I always laugh when Dan Zupansky, host of True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers in True Crime History, mentions the discount code for his sponsors. "Enter code 'Murder' at checkout to save 15% on your first order from FabFitFun! Now, let's get back to the discovery of the third body."
Dan is the best of the best, in my opinion. He's a journalist and author who interviews his peers as well as those in law enforcement. True Murder has introduced me to some fascinating and terrifying cases. I've been listening to the podcast for years and cannot get enough. It's certainly no-frills unlike many others out there, but that's why I enjoy it. I don't really like crime podcasts where the hosts are super loud and excitable and have constant side conversations, yucking it up about unrelated nonsense. I know a lot of people like that kind of thing, but I don't like a lot of people.
Lately I've been engaging with a lot of true crime. Like, more than usual. Maybe a bit too much, as it's seeping into my thoughts more than I'd like it to. But I will say this, it doesn't hurt to be hyper aware of your surroundings. I was out for a walk recently and some guy was acting a bit off, so I kept my distance. His eyes darted around, looking at me then back at the ground. He picked up a stick, attempted to hide it in his hand, then crept behind a hedge around the corner. I could see his feet so I knew he was there. Rather than rounding the corner, I crossed to the other side of the street. I saw him anxiously pacing and glancing back in my direction. I wrote it off as just another weirdo but I'm glad I was so aware, because less than a week later a guy was arrested in that same area for threatening a woman with a knife. But get this, the same guy was previously arrested for attacking a man...with a stick! My guess is that it's the same guy I saw, but who knows. Lots of weirdos out there.
Maybe sitting inside on a beautiful day watching true crime is better than being out in the wild experiencing it. Having said that, I haven't stopped going for my walks. I'll always find time to be out in nature, but I have been extra cautious. As for what I've been watching, I won't bore you with a ranking list or anything, but there have been some standouts.
Cute couple, hey? Too bad orange jumpsuit butchered the beauty in the black dress, while she was carrying his baby, no less. A couple months ago I watched the A&E series The Murder of Laci Peterson. I'm not sure why I continue to revisit cases I'm so familiar with, but sometimes I just get hooked. There's something about Laci's murder that always drags me in. The series was fairly well done and attempts to show both sides of the argument in terms of Scott Peterson's presumed guilt, which I appreciate, even though of course he's guilty. But they left out some key details.
The series mentions that over the course of five years, seven pregnant women went missing in the area and one, Evelyn Hernandez, turned up murdered six months before Laci was discovered. Rumours began circulating about the possibility of a serial killer or a satanic cult targeting pregnant women. People sure love blaming Satan. Scott's family and many others believe that Laci and these other women were likely killed by the same person or persons, but by pulling your head out of your ass for a brief moment and doing a quick Google search, it becomes quite clear that that was not the case. It seems that some of these "missing women" simply never existed, and the ones who did were found alive and well. Also, it turns out that Evelyn Hernandez had a boyfriend who happened to be married. Apparently he didn't want her to have his child. His wife, who knew about the affair, provided a solid yet suspicious alibi. It sounds like they wanted her to disappear. Unfortunately, her son disappeared with her as well and was never found. Interesting that the Hernandez case never garnered the attention the Peterson case did. For more on that, read "A Tale of Two Killings."
That brings me to another case that's been heavy on my noggin (Shout out to Bailey Sarian). Jermain Charlo, a 23-year-old indigenous woman, went missing in Missoula, Montana in 2018 and has yet to be found. I can't stop thinking about it.
I don't typically like getting too immersed in unsolved cases, because it can feel pretty hopeless and depressing, but there's also that little fire that ignites when you begin to piece things together. I highly recommend you check out Stolen: The Search for Jermain on Spotify. I am hooked, but it also makes my heart sink. The epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls weighs heavy. As a British Columbian, you grow up hearing stories about the notorious "Highway of Tears." If you're not familiar, I recommend looking it up, but be warned that it is horrific and heartbreaking. Jermain's story is more of an isolated incident and it becomes pretty clear who's responsible, but the fact that the case remains unsolved makes me think of all the others. It's important to make sure that those stories are heard and that the women and girls are not forgotten. That's why I'm especially drawn to Stolen. It's hosted by brilliant Cree journalist, Connie Walker, who interviews locals in Missoula, including family, friends and the police to try and get answers about what happened to Jermain. Unfortunately the first season just wrapped up, but I anticipate that there will be another. Connie also hosts some other incredible podcasts, including Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo. That one is definitely worth a listen as well.
Between my weekly fixes of Stolen and Bailey Sarian's "Murder, Mystery and Makeup Mondays" on YouTube, I've been watching tons of other stuff. Lots of Cold Case Files and Unsolved Mysteries and so many documentaries. At this point, if it's out there I've seen it.
Most recently I enjoyed watching Netflix's docuseries The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness. I never tire of Son of Sam, and I love that this is Maury Terry's story. Terry was an acclaimed investigative journalist who became obsessed with the Son of Sam murders to the point where it wrecked him. Definitely worth checking out. Plus, Paul Giamatti is the voice of Terry.
A couple more standouts in recent memory are Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer and The Ripper (my personal favourite), both from Netflix. Man, Netflix is killing it (hah) with true crime docs. Honestly, some of the best I've seen. Another Netflix series I was quite taken with is Unabomber: In His Own Words. I don't feel like Ted Kaczynski is considered as heinous a killer as, say, Bundy. It may be because of the nature of the crimes, but make no mistake, the guy is scary as hell. Ooh, both named Ted! I've never really thought of that before. And both quite clever and articulate. Anyway, I'm so glad that this documentary is bringing attention to the absolutely terrifying side of Kaczynski. Plus, I love all the footage in this series. Great stuff. Sometimes I forget that Kaczynski looked like wilderness Charles Manson when he was arrested.
Do you guys remember when the Unabomber was insanely popular? I recall constantly hearing people talking about him and making jokes. I think I was pretty obsessed for a while. In high school, there was a kid who sent in a bomb threat and we started calling him the Unabomber. I think I even got him to sign my yearbook as the Unabomber. I don't think the kid looked like the composite sketches or anything, but didn't we all know someone who did?
Other than bingeing true crime documentaries, I've been obsessing over some other cases, primarily the Delphi Murders, an unsolved case of two young teen girls who were murdered while on a hike together. It's a fascinating case, because they have never released the details about how they were murdered, and also because the girls took pictures and had audio recordings of a man they encountered seemingly right before they were killed. A man's voice can be heard saying "guys...down the hill" on one of the recordings. It's so scary. There's a new documentary out called Down The Hill that covers the case. I first came across the Delphi Murders on an episode of True Crime Garage, and haven't stopped thinking about it since. News just broke that there might finally be a lead after four years. There's a possible suspect in custody who was arrested for another violent crime against a minor. A nine year old girl. Thankfully she survived. Let's hope they've got the guy they're looking for. I don't like to believe that there are too many sickos of that nature roaming around, but fuck, who knows.
Alright, I think that'll wrap things up. I actually wrote most of this a couple weeks ago, but lost interest. So here I am now, doing some editing and watching the Oilers/Jets in OT. That's right, my true crime spree has been interrupted by the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unfortunately, the Canucks didn't make it this year so I'll be cheering on the Habs exclusively. I just had to add "Habs" to the dictionary. This program is not very Canadian.
Now I will leave you with my Saku Koivu bobblehead, who answered my question of whether the Habs would knock off the Leafs, and a book I came across on my walk today that seems fitting. And of course I will leave you with a song that also seems fitting, as I'm feeling a bit murdered out.
Stay safe out there, friends, and make good choices!
Nobody cares for me, nobody.
Man, you guys, the past couple weeks have been rough. Depression is kicking my ass and I've been feeling pretty hopeless. Thankfully, somebody does care for me. My roomie, James, who was trying to console me suggested I try listening to music (something I seem to forget to do when I'm down in it). He said to think of a song that used to comfort me in childhood. The first song that came to mind was, you guessed it, David Lee Roth's "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody." As soon as I thought of it I laughed, because I remember feeling like I could relate to it so much as a kid. Just a little gigolo. Then I remembered more of the chorus and felt sad.
I'm so sad and lonely...
Won't some sweet mama come and take a chance with me, 'cause I ain't so bad.
Ok, that part is funny.
Anyway, I went for a walk, played that song a few times and before long found myself on a Van Halen kick. Van Halen holds a special place in my heart because they were one of my first favourite bands, and also Eddie Van Halen was quite possibly my first crush. Sadly, we lost him last Fall. I remember being a wee one and discovering that Valerie Bertinelli was married to him. I hated her instantly. For some reason, when you're a kid you believe that you actually have a chance with your celebrity crushes. Even when they're like 25 years older than you.
As I continued on my walk, I put on what's probably my favourite Van Halen song, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." Man, what an opening riff. It's so badass. The whole energy of that song is fucking cool. It really is a perfect rock song. One of my past long term relationships started due to bonding over that song. So after that gem, I put on another fave: "Jump" with the "1984" intro, of course. My vinyl copy of that album is one of my prized possessions. To me, that record represents everything that ruled about the 80s. I just recalled a time when I was with some friends in a casino parking lot and "Jump" started playing. Each of us took turns running and jumping off a concrete block, doing our best David Lee Roth impression. Next up was "Panama." Another perfect rock song. It's sure hard to skip a song on 1984. That whole album makes me want to get wasted and dance with girls. After listening to "Top Jimmy," another good one, I decided to switch things up and throw on some Van Hagar, circa 5150. That's right, I said it. I love Sammy Hagar.
Some buddies were having a Van Hagar discussion on Twitter and I had to jump in and show some love. I love Sammy's whole vibe and happen to adore his voice. His style is so different from David Lee Roth's and I kind of love that. Plus, those ballads. SIGH. The topic of Van Hagar sure brings people out of the woodwork. It's funny how heated it always seems to get. I, for one, like them both but I also lean towards Paul Di'Anno in Maiden and Ronnie James Dio in Sabbath so I'm no stranger to feeling like an outsider in these matters. I actually happen to love Dickinson and Ozzy, but my ears do not deceive me. It's actually fun to see how passionate people are about their favourite singers and musicians. That conversation kind of brightened my day, to be honest.
Now I will leave you with another favourite Eddie (above). My bother had this Iron Maiden Killers flag in his room when I was a kid and I used to sneak and peek at it from a distance because it scared the shit out of me. One day he said, "You know, Kenna, Eddie eats children." I will never forget that.
I think that listening to and writing about music I love just lifted my mood a bit. It's either that or the edibles. Whatever the case, I'm going to enjoy this ridiculous video and probably listen to some more music.
Take care out there, and go listen to something that makes you feel good.
It's Free Library Friday once again, folks! I've been creating these posts every Friday on social media for a while now, where I share a book or two that I found at one of my neighbourhood free libraries. This one was originally published in June of 1960, and boy is that cover dreamy! This post is actually not about this book at all, but the cover seems fitting. This post is about a book that was published almost 6 years ago that I was just made aware of, and it features a chapter about me.
It was written by a guy that I had a casual thing with roughly 15 years ago. He wrote this book about 100 of the women he's slept with, and the book divulges graphic descriptions of his escapades, including specifics about body parts and performance. I wasn't sure if I made the cut, until I was. The chapter heading was a dead giveaway, and anyone who knew us would know that this chapter is about me.
So I tossed the question out to Twitter yesterday: do I read it? The replies were mixed, which is exactly how I feel. Am I curious? Hell yes. Do I need to know what this guy thought of me and my body? Hell no.
The past is the past. I was a 25 year old kid who was going through a transitional time in my life, and I was trying to figure out who I was. So, the fact is that this guy didn't even know me then because I didn't know myself. What I do know is that I think I enjoyed our time together, from what I remember, and I don't think we had a falling out or anything. Things just went away. Clearly for him, that was not the case.
Things must have weighed heavy on his mind in order to include me in this book, which from what I understand is supposed to read more as an apology to the women he has hurt over the years. But when the chapters are titled "Shovel Face," "Dirt Bag Filth Trap" and "Fat Chicks Love Anal," to name a few, you do start to question the motives. The title of my chapter is nowhere near as vulgar, but who knows what the content is. I mean, we fucked. That's when you're at your most vulnerable, right?
While my curiosity almost got the best of me and I considered having a trusted friend read my chapter just to let me know how bad it is, I ultimately decided against it. Because who really cares whether this guy thought my vagina was garbage or gold. It really doesn't say anything about me.
There was a time in my life when I would not have been able to resist reading something like that, but that wasn't the real me. That was a young woman who was self-conscious and scared, who deeply wanted to be liked and cared what others thought about her, despite the tough exterior. The thing about that young woman is, I love her. I really do. She wasn't able to love herself then and neither was anyone else, but that's ok. I've learned in recent years that how others feel about you is not important in the least. An opinion is just words strung together in thought. They are not fact. Even the opinion you have of yourself isn't the truth. But right now I can safely say that I'm feeling pretty good. I'm proud of myself and the woman I've become. And, you know what? My vagina is gold.
I just got a notification that my website was about to renew so I thought I should probably start writing again. I mean, I'm paying for this thing. I actually wrote a post in December and in January, but decided not to publish. I was really depressed and I guess I just didn't feel like sharing. It's hard to find motivation when you're in that dark of a place.
I've been listening to some inspiring podcasts lately in an effort to turn things around, and they all seem to point towards this idea of going into the light in times of darkness. Seems obvious, I suppose. So I started thinking about this idea, and naturally, Poltergeist came to mind. Then I thought what if you're not supposed to go into the light? What if something evil is actually lurking in there? Or what if it's perfectly ok to remain in darkness? I think that last part is actually true.
We're all afraid of the dark. If you say that you're not, you're probably lying. It's ok, I get it. There's something childish about that fear, and I'm not even sure why that is. I guess what it really comes down to is fear of the unknown. When we can't see, when we don't know what's there, it's scary. But the thing is, when you flick the switch and everything turns bright, it's the same thing as it was before. Everything is the same. The only thing that changes is perception. One moment you don't see the killer standing over your bed, and the next moment you do, but the killer was there the whole time. You see?
On that note, look at these pretty candles I made!
Candle making accidentally became a passion very recently. Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Twitter are already aware of this. It all started with me falling in love with these candles I purchased on Etsy from Wild Blackthorn. She makes beautiful magical candles, potions and jewelry and her candles make me feel happy and calm. I wanted to recreate that feeling and pass it on to others, so I started buying supplies and experimenting. I honestly cannot tell you the last time something made me feel this good. I just love the process of making them. I could do it all day and never grow tired. I'm not sure what it is, but it excites me. Plus, I've been able to incorporate spell work into it by adding plants, herbs, essential oils, crystals and intentions. I don't know what happened, you guys, but I have to keep doing it. It's bringing me joy, and I hope that joy transfers to those who light them. People have asked whether or not I'll be selling them, and the answer is...yes! I'm currently working on a business plan which includes another creative outlet that I've been passionate about for pretty much my whole life, and I will be sure to keep you guys updated. In the meantime, if you're interested in purchasing any candles, please message me on Instagram or Twitter and I would be happy to hook you up!
So I guess I've been literally bringing the light in with these candles, and that whole bit about sitting in darkness was a sham. But, come on, don't you feel more at ease in the dark with a candle lit? I know I do. Plus, hot candle wax would make an excellent weapon if you do encounter a killer at your bedside.
Now I will leave you with a smile and a song, as I often do. I don't know about you, but this one seems so fitting right now. Enjoy, dear friends, and take good care.
Happy Friday the 13th!
I hope you guys are doing well amidst the madness. Things are heavy, and every one of us is feeling it. So what do we do? One thing that helps me is to focus on creating and maintaining ritual practices. Making a point of doing things that are good for me every single day, no matter what. That doesn't mean that I magically feel great. In fact, when I'm unbalanced I find myself resenting those practices, but I do them anyway. Yoga, dancing, walking, spending time in nature, reading, writing, spell work, meditation and listening to music. Those are key for me. That doesn't mean that my depression and anxiety magically melt away, but it does allow me to focus on something other than those things.
That's another thing to pay attention to. Where is your focus? Something I learned from yoga is that where attention goes, energy flows. Seems obvious, but it took a while for that to sink in. I got to thinking about how often my attention is placed on others, and how I've been giving a lot of my energy away. So I started changing things up a bit, particularly with social media. While I think it's important to connect with others and not go full-on hermit, I also think that stepping away to turn your focus inward is extremely important. I've started logging out of social media platforms for the majority of the day, or at least while I'm trying to put my energy into other things. It's amazing how much I'm able to get done or how many creative ideas emerge without notifications popping up. That said, we still need our distractions here and there, right? So I have included social media as part of my ritual practice, by checking in at least once per day, but I give myself a time limit.
Today is an excellent opportunity to honour one of my favourite rituals, or traditions if you will, revisiting some films from the Friday the 13th franchise. I haven't decided which ones yet, but I'm leaning towards watching Jason Lives, followed by Friday the 13th (2009). This mid-2000's reimagining is one of my favourites in the franchise. I saw it in the theatre and was blown away by how good it was. They didn't try to do anything incredibly outlandish or new with it, but rather created an entertaining installment where Jason's just back to his old antics, kicking it old-school, and I love it.
It's pretty fucking great that we get a Friday the 13th in November, isn't it? I mean, what better way to curb the post-Halloween blues than to have a spooky sequel? I'm sure most people don't give too many shits about Friday the 13th, but as someone who was born on such a day and loves the horror franchise, I happen to give a lot of shits. Also, I think it's funny how superstitious people actually are about it. It's pretty ridiculous. I have written about this in an older post, so I won't get into it, but good God are people fucking stupid. Story at eleven...
So how are you guys feeling about the Halloween season coming to a close? It certainly was one for the books, that's for sure. I had a great time hanging out with a couple dear friends, dressing up and scaring the crap out of kids and watching horror movies. It was a much needed celebratory evening, and on a full moon, too! I hope you guys had fun. I'm sitting here smiling thinking about it. Vlad (the inhaler) is smiling, too, but he's also looking forward to resting in peace for a while, as am I.
One thing I like to do after saying goodbye to Halloween is to reorganize and cleanse my creative spaces. This includes my bedroom (heyo), altar and desk area. I start by clearing the space, then dusting and finally smudging with sage or palo santo. Clear space, clear mind, or whatever. I almost said clean mind, but who the hell am I kidding? Here's a picture of my desk. As you can see, I never really say goodbye to Halloween. Why would I? Every day is Halloween.
I've been trying to surround myself with whatever brings me joy, especially when things get dark, and my desk is a good example of that. Another cool thing I did the other day that I highly recommend you try is creating a playlist of feel-good songs, without really thinking about it. What I mean is, I started with one song and just kept adding songs, without spending time trying to create a certain vibe. I just let my mind wander wherever it wanted to go. What I ended up with is a 5 hour monster of a playlist that starts with Big Country and ends with N.W.A. That is truly me in a nutshell. And I had no idea what I was going to put on this thing or whether or not the songs were favourites from favourite artists. Many are, of course, but some are just songs that make me smile or dance or sing or feel goofy. Because that's who I am, really. I'm a goofball, and I can't let myself forget that, especially when things feel heavy.
Now I will leave you with that monster playlist, titled "Are You Kenna Rae?" Not sure how many of you remember that annoying yet catchy song "Are You Jimmy Ray," but that's what inspired the name. And, no, that song is not on the playlist. Feel free to have a listen, guys. Of course I don't expect you to listen to the whole thing, but let me know if you actually do, because I will be impressed. Also, please share your feel-good playlists with me, or mention any songs that just put you in a good mood. I'd love to hear it.
Here's a pic of me listening to that playlist while waiting in the cold for a bus. It really lifted my spirits. I actually didn't mind waiting at all. And here is a picture of someone who puts me in a great mood, the man of my dreams and favourite linebacker, T.J. Watt. Damn. Sometimes I fantasize about him pretending I'm a Cincinnati Bengal and destroying me.
Wishing you guys a wonderful weekend, and hoping for another Steelers victory. Let's make it 9-0!
HERE WE GO!
Greetings, boils and ghouls.
It's now October, and you know what that means...the neighbours won't be so weirded out by my spooky décor.
It also means that we're all starting to consider our plans for the Halloween season. Well, those of us who give a shit. I, for one, am not planning on doing a lot event-wise. I'll probably go to the pumpkin patch and maybe ride the "terror train" on the farm, but I doubt there will be as many haunted house attractions to attend. To be honest, that's just fine with me.
It's a weird time and we've all got to adapt, but this time of year is fun every night, no matter what. Lighting candles, plugging in jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin lights and watching horror movies is a great time! I do that kind of thing year-round, but it feels more special for some reason during this month. And, contrary to what you may have heard, Halloween is not dead. The show must go on. Speaking of shows...
Last night I revisited one of my all-time faves, My So-Called Life. I intended on just watching the Halloween episode, but then I decided to start with the pilot, which lead to watching 5 more episodes. This show is everything to me. When it first aired, I felt like there was finally a show with characters I could relate to. I'm sure many other teenage girls (and guys) felt the same way. It was one of those special shows that really meant something, and just as fast as it captured our hearts, it was snatched away. But, you know what, I'm kind of glad it only lasted one season, because it's preserved as this perfect little time capsule in television history. On the topic of perfect, I must say that the Halloween episode is just that. And it's not your typical Halloween special. It's not particularly scary or goofy, although there certainly are some creepy and hilarious moments, but it's also sad and touching and sincere. Basically, everything that made the show so incredible in the first place.
In "Halloween," Angela discovers that her library book was once taken out by Nicky Driscoll, a former student who died in the '60s, under mysterious circumstances around the time of the school's Halloween dance. Angela begins having visions of Nicky around school, and is transported back in time to get a glimpse at what really happened. The storyline is dark and spooky and intriguing, but this episode is also packed, as each episode in this show is, with other equally interesting scenarios.
Angela's sister, Danielle, dressing up as Angela for Halloween is one of my favourite moments. It's so funny and cute and touching. She does such a great job portraying Angela; it's a treat to watch. Also, Angela's parents are the fucking best. They have such great chemistry, and the show never shies away from marital challenges, but this Halloween episode has them letting loose and having fun, and getting sexy. It's adorable and, honestly, kinda hot. I'm now the same age as Angela's parents, so it should come as no surprise that I find myself relating to their characters quite a bit. They are easily right up there with some of my favourite TV parents, and I can't get enough of Rapunzel and the pirate.
As far as dressing up goes for me, I will once again be abandoning the idea of going as bandaged Julia from Hellraiser II. This time, for different reasons. As it turns out, I will be lucky enough to get two periods this month, one of which is scheduled to land right on Halloween. Haha. For me, that means double the cramps, double the back pain, double the bloating and double the fun! Cue the Doublemint Gum jingle. Anyway, it is what it is, and I'll make it work, but I don't think that Julia getup would be very comfortable. Luckily, I have a great backup plan! I'm going to wear last year's Sam Trick 'r Treat costume. Why the hell not?! It's big and baggy and super comfortable. So yeah, things are going to work out just fine. It's Halloween after all, so how bad can it be? Also, how bad do you think I want that NECA Julia?
Well, that's all for now, folks. The night is young, so I think I'll watch a couple more episodes of My So-Called Life, and might fuck around and watch Hell Night or The Other Hell. In kind of a Hell mood. Now I will leave you with a gif of Jordan Catalano and my October playlist, The Hunt For Dead October. I made a playlist of the same name a few years ago, but I've since updated it and made it twice as long. I present you with three hours of doom and gloom, and a little unconventional spooky fun. I'm sure some of these tunes will be on a few Halloween playlists, but I made an effort to add something different to the mix. Something to capture that October ambience. I hope you guys enjoy! Feel free to share and spread the magic of the spooky season.
It's beginning to look a lot like Witchmas...Gem is already itching to scare the neighbourhood children.
Autumn is creeping up fast. Time to dig out your sweaters and boots and, if you haven't already, those Halloween decorations. Funny, right after I typed that bit about sweaters and boots, the sun's rays blinded me through the window. It made me smile, because this is the first day since the wildfires began that I can actually see the sky. It's blue and beautiful and calming.
I tend to enjoy the transition from summer to fall, but this time around I felt like summer was ripped away so fast. Just a couple weeks ago I was sunning myself in the backyard and yesterday I was caught in a chilly downpour. No complaints, though. With the equinox approaching, I can officially bid farewell to a lovely, leisurely summer and welcome autumn in all her GORE-geous glory.
I was about to say that I'm already in full fall-mode by drinking lots of tea, reading and writing and watching horror movies, but I do that shit all the time. I am starting to enjoy the feeling of being cold again, though. Nothing like curling up in a cozy blanket with a good book.
While I'm still enjoying reading true crime and horror, lately I've been getting into a bunch of other shit, too. Some shit to help me figure out my shit.
I used to be one of those types who rolled their eyes at self-help books like I was better than them or something, but I'm starting to see things differently. The way I approach that kind of thing now is to take what I need and leave the rest. I don't need to be so critical and cynical about it, I can absorb the information that resonates with me and skip over what doesn't. That's kind of the way I'm approaching most things lately. It just feels right.
I'm starting to feel more in touch with the energy I'm putting out into the world and the energy I'm allowing into mine. It's been quite eye opening, actually. It's funny what little thought I give to silly things I say or do, or things I post on Twitter or wherever. Case in point, I recently tweeted about my high school penpal, with a picture of him, and shit blew up. So many people were retweeting it, trying to track him down and I started to feel overwhelmed. The breaking point was when this woman tweeted at Ellen, Oprah and Jimmy Fallon. I immediately made my profile private and later deleted the tweet. Like, how the fuck do I know whether or not this person would be comfortable with his picture and name being shared around? Obviously it wasn't my intention to make anyone feel weird. It wasn't even my intention to necessarily find him or attract that kind of attention. I was just curious. But if you speak into the void, even with a whisper, sometimes it echoes back. Something to keep in mind.
On another note, I'm a witch now. Haha. Not exactly, but I'm working on it. I've always been interested in witchcraft, and lately I've been learning about spells and rituals, and intend to incorporate them into my routine. I've had a ceremonial altar in my room for years now. I typically kneel down in front of it, light candles and incense and meditate. Sometimes I'll say something or talk to the picture of my cat, Beans, who is no longer with me in the physical sense. Lately, I don't even feel like she's gone. The other day, I was doing yoga and one of her whiskers appeared beside my mat. It was strange because I have dusted and vacuumed many times since she died. There's no way it could have just appeared...and yet it did. Since immersing myself in books about witchcraft and self care, I find myself talking to her more and feeling her presence. She's even come to me in dreams. It's quite magical, really, and it's comforting.
As I continue on this path heading into fall, it only seems fitting to watch something witchy. Last night's double feature was The Blair Witch Project, which I've seen a few times, and Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, a first time watch. Here's what I think:
I swear I like The Blair Witch Project more every time I watch it. I think this was probably the 4th time I've seen it. I didn't love it when it first came out. In fact, I remember finding in kind of boring. Plus, there's so much yelling in it, which is annoying. I still hate the yelling, but my appreciation of this film continues to grow. I enjoy the unravelling of things, and watching the characters spin out into chaos. Plus, I love the setting. It's so simple yet effective. And who doesn't love that final scene? Minus the yelling, of course. It's so creepy and unsettling, and I love how the story just ends and you need to decide what happened. I don't always love films like that, but it works well in Blair Witch. Now, cue Book Of Shadows.
I have heard so many terrible things about this movie, and I must say that they're all true. But also, I liked it. I knew I was going to like it when Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice, Fargo Season 2) appeared on screen. I would watch that guy in anything. He is an incredible actor and cute as all hell. So basically I just watched him the whole time and enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, the movie is essentially terrible. I can't lie. But also, I laughed pretty hard through most of it, so I had a great time. The plot and the characters are ridiculous. It's so incredibly stupid, and the effects are awful. Just awful. And the music is even worse. But I can't hate it. I like this movie. I was also pretty stoned when I watched it. I wrote down a couple quotes, and they still make me laugh, so that's a good sign.
"Goth: A Way Of Life. A documentary about you."
"Do you think your makeup and black clothes give you power?!"
"I hate nature."
I honestly got a real kick out of the characters, the goth chick and wiccan chick in particular. I love the stereotypes and how the characters actually talk about those stereotypes. It's so, so dumb, but so entertaining. What can I say, sometimes bad movies are the best kind. Especially when you're stoned.
On that note, I'm going to have a few puffs and get ready to watch another movie. Maybe a good one, maybe a bad one, but one thing's certain. I will have a good time. I hope you guys are having a good time this weekend, too, and that you're getting excited about the spooky season intensifying. Light your candles, cast a spell, watch some movies and go to hell. Just because it rhymes.
Until next time, here is a picture of my current fall inspiration, and a witchy tune.
Stay spooky! And GO STEELERS!
Who's at the door? Dan Stevens. Come on in!
But something equally appealing is also here...the start of the spooky season! Here's what I've watched so far to kick things off:
"Ding dong!" is exactly what I said when Dan Stevens' face first appeared on screen. Despite several people recommending this film for years, I watched it for the first time last night. News flash: I often ignore recommendations, so it's really not all that surprising that I waited so long. Just as I don't always give a fuck what others have to say, you likely don't give a fuck about what I have to say either. But I'm not mad about it. Not everyone has good taste.
I must say, however, that those of you who recommended The Guest have very good taste. This film is a blast, start to finish. It's well written, with well thought out characters, a top notch cast, killer performances and loaded with non-stop action. And the soundtrack? Oh boy, is it a gooder. This story also happens to take place during Halloween, which makes it a perfect film to add to your October lineup. Now I'm thinking of diving deeper into Adam Wingard's body of work, including You're Next, which I tried to watch a couple years ago but turned off after about 20 minutes. I didn't find it interesting at the time, but your perception depends on your mood, and I was not in a great one. Maybe You're Next will be next up! Both The Guest and You're Next are currently streaming on Prime, in case you feel like checking them out.
I first saw Fade To Black when I was a kid and thought it was the weirdest, coolest movie. I also forgot what it was called for years, and had a hell of a time trying to track it down. Luckily, by the grace of the witch, it's now available on Shudder. I'm not sure if you guys know how rare this opportunity is, but this film is extremely hard to get your hands on. I highly suggest you waste no time and get your Binford on before time runs out.
I loved revisiting this movie. It's funny as hell, but also pretty disturbing. I mean, Eric Binford is a fucking creeper. When I was a kid, I thought he was cool because he was cute and different, plus I was always intrigued by the darker side, but this time around I found myself cringing a bit. Not in a serious way of course, as we're talking about a horror comedy, but there are some scenes that are fairly uncomfortable to watch. And then there's Mickey Rourke. SIGH. I mean, if that's not reason enough to check this film out, I don't know what is.
1983's One Dark Night stars Meg Tilly and Adam West, and for some reason I had never seen it. This might be a bit of a hidden gem. Until coming across it on Shudder, I hadn't even heard of it. The film's premise, however, sounds very familiar..."a young girl must spend the night in a mausoleum." That said, there is something special about this film.
The atmosphere is wickedly creepy and the score is so, so good. The opening scene had me locked in immediately, and the creepiness gains momentum as the story wears on. The last half hour is absolutely bonkers, and some of the best stuff that 80's horror has to offer. Ridiculously over the top, with super cool practical effects. As someone who loves cemeteries and mausoleums, there couldn't be a more perfect setting for a horror film. Those scenes of Meg Tilly wandering around alone are unnerving, even without any added action or scares. While some of the plot is a bit wonky for me, I still recommend checking it out and think it would be an awesome addition to any Halloween lineup.
I have said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE this movie! Not because it's incredibly good or anything, but because it's one of those special gifts to horror fans. Much like Alien vs. Predator, we have two horror icons facing off. It's what we always wanted, and we got it. While I don't have as big of a hate-on for AVP as many others seem to, I do prefer Freddy vs. Jason. The kills are just so much fun and I love seeing the two compete for teens to hack to pieces. Also, it's a real treat to see Freddy and Jason fuck with each other. The fight scenes are absolutely legendary. Freddy's always been my favourite horror villain because he says the funniest shit and pulls the most insane antics, and in this installment he's in peak form. What can I say, I like a man who makes me laugh.
So that's what I've watched to kick things off. I feel like these films were a great segue into the spooky season. I'm a witchy woman at heart, with jack-o-lanterns lit year-round, but I still consider September to be the official launch.
Now I will leave you with a song that I adore, which you can find on the soundtrack to The Guest. I know I just recently shared a track from Love and Rockets, but I got excited when this song played in the movie. I can't resist. I hope you guys are getting into the spooky spirit. The leaves are changing colour, the temperature's dropping and I've been digging out the decorations that I keep stashed away. I am officially in it, and it feels good.
Until next time, boils and ghouls...
The vagus nerve connects to multiple organs and has a direct impact on the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps put your body at ease.
The Vegas nerve, however, is just a real pain in your ass.
If you don't already know, a couple days ago the Canucks were eliminated by the Vegas Golden Knights in game seven. It was hard to watch because the Nucks were exhausted and ran out of gas. Both teams were tired from playing game 6 the night before, too. How the NHL committed to that schedule, I will never know. In any case, Vegas was the better team that night and deserved to win the game, but man the Canucks deserved better for the effort they put in during this post season run. It just feels like it was cut too short. One win away from making it to the Conference Finals. One. Win. Away.
But maybe it was just their time to go?
I just finished watching Final Destination, and it got me thinking about when your time is up. Death has been on my mind in a major way for a couple years now. It was almost exactly two years ago that I received the news of Ben's cancer diagnosis. That cancer claimed his life a year and a half ago. Woah. I can't believe it's been that long. While the pain of that loss is still very much with me, it's also very different. My feelings about death are also different.
I don't just think about death a lot, I actually feel it. When I really think about my own mortality, I start to feel my organs tensing up then releasing, and I imagine them starting to shut down. This happened to me the other day. I was lying down in the backyard. It was a beautiful sunny day. I had a few puffs, put on some calming music and stared up at the sky. While watching the clouds drift by, I started thinking about my life and getting older and how my body isn't functioning the way it used to. My shoulders tensed up and my breath became shallow. Then I thought what if I just died right now? It kinda freaked me out at first, but then I began to relax into the idea. What if this is my last moment here? I closed my eyes and felt total peace and equanimity.
This was well before game 7. Actually, I think it was a few hours before game 5, if I remember correctly. Whatever the case, it was a good place to be. I really enjoyed my time outside. I watched the birds and squirrels hop around the yard, and was quite OK with the bees buzzing around my face. I smiled a lot. I was also mega stoned.
Back to Final Destination. I hadn't seen this movie in years and I really enjoyed it. Tony Todd (Candyman) plays a character named Bludworth, who also happens to be the grim reaper, and there's actually a character named Clear Rivers. I mean, come on! This movie still holds up and has some pretty creative death scenes. The franchise is known for them. Final Destination 3 is full of wicked ones, and is probably my favourite. That tanning bed double kill still fucks me up and makes me laugh. There are some great kills in the original, including the very bloody drawn out kitchen scene, but my favourite is Seann William Scott's decapitation. Also, I relate to his character so much when he desperately whines "Tell me I'm gonna see the Jets win the Super Bowl!"
I guess that's how I feel about the Canucks. I mean, they've been around for 50 years and still no Cup. You start to wonder if you're ever going to see it. I've been lucky enough to see the Habs win twice, the Jays win twice and the Steelers win twice. Hell, I've even seen the Raptors win once. But there's certainly that ticking clock when it comes to the Canucks. On the plus side, I will say that this is one of the best teams we've ever had and one of the most fun teams to watch. I could see them being the group of guys who brings it home. I see it happening. Very soon. Until then, I will continue watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs, even though I don't have a horse in the race. I'm actually about to watch Vegas in game one of the Conference Finals against Dallas. I'll cheer for the Stars because fuck Vegas, even though I do like Lehner and Fleury and still have a soft spot for Pacioretty, but also because Jamie Benn is on the Stars, which means the Cup could end up in Victoria. Gotta get excited about something, right?
Now I will leave you with "The Pina Colada Song" in hopes that we get to hear it many more times in the future, following big Canucks wins. Also, I happen to think this song is one of the most realistically romantic songs of all time. It's about a guy who is bored with his relationship, so he responds to a personal ad that's aimed at someone who's just like him. Someone who also likes pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, etc. When he shows up to meet this new love interest, it ends up being his girlfriend. She's also bored and looking for something else--someone who likes the same things she does. So it turns out, these two were the right match after all. They just never really got to know each other and didn't realize they had it all right in front of them. It's pretty funny. A beautiful, honest no bullshit love story. That's the kind I'm into.
Until we meet again...
I just spent a couple hours outside, reading David Reichert's account of hunting Gary Ridgway (The Green River Killer), and watching birds. A hummingbird buzzed so close to my face that I was tempted to reach out and touch it. But I doubt I would have gotten away with it.
Speaking of not getting away with it, yesterday the Golden State Killer was sentenced. 26 life sentences for the motherfucker. I watched the whole thing while doing yoga. It's a little time I carve out for myself that I like to call "murder yoga." I watch true crime while doing my poses. It's a good challenge to remain focused while your blood is boiling.
Lately I've been engaging with lots of true crime books and documentaries. I highly recommend reading Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone In The Dark and watching the documentary series (available on Crave) based on the book. Without McNamara's relentless pursuit, I doubt I would have had the pleasure of watching the Golden State Killer brought to justice from the comfort of my home, in a cobra or plank pose. Another recommendation I have for you guys is Trish Wood's documentary series Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer (available on Prime). This one is astonishingly good. It's not your typical Ted Bundy doc that focuses on the same grisly details we all know from the cases. This story is woven from a woman's perspective and focuses primarily on the victims, which is actually pretty rare. Because the series is listed as "season 1" on Prime, I can only imagine that there is more to come, which gets me very excited.
Wanna know what else gets me excited?
That's right! After a five year playoff drought, the Canucks are back in a big, big way. They knocked off the Minnesota Wild in the qualifying round and just last night, defeated the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, advancing to the second round! This is the first series win since 2011 (sigh) so it means a lot to Canucks fans like me. This is the stuff I live for, and I'm planning on celebrating every victory to the fullest. Given the current climate of things, I think that's what we should all be doing, no matter how big or how small the victory. The Canucks are facing off against the Vegas Golden Knights tomorrow to kick off round two, and it's sure to be a doozy. I'm hoping they keep this momentum rolling so I can nickname them the Golden Knight Killers. Whatever the case, I am grateful to see them live to fight another day, and look forward to more exciting hockey.
For me, sports restores a sense of normalcy and purpose. Without sports, I feel pretty out of balance, which is one reason why summer is my least favourite season. Having hockey in August has been a blessing. Having said that, the reason we even have hockey right now is because the world is plagued and everything is crumbling. But what can we do while things fall apart? Keep doing the things we love. Maybe for you that doesn't mean watching hockey and doing murder yoga, but find whatever it is that makes you tick and just keep doing it.
Lately I've been feeling more alive than ever. That's not always a good thing, but it's a thing. What I mean is, that I'm noticing more. I'm feeling more, and that can sometimes be quite painful. But I'm here for it. I'm reading about death and pondering my own mortality, and it's got me thinking about what I'm spending my time doing and what I ought to be spending my time doing. It's also got me feeling pretty lucky. Currently, death seems ever-present. It's a scary time, full of anxiety and uncertainty. But there was never any certainty to begin with, aside from the fact that we're all going to die.
Maybe that's where I'll make my exit.
I will leave you with one of my favourite songs that instantly takes me right back to a simpler time. A time when I would watch this video and stare at Kevin Haskins with dreamy eyes and wonder how many drummers I would date as an adult. I'll keep that number to myself.
Thanks for stopping by, dear friends. Now, enjoy this tune and go do something (or someone) you love. And GO CANUCKS GO!
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!