit hard with that virus, it's like you're tripping balls without drugs. Everything was spinning, and I found myself staring in the mirror at my dilated pupils for what felt like forever. I was basically back in high school, without the drama. I also happened to pull a couple near all-nighters because I couldn't breathe well and was afraid of dying. Talk about a bad trip. And I still haven't left the party.
Thankfully I'm not rocking a hangover and tasting raspberry cider barf. I'm just...not home. But I am at home. Things are just different. Everything is just a shell of what once was. And for that, I'm both freaked out and grateful. During the thick of the sickness, I reached this point where I was lying in bed and heard "nothing matters, and none of this is real," and it wasn't my voice, and it was strangely comforting. If none of this is real, then there's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be upset about. I keep reminding myself of that when I get scared about how I'm going to pay rent or what's to come next, because I know, somehow, it'll get figured out. Life will go on, until it stops. And there won't be much to worry about then, right?
I hope you're finding the humour in this, because I'm not taking any of this too seriously. I've finally learned that worrying doesn't help. It doesn't change the situation. And sometimes starting at zero isn't a bad place. We all start there, and sometimes we go back and start there again, and again, and again. And it's fine. It doesn't mean you have to stay there. Nobody and nothing stays the same.
On that note, I am working on crawling out of my hermit shell here and there, and the timing is right, because it's the real start of the new year: spring! I want to start working on projects again, and get back to writing on this blog.
I just noticed that I currently have 18 drafts saved on here, one of which is from 2017. It's titled "I Dunno" and just says, "Deodorant commercials make me feel like I'm not doing enough with my life. There's a current one where a gorgeous young woman is a fit DJ/classical musician who likes to go on fancy dates with her beautiful boyfriend and seems to devote her spare time to working out." I don't remember said commercial. There's another one from around the same time titled, "It Was Nothing Like That, Penis Breath!" which was clearly supposed to be about ET, but there are no words, just a picture of Elliott with ET. I'm such an Elliott. I've probably said it hundreds of times, but I'm Elliott and Gordie Lachance from Stand By Me, and always will be.
Well, I think I'll leave it there for now, and hopefully be back soon with something to say about something. Until then, I'll leave you with sexy smoking Johnny Depp in this Lemonheads video, which is so '90s. It truly warms my heart.
Thanks for stopping by!
Jesus Christ, it's that time again, isn't it? Even Mary looks pissed off about it. Kidding. I happen to be pretty excited about the holidays coming up, mostly because I really need to step away and relax, but also because I have some projects I'm eager to spend time on. Oh, AND, thanks to my dear friend, I'm going on a little trip to Vancouver to check out the Christmas Market and see a Canucks game! I haven't been to a Canucks game in ages, and haven't been to Vancouver since the King Diamond concert in 2019. I love Vancouver and always enjoy my time there, and unlike many who hate taking the boat off the island, I happen to love the ferry! Even the little announcements over the PA make me happy. I just remembered the nausea-inducing boat ride back from King Diamond. That was something. I get seasick sometimes, but have never felt that sick on a BC Ferry until then. Didn't spew, though.
Earlier today, in an effort to ease my mind about some uncertainties, I decided to turn to another kind of fairy--my oracle cards. I don't spend time with them as often as I'd like to, but today was a day for slowing down as I threw my neck out while sneezing and couldn't go to work. I'd make a joke about aging, but I swear I did the same thing in my twenties. I think it has more to do with tension or stress in the body, paired with a lack of mindfulness. I was trying to be quiet. It was 6:30 in the morning and I didn't want to wake the house up, so I kinda tried to hold in the sneeze. Don't do that. That's my advice for the day. Actually, my real advice is to not fight against your body. My neck was like, NOPE, and I was like OK, I won't. So I didn't, and here I am. I need to stop rambling, though, to keep this short and prevent further strain.
Anyway, this is the card I pulled, and it's exactly the message I needed. It might be the message we all need. Not sure about you guys, but I've been struggling a lot lately, trying to walk that level path that everyone seems to be confidently strutting down and I continue to roll my ankles at every turn. I honestly believe that that's why I've got so much tension in my body and why I spend most of my days either bawling or choking back tears. This ain't it, sonny boy. And that's ok.
I used to think there was something wrong with me, and depending on your definition of wrong, maybe there is, but sometimes wrong just feels so right. I think that going against what feels right in favour of what seems acceptable is at the root of my suffering. There are other things at play, for sure, things I need to work on, and I'm working on it. But I don't think I'll make significant progress if I continue to steer myself away from that path less trodden. I love that word.
Right now, I'm not even sure I see a path, but I'm pretty sure I can hoe.
So as I sit here gearing up to watch Monday Night Football (dear God, the Steelers are playing. My neck is fucked), I find myself asking what I have to lose. A football game? Likely. But what do I have to lose in life by taking a risk? Everything? Nothing? I dunno. Probably something in between? I do know that not finding out is going to kill me, though. It's already killing me. So what now? Critics have been getting on Kenny Pickett's case about not throwing deep enough, and I totally get it. But I also get why he doesn't. Fear. You risk throwing it away or missing and looking like an idiot, or worse, getting picked off. And that's something I consider every day. What if it doesn't work out? What if it's a disaster? But I'm already feeling pretty disastrous doing things I don't love, so why not risk disaster doing something I do love, right?
But here's the thing...when you throw a Hail Mary, you must have a receiver. You can't do it all alone. This is me asking for help. Haha. I'm not great at this, but if anyone is able to offer assistance, either financially or with opportunities/collaborations, hit me up! I'm looking to step away from what is not serving me and walk towards what I enjoy. I'm working on a plan and seeking out resources and I'm getting ready to take a leap. It's not going to be easy, but not much ever is, so any help would be appreciated so very much. Sometimes even a kind word or intention is enough, and if that's all you've got to offer, I sincerely appreciate it, and thank you.
Now it's time for a motivating song, and time for a heating pad.
Thanks for stopping by! Oh, and feel free to email me at Heykennarae@gmail.com (also my PayPal) to get in touch.
The Great Rebuild
I'm back! And so is football! And I don't want to talk about it.
Kidding. I actually do, because I relate to what my team is going through right now and I think this might be a fun way to approach this whole collapse/rebuild scenario that's playing out.
So I just finished watching the Steelers beat the Bucs, and I'm at a loss, because I fully anticipated that I'd be writing this after losing. But here we are. Before the game, the Steelers had a 1-4 record and were pretty much the worst team in the league. I don't think I've ever seen the team like this, and I know a lot of people are loving it. Haters. But I get it. You love to see the good teams get bad. That's the nature of the beast. But, honestly, I'm not that mad about where we're at right now (aside from Kenny Pickett being out with a concussion). The Steelers are in the middle of a rebuild and they're trying to find their footing. And so am I.
A couple months ago, I left my job of nine years to pursue something different. A new start. I'd been trying to step outside of my comfort zone more and more, trying all sorts of new things to shake things up. But in doing so, I ended up pretty shaken up. I'm starting to realize why it's called stepping out of your comfort zone. But it wasn't just a feeling of discomfort I was experiencing, it was a full-on rejection of some of these new experiences. I felt it in my body. I had panic attacks every day for nearly a month, and it was bad. I thought about sharing something at the time, to see if anyone could offer any helpful suggestions, but I was paralyzed. Absolutely stricken with fear and grief. Sick to my stomach every day, crying all night, not sleeping, depressed as all hell. It was no fun. And I hadn't felt that level of anxiety and depression at the same time in ages.
Luckily, I did have the presence of mind to reach out to my therapist, which was helpful, and I decided to put the focus on what's happening internally rather than frantically attempting to change my external world. Essentially, trying to rebuild my sense of self. But it's been hard. Running away is a coping mechanism I've used for far too long, and I wanted to show myself that I could take care during difficult times without making rash decisions. Having said that, I'm also making a promise to myself to not stay in situations that aren't serving me for longer than I need to. Because that's the thing about trying new things...you're not necessarily going to like everything you try. In fact, you probably won't like everything. And it's not a reflection of your shortcomings or a lack of drive or intelligence, sometimes something just isn't a good fit or doesn't jive with you, and that's totally fine. It took me a while to finally accept that, but I'm so glad that I did, because things were getting pretty scary.
How fitting, because it's the spooky season! It sure hasn't felt like it around here, though. Even though the leaves have been changing colour and scattering around, we've still got summer temperatures. It's pretty weird. I honestly can't think of another time where we haven't put the heat on by mid-October. It's kind of pissing me off, actually. But I'm trying not to get too cranky about it. Halloween is two weeks away, and I want to enjoy the season as much as I can. I've been watching tons of horror and Halloween movies, specials and documentaries, visited a corn maze, picked out pumpkins, put up decorations. The usual. Even though I haven't really been feeling the spirit of the season, I'm determined to keep trying. I think I'm pretty good at trying. Here's a list of what I've watched so far, during the month of October, and a couple things I watched in the last few days of September.
1. Donnie Darko (2001)
God, I can't believe how old this one is now. I remember being obsessed when it first came out. Such a comfort film for me, and a great movie for the spooky season.
2. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror (2022)
This is a cool documentary on the genre. I made a list of films to track down while watching, because there are many that I haven't seen. I love witchy, folksy, cultic things, and if you do too, I recommend checking this out. It's a little long but the time flies by.
3. Kill List (2011)
People have been recommending this one for years, and I finally decided to watch it. I really enjoyed it. It's pretty brutal, but in a good way.
4. Terrified (2017)
I put this one on my list after watching some episodes of The 101 Scariest Horror Movie Moments of All Time ( I guess that belongs on this list too, but whatever). The funny thing is, the moment that's supposed to be super scary actually made me laugh. The movie was ok, but I doubt I'll watch it again.
5. The House of the Devil (2009)
I can't say enough good things about this film. I love it so much and think it's a perfect pick for the season. I'm starting to watch it every year now. That's when you know it's love.
6. The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015)
I've seen this movie three times now, and I like it more each time. Nothing beats that feeling of the first watch, of course, but it's a great one to revisit. The dark, chilling atmosphere would make for an excellent winter watch, actually, but it's good for the spooky season, too.
7. Annihilation (2018)
This was a first time watch for me and I thought it was pretty good overall. Some unforgettable scary scenes.
8. Rocktober Blood (1984)
YOU'VE GOT RAINBOW EYEEEEEEEES! That song will be stuck in your head for days and you'll love it. Well, I love it, anyway. A great one to throw on during a Halloween party or gathering. Super fun watch and excellent soundtrack.
9. Intruder (1989)
I had never seen this before and I've been missing out. It's directed by Scott Spiegel and features both Raimi brothers. The grocery store is the perfect backdrop for this story, which is actually pretty scary despite the cheesy stuff, but the fear factor comes from the abusive ex boyfriend character. Those early scenes are pretty uncomfortable, and I must say that I'm not a fan of the way he ends up being the hero in the end. Not for me. But, overall, it's a fun movie with great kills.
10. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
I don't revisit this one that much, but I was in the mood. It's got lots of great '80s nostalgia that I love seeing, and little Danielle Harris is so cute.
11. Halloween Kills (2021)
I saw this baby in the theatre and wasn't that impressed. I liked it more the second time around, but it's not a favourite. It does have great kills, though. I look forward to checking out Halloween Ends.
12. Candyman (2021)
Another first time watch. I enjoyed this sequel/reimagining of the brilliant Clive Barker original. I'm such a fan of Bernard Rose's 1992 adaptation so I was a little afraid that I wouldn't like this one, but I did! I love surprises like that. Speaking of Bernard Rose...I tried watching Frankenstein (2015) last night and oh my god was it brutal. It wasn't bad, but it was gory and depressing as all hell and I finally turned it off after 37 minutes of pure suffering. I can appreciate what he was trying to do, and I thought it was quite well done, but I just wasn't able to put myself through that and likely never will be. Live and learn, I suppose. If anyone has made it though to the end, let me know what you think.
13. Children of the Corn (1984)
After playing around in the corn maze, it felt right to throw on this classic. I love the story and the movie is so well done. For some reason, the poster used to scare the shit out of me when I was a kid.
14. Trick Or Treats (1982)
This was a wild and wacky one that I hadn't seen before. The kid who's supposed to be annoying is actually super entertaining and funny. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it was fun.
15. Beetlejuice (1988)
Such a classic that I don't watch often at all. I've seen it so many times, though. A great option for the spooky season, particularly if you need a kid friendly movie.
16. Puppet Master (1989)
On the other hand, please don't show this one to kids. I watched this as a kid and there's no way in hell I should have. It's not only extremely horny with tons of nudity, but it's pretty rapey and uncomfortable. Mom and Dad, I think we need to talk.
17. The Witches (1990)
Here's another great one that's kid-friendly. Based on Roald Dahl's incredible story, this adaptation is a fun watch and perfect for the spooky season. Bonus if you love rodents like I do. Lots of cute furry friends.
18. The Exorcist lll (1990)
I knew I wanted to revisit this gem during the spooky season, but I figured I'd watch it today after an episode of The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes inspired me to. Dahmer was distracted by watching this movie, allowing one of his victims to escape. Cool story, and cool movie. Brad Dourif, George C. Scott and Jason Miller are all amazing. Side note: not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I only recently found out that George C. Scott is Campbell Scott's dad and Jason Miller is Jason Patrick's dad. It kind of blew my mind. Anyway, this movie also has one of the scariest scenes I've ever seen in any movie. If you've seen it, you know the one, and I fully expect it to be on the final episode of The 101 Scariest Moments in Horror series. If not, the show is bunk. That's all I'm saying.
And that's all I've got left to say, folks. I'm exhausted and have a case of the Sunday scaries with the work week approaching. I just want life to be more fun. I don't think it's too much to ask, so I'm going to make an effort to bring more fun into my life. This season is always good for that, because I look forward to watching something scary or Halloweeny each night. It's a good time. Aside from continuing with my seasonal stuff, I think I'm going to read more and write more and make some future plans. Creative plans. Big plans. Things to look forward to. And, hey, the Steelers won today. Things can turn around, right?
Until next time, boils and ghouls!
Ice Ice Baby
So I finally watched The Iceman (2012), and I have some thoughts.
It's no accident that I waited so long to check this one out, which may surprise you since I'm such a true crime maven. The reason I've been avoiding this movie is because my first introduction to Richard Kuklinski (The Iceman) fucked me up.
Many years ago, while flipping channels, something piqued my curiosity. A documentary about who was described as possibly the most coldhearted killer to ever exist. So, naturally, I popped some popcorn, grabbed a blanket and settled in for what ended up being a pretty disturbing ride that didn't end when the film did.
As I've said before, I'm no stranger to disturbing content and had at that point watched many true crime documentaries and things of that nature, but some things came up during this particular show that proved to be harder to shake than most things I'd come across at the time.
It was an interview-style documentary where Kuklinski divulged many details of his crimes and discussed his upbringing and early experiences with cruelty. The latter being the part that messed me up the most. Yes, it involved animals. No, I wasn't surprised that it would, and no, I am not going to discuss the details. You can look it up if you want, though I don't recommend it. The acts themselves were horrific, but I think it was the callous nature in which he described them that bothered me the most. I remember thinking that I hated this man so much and didn't like existing in a world with people like him.
What he said haunted me for weeks. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Back then I was much more dysregulated than I am now and found it difficult to ground myself or even know how to manage my emotions or self-soothe, so looking back it kind of makes sense why this particular documentary rattled me so much. I'm not saying that it shouldn't have messed me up a bit, but I was quite consumed by it and didn't allow myself to watch anything scary for a long time afterwards.
Now cut to last night.
This goes without saying, but I'm going to say it. Michael Shannon is incredibly hot and WAY too hot in this movie. His dashing good looks and impeccable fashion sense was very distracting and I just felt enamored by his screen presence. Of course hot people can be horrible, but let's not get it twisted. The Iceman was not hot.
Having said that, I really enjoyed this movie. It's incredibly entertaining and well-acted with an all star cast and a captivating atmosphere. It's hard not to love this film, but I didn't love how I found myself rooting for Kuklinski. Not because of Michael Shannon's good looks, though I'll admit that didn't help, but because he portrayed a man with feeling. Someone who seemed to care deeply for his family. In a way, despite the savagery, he seemed like a good man. And this film didn't even dive into his background of abuse, which could potentially sway the viewer into having empathy for this psychopath. So what happened? I wonder why I didn't feel rattled or disturbed by the story this time around. I wonder why this film took such a different angle. I wonder if others feel the same way I do about this one. I mean, I don't care that much, but I'm a little curious. Am I just desensitized or did this film actually manage to lighten things up a bit? Did the filmmakers really believe that Richard Kuklinski cared about his family? It's possible. It's possible that they believed it, but it's also possible that it's true. At least that's what this film has me pondering.
I guess job well done, The Iceman! You got me thinking.
Now I think I'll leave you with a tune (not Vanilla Ice) from the movie that actually makes me think of Boogie Nights. I kind of wish they picked another song because I hate when movies repeat songs that are associated with other films, but it's a good song so it's all good.
Thanks for stopping by for a quick read, and if you haven't watched The Iceman, I recommend you check it out. Super entertaining. Skip the documentary and watch Michael Shannon instead.
Ashes To Ashes
I'm sure I've used that title before, but I don't really care.
It's been a while, hey? A few months, actually. I don't think I've ever gone that long without posting on here. Again, I don't really care. I'm trying not to worry about too much these days, and I'm also working on giving less of my energy to things I don't want to do. I guess I just haven't felt like sharing on here, and I'm glad that I honoured that.
In other news, I spilled Beans' ashes last night and felt weird about it. I was wearing my urn necklace, and was in the middle of cleaning and organizing some shit, and it just dropped off of my neck, opened up and spilled on the carpet. I yelled, "OH NO...BEANS!" I felt really bad about it. But it actually doesn't matter. First of all, I have more ashes, and second...oh well.
I am about to vacuum, though, and that part feels extra weird. Just about to vacuum up my cat. No biggie. But last night I started wigging out about it a bit. I was holding fragments of ash and rubbing them between my fingers and considering that one day I'll be reduced to ash. I was also very high.
While cleaning and organizing, I came across some relics. Mostly photos and sports memorabilia.
Omg, look how cute I was! I look so different now. But it's cool. I'm in my forties. Nobody panic.
I think I was about 20 or so in the top two pics, and maybe 7 or so in the one below. Getting my makeup done for The Nutcracker Ballet. Those were the days. I wish someone would do my makeup now. Like, every day. I get kind of sad looking at that pic of me and my niece because I have no idea where she is or how she's doing now. Hopefully somewhere nice, doing something she loves, that's not illegal. That dude is my old neighbour who I used to make out with. I was maybe 16 and he was...I shudder to think. Twenties for sure. Ewwwww. I find it interesting that I kept this photo for so long. I must have really had a thing for him. In fact, I just remembered that he was in a band and I had his cd. I might still have it somewhere. God, I probably do. What a weenie.
I also found an old writing assignment from university. It's actually really good and I'm not surprised I got an A+ on it. I'd like to experiment with writing fiction more. That's all I used to write, and now I almost never do. Funny how things change.
Speaking of, it's officially summer here now and we're already in the middle of a heatwave. Maybe I'll turn to ash sooner than I thought. I'm really not good at handling heat. I felt a panic attack coming on yesterday while perusing the market. It was like 30 degrees, though. I held it together but, man, am I excited for Fall. Even reading on the front steps felt like a task today. Between the heat and the jumping spider that kept leaping onto my book, I didn't last long. But, you know what? I am going to soak up some sunshine and enjoy this season. On another day, when the temps aren't so high.
Aside from focusing on my online vintage shop, which I'll be posting about more soon, and trying to avoid combustion from the heat, I've been listening to a lot of true crime podcasts. I've been noticing something. So many murders and true crime events happen on or around my birthday. Not kidding, you guys, it's a lot. It's really weird. Just the other day, I was falling asleep listening to a crime show (I don't recommend falling asleep listening to true crime, but what can I say) and they said, "...her body was found on June 13th." Mmmhmm. Of course it was. Also, Candy Montgomery killed Betty Gore on June 13th...the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders (Tent 8)...Ted Bundy is recaptured after his first prison escape...the list goes on. None of this matters, of course, it's just interesting to me.
And now I'll leave you with a couple more things that are interesting to me. Some gems I came across while going through one of my old trunks. I stole that Super Bowl XLIII poster from a local pub while drunk with some friends. I miss that group so much. We all took creative writing together and used to frequent the pubs for some drinks and some laughs. So many good times, and such an odd mix of people from all walks of life. I think I'm going to try and arrange a group hangout again soon. It's been years. I know some people moved away, but we'll see what we can do. Anyway, I remember that night because it was the week before the Super Bowl and almost nobody wanted us to win. I figured I deserved the poster more than anyone, so I nabbed it from the hallway outside the bathrooms. Glad I did because it brings back good memories.
I also came across this towel from the Cup Finals in '94. I can say now that it does bring back good memories, despite the crushing loss. I also found one from the 2011 Cup Finals in that trunk, but I'm not over that one yet so I don't feel like sharing. Ah, memories.
Now I will leave you with a song from one of my faves, with a fitting title, as the Stanley Cup may just be awarded tonight! I kind of hope it goes seven games, though. I always want that when it's not my team in the playoffs (which is often the case). Makes things more exciting. For those of you who have a horse in this Cup race, I wish you the best of luck! As for me, I will pack away these memories and hope for more to celebrate next season.
Thanks for stopping by!
Your Basket Is Empty
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.
I Was Thinking Of Ending Things
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 finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!