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!
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!