Season Of The Witch
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 Vegas Nerve
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'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!