The Thief of Always
Halloween is one day away, and it's a Saturday. That reminds me, I've yet to check David Lynch's weather report. I also didn't watch a horror movie or anything spooky last night. I'm kind of off my game, guys. Speaking of, I didn't watch a single football game last Sunday. Or Monday. Or Thursday. It was the Steelers' bye week, but still. I always watch football no matter how I'm feeling. That's another thing...about this Halloween...I kind of don't care about it much. It's not as though I haven't been trying to get into the spooky spirit. I've been watching horror movies and Halloween-related content nearly nightly and I've put together over 100 treat bags for the kids in anticipation of the big day. I've also put up some decorations, but not nearly as many as I normally would, and some only went up today. I usually decorate my place during the first week of October, but I guess things just don't feel so usual. And, you know what? I kind of don't care. I mean, so what? It's really not that serious. I'm also feeling run down and sick, which isn't ideal as I've had to reconfigure my plans, but it'll be fine. I'm still gonna marathon horror movies, eat tons of candy and carve more pumpkins tomorrow. Sounds alright to me. Actually, I might carve my last one tonight. I don't like the idea of watching the Steelers game with knife in hand.
If you're carving pumpkins and planning on roasting pumpkin seeds, I highly recommend using Dinosaur Dracula's awesome recipe. It does not disappoint. I went a bit too ham with the cayenne, but other than that, the first batch was delicious.
Aside from movies, decorating and preparing a costume (I may or may not dress up, but my costume is ready to go) another thing I usually love doing is compiling a Halloween playlist. Well, guess what...it didn't happen this year. I'm on a roll, hey? I just remembered something funny about last year's Halloween playlist. Metallica's "Seek and Destroy" crept its way in there, and no matter how many times I tried to remove it, it kept reappearing. The song is fine. Not my favourite Metallica song, but it's alright and makes me think about hockey. In any case, it didn't belong on my Halloween playlist. It was all wrong, especially right at the end. Eventually I was able to get rid of it, but that shit was weird. I didn't realize that playlists could be highjacked. Did one of you do it? I want names. Anyway, rather than making a new Halloween playlist I put together a spooky season metal playlist called Something Wicked This Way Cums. I made an effort not to use any songs from previous Spotify Halloween-type playlists I've made. I probably did, though. Who am I kidding? I'll also share last year's Halloween playlist, The Hunt For Dead October, because why not? I apologize if Metallica creeps back on there, but if they do, I hope it's another song. Maybe "Creeping Death" or something. Gotta stay on brand at least.
On that note, I will now share a list of what I've watched during the month of October. I'm not going to say too much about most of them because I don't feel like it and also I've written about some of these films in the past, but I'll probably say a thing or two about some. I picked several first time watches as well as some that I haven't seen in ages. I hope you guys feel inspired to watch something from this list or just inspired to watch something spooky.
Oct 1: Creepshow: Season 3, episodes 1 and 2. Not into either one, really. Thankfully, the show gets better. The Stuff (1985), Suspiria (1977). Goblin's music always puts me in a trance. Such a beautiful film.
Oct 2: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) One of my favourite sequels, Ms. 45 (1981) This was a first time watch for me and oh my lord Jesus Christ was it good! I already knew the premise which is why I've been avoiding it. The rape scene(s). Ick, you guys. It was bad, but worth it if you can get through it. I was thoroughly impressed, start to finish. And that Halloween party scene is iconic. I say put it on your Halloween watch list, for sure.
Oct 3: Steelers vs Packers, Evil Dead II (1987), Black Sunday (1977) Classics all around. Too bad we lost.
Oct 4: Dig Two Graves (2014) This was terrible. Based on the description, I thought I would love it, but no.
Oct 5: Did I watch something? I dunno. I didn't write it down if I did.
Oct 6: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988). Elvira forever! I've been in love with her since childhood.
Oct 7: Near Dark (1987) That bar scene is just everything. Never gets old.
Oct 8: Ma (2019) I actually found this one entertaining, maybe because it reminded me of when me and my friends would get older people to boot for us and hung around creeps just to get booze and drugs. The movie was pretty funny, and gross at times. Dumb at times, too, but whatever. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1977). I was intrigued because I'm a little obsessed with the actual horrific murders that the film is based on, but it sucked. It shouldn't even be on the list because I turned it off after half an hour. I hated the narration so much that I couldn't bring myself to continue. I didn't used to turn off movies when I hated them, but now I do. *cough, cough, Fear Street* I'm too old to waste whatever time I've got left on something I'm not enjoying. Hmm...that's got me thinking about some other aspects of life. Okay, okay. Next up was The Hand (1981) I hadn't seen this one before and I thought it was great! Written and directed by Oliver Stone. Super fun effects and a wildly entertaining performance from Michael Caine. Knock Knock (2015). I did not like this film, but I LOVED Keanu Reeves in this film. The premise is so incredibly unbelievable and stupid, but I loved seeing Keanu step into a totally different kind of role. Plus, we get to see him bone.
Oct 9: Phantasm (1979). I love me some tall man. Suspiria (2018) Fantastic remake. Loved all the dancing. I wish we had that in the original. Music was gorgeous, too. Thom Yorke is amazing.
Oct 10: The Guest (2014), Fright Night (1985) Halloween essentials.
Oct 11: Night of the Demons (1988) Same. A must watch for the season.
Oct 12: Ghoul Log/Return of the Ghoul Log. I think I threw this on a few times when I didn't feel like committing to a movie or show. It's always fun to have on in the background. You can find it on Shudder.
Oct 13: Creepshow Episode 3. I really enjoyed this one. It felt like an old school Tales From The Crypt episode. Ain't nothin' wrong with that.
Oct 14: Child's Play (2018) So I finally checked this one out. It was something. I actually didn't hate it.
Oct 15: Halloween Kills (2021). It had great kills so the title was fitting. That's all I've got.
Oct 16: Creepshow Episode 4: Good stuff!
Oct 17: I dunno. Something? Nothing?
Oct 18: The Haunting Hour: The Dead Body (2010) Luke from The Guest being bullied again. WNUF Halloween Special (2013). Shoutout to Jimmy George! This movie is such a fun watch for the spooky season. Anyone who grew up in the 80's will especially appreciate it. Great stuff.
Oct 19: Basket Case (1982) So messed up and so much fun.
Oct 20: The Haunting Hour: Fear Never Knocks (2011)
Oct 21: Child's Play (1988). Aw yeah. I'll never forget my mom having to call my friends' parents and say that we were renting this movie for my sleepover one year. Hah.
Oct 22: Dracula (1979). Frank Langella, you sexy beast. The Wicker Man (1973). I need to re-watch the remake with Nicolas Cage. It seems that I'm the only one who loves it. But I do, what can I say? Creepshow Episode 5. This one was pretty good.
Oct 23: The Dead Zone (1983) I haven't seen this in ages and, holy shit, Christopher Walken is sexy as HELL. I guess I was previously too young to appreciate his hotness back in the day, but I'm not too young for anything these days. Also, the movie is awesome. Nightbreed (1990). I had to watch some Clive Barker. I mean, I did steal my blog post title from one of his incredible books. Many seem to dislike this one, but I like it! It's no Hellraiser, but it's fun. Maybe a bit too long, but I watched the director's cut and I feel like it's a bit longer. But maybe not.
Oct 24: Halloween (2018). I didn't mind this one as much as I did the upon the first watch, but it's just ok in my opinion. Vampyres (1974). Hot naked lesbian vampires. If that's not enough to make you watch it, I don't know what else to say. Lost Highway (1997).
Lost Highway is the only movie I've seen multiple times in the theatre. I was so obsessed with this movie that I cut my own bangs super short immediately after returning from the theatre to make my hair look just like Patricia Arquette's. She is absolutely stunning. Everyone is hot in this movie. David Lynch has very good taste. I must say, though, Bill Pullman is one of my biggest crushes. He has been giving my lady boners since Spaceballs (1987). Along with Rick Moranis, obviously. In any case, Lost Highway is amazing and horny as hell, and has one of the best soundtracks of all time. I've said it before and I'll say it again, God bless Trent Reznor. He is the man.
Oct 25: The Dead Don't Die (2019). I enjoyed this one, plus Tom Waits is in it. I'll watch him in anything.
Oct 26: Some episodes of The Haunting Hour. I didn't record which ones. I'm no good at this, as it turns out.
Oct 27: The Evil (1978)
Oct 28: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). I actually gave up on this one half way through. Not because I didn't think it was good, but because I was not in a great mood. I absolutely loved Anton Yelchin in it, but he was exceptional in everything. I look forward to giving this one another shot soon.
Oct 29: Nada
Oct 30: That's today. So far I watched Creepshow: Episode 6 and enjoyed it quite a bit. I haven't settled on a movie lineup for the night, though I feel like The House of the Devil (2009) is fitting, since it's Devil's Night. Then maybe The Lost Boys (1987) as it's one of my go-to comfort films.
Oct 31: Halloween (1978) will definitely go on during the day, and I'll probably watch Halloween II (1981) and will most definitely watch Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982). Trick 'r Treat (2007) will probably go on a little later in the evening, and who knows what else. Something scary, I'm sure. Or funny. Or both.
Alright, I'm done. Does anyone actually read this stuff? These lists? Meh, whatever. If not, it's at least a great way to keep track of what I've watched as the years go by. And they seem to be going by quickly. Soak it up, my spooky ones, and make it a season to dismember. And remember, things don't always go as planned. For example, the other day a creepy dude drove by slowly, staring at me like a loser, and I stared back thinking CRASH! CRASH! Nothing. Things don't always work out the way you think they ought to. It's fine. It's really not that serious. Nothing to lose your head over. Just do something that makes you happy. Something that makes you laugh. Something that makes you cry. Something that makes you hurl. That one's for you, Toni. ;)
In an effort to seek and destroy any possible bad juju (get well, Juju Smith-Shuster) I will end this post by sharing this Metallica song. Hey, I haven't had Metallica after me since the Napster days and I don't need them after me now. Consider this a truce. Oh, and I blame any typos on my glasses. This is my first day wearing glasses and so far I feel a little drunk. I'm not sure if that's normal, but I was told that my eyes will adjust. Ok, this is KR, signing out on this chilly Devil's Night.
Stay spooky, pals, and have a very happy Halloween!
I had a dream the other night that made me laugh out loud when I woke up. I don't remember what the dream was about or most of what happened, but I do remember what made me laugh. I was a teenager in the dream, and I was meeting another teenage girl who looked really cool. She was wearing a baggy band shirt, had a piercing in her nose and eyebrow and messy blonde hair with black roots. My kinda gal. Anyway, she introduced herself by saying "I'm so-and-so, so-and-so's girlfriend"(I don't remember the names). My reply was, "I'm Kenna, I'm nobody's girlfriend."
It was so funny to me, because that's totally something I would say, back then and now. And it didn't come across as cheeky or anything either. I was just stating the facts. We continued talking about who knows what, and the dream continued to who knows where, but the takeaway for me was the authenticity. It feels good being authentic, in dreams and in waking life. I hate fakeness so much, and hate when I feel the need to be fake. It's repulsive, even in dreams. But sometimes we have to be fake in order to protect ourselves. Some people just don't deserve our authentic selves or our energy.
What does deserve our energy is the spirit of the Halloween season! I can't believe it's actually the last day of September, and I'm finally feeling like myself again. After being dizzy for roughly 7 weeks, I have found my balance, literally and figuratively. And what timing! I feel like the ghosts of Halloween's past, present and future, got together and decided to scare away all the shitty energy and hit me with a blast of ghoulish goodness. I'm currently watching The Ghoul Log: Trick 'r Treat Sam O'Lantern and I'm about to drag out some more decorations. I also made seasonal candles that I'm looking forward to testing. I tried the pumpkin chai one last night and it smells incredible. Now I really want to get some pumpkins! That's one of my favourite parts of the season. Except I tend to get overly emotional when pumpkins are left behind in those bins. I feel this way about Christmas trees, too. But that's just me and that's ok. One day, if I have the means, I will take all the leftovers and make a giant pumpkin graveyard. And a giant Christmas tree graveyard. Basically, my yard will be a mess.
Speaking of a mess, the Steelers aren't off to the greatest start. It's not an epic fail just yet as they're only 1-2 but losing to the Bengals always sucks, and this Sunday we play the Packers. It's gonna be tough, but you know what? I'm here for it. I really want to enjoy this season for all it's worth. This is likely Big Ben's last year and although that makes me emotional, I'm ok with it. Transitional times are always challenging but they are necessary. I'm loving the young talent this team has and it's gonna be fun to watch them grow. Hockey's about to get going, too. It was cool watching the Canucks play the Kraken for the first time the other night. Preseason, but still. I have a good feeling about the Canucks. But I always do. What can I say, I love my teams.
Here's a fun little comparison. Me as a teen and me now (with only slightly better eyebrows). Well, it's me earlier this year, before the Steelers last playoff game. Oof, that was a doozy. But, you know what? I was proud of them then and I still am now. I kinda feel that way about myself, actually. Things have been tough and I'm still going. Still waking, still sleeping, still dreaming. Sometimes it feels like that's all life is, but I believe that better days are ahead. I hope that's the case for all of us.
Now I will leave you with another favourite song from a favourite album and I will continue decorating and get started on my movie/music playlists for October. It's gonna be a spooky good time. It was always more fun with my dear Beans, but alas, she'll have to use her haunting skills to make an appearance once again. I look forward to it, Mean Joe Beans! Hope to see you soon!
I've been writing on this blog for over six years now. That's a pretty big commitment for me, and I'm honestly quite proud. But I have to admit that, like me, this website is getting old. It's definitely time for a facelift. Not for me, for the website.
I kind of didn't care too much about what it looked like for a long time, but now I think it deserves some extra care. I want to take pride in what I do more, and I'm starting to make some changes here and there to reflect my style and growth.
I finally caved and realized that white font is the best for a black background. I'm not sure why I was fighting this for so long. It's pretty ridiculous, actually, but whatever. It's really not a big deal. It's just something I want to do for myself, and I guess for my readers, too. That's right, I'm looking out for all ten of you. ;) It's just better on the eyes and makes more sense.
I'm also going through and making sure my links are all working. I almost never go back and read old posts, and that's not really what I'm doing now, but it does help to make sure things are in working order. It's maintenance.
I'm also starting to do this for myself.
I recently took a trip to the emergency room, because I was having a reaction to the second vaccine and felt it was time to get things sorted out. It had been over 3 weeks and I was still experiencing symptoms, including what scared me the most, a racing heart. I had already sought out medical advice, but once you jump on that Google train and envision the wreckage ahead, it's hard to get off (eww).
In any case, I had a bunch of tests done and more bloodwork, and it turns out I'm actually in great shape outside of this reaction. I think the symptoms were worrying me so much that I actually had a panic attack. Thankfully, even though the side effects continue, I feel much more calm.
The ER doctor's advice was to "rest up and ride it out" and I think that's exactly what I needed to hear. And the funny thing is, I kind of knew that but didn't trust myself.
When things started spinning out, I would put my hand on my heart, slow my breathing and say "You're ok, just trust the process." But I just wasn't willing to do it. Honestly, it's been pretty scary, and I think it's ok to be scared, especially when you're reading all kinds of horror stories about adverse reactions, but there's a part of me that just doesn't trust myself when I know what's right and what isn't and I'm working on checking in and identifying what that's all about. Again, maintenance.
But it's more than that, it's investigation. Now this part, I like. Getting curious and uncovering things and really seeing the truth of what's there. It's something I keep circling back to and I feel like I'm getting closer to solving the case. But these things can take time, especially when the case was once cold.
On that note, I think I'm going to step away and listen to a true crime podcast, and I'll leave you with another favourite song from another favourite album. And it's not even Music Monday. Maybe I'll call it Facelift Friday. God, I love Layne Staley. His style in those pics is absolutely everything. Facelift shirt, sweet fanny pack, Docs, and that sweet smile. I love seeing his goofy side. He was the best.
Enjoy, dear readers. Take good care, and if you need to, rest up and ride it out.
Streiht Up Menace
Lately I've been sharing some of my favourite songs from favourite albums as "Music Mondays" on Twitter, in an effort to kick off the week with some good vibes. This week, I decided to share something from an absolutely perfect album which I've loved from the very first time I heard it back in the day, Ice Cube's Lethal Injection (1993). While my initial thought was to share "Really Doe," which is probably my favourite, I realized that there's a song on the album that means more to me: "Ghetto Bird." The reason it's so important to me is because it instantly makes me think of one of my favourite movies of all time, Menace II Society. Funny thing is, the song isn't even in the film.
Menace II Society features an aerial shot of Watts, paired with one of producer QD3's iconic pieces of music, "Ghetto Bird" (instrumental). The piece samples Ohio Players' "Funky Worm." This song has been sampled by literally hundreds of rappers, including N.W.A., Kris Kross, De La Soul, Beastie Boys and Kendrick Lamar. Basically, if you've listened to rap music at all, you've heard "Funky Worm." Of all the songs sampling Funky Worm that I've heard, I must say that "Ghetto Bird" is my favourite. Not only does it have the sickest beats, but also some of my favourite rap lyrics of all time. "All that night, I heard the bird circle/while I was eating fish and watching Urkle/She said I could sleep on the couch/by 2A.M. I was digging her out." I mean, come on! The story behind the song seems to be that QD3 was riding around South Central with Ice Cube, playing some of his beats, in hopes of producing a song for Cube's upcoming album. That car ride lead to a collaboration on "You Know How We Do It," "Make It Ruff, Make It Smooth, "Bop Gun (One Nation)" and, of course, "Ghetto Bird." To this day, I consider QD3's beat in that song to be one of the best of all time. It's the first that comes to mind when I think of West Coast rap. It also helps set the tone for Menace II Society.
Menace is an unrelenting tale of racism, poverty, drug addiction and violence that begins and ends with a literal bang. If you haven't seen this movie, you should probably watch it immediately (it's currently on Netflix in Canada). And you should probably stop reading as some spoilers lie ahead. I truly feel that the movie, while critically acclaimed, never really got the accolades it deserved. Funny, I feel the same way about Lethal Injection.
Menace does an incredible job of telling a tragic story with tremendous heart, without shying away from the brutality. It is raw, it is mean and it is heartbreaking as hell. The message that "being a black man in America isn't easy" is evident from the jump. Even though O-Dog kills the couple in the convenience store, you still feel for what he's going through. You're still on his side. At least I am. The first time I watched it on The Showcase Revue (Shout out to my fellow Canadian film geeks out there) I was devastated by the ending. I mean, of course. The character we're all pulling for dies in an all-out bloodbath. But what really took me aback was the fact that you realize the film's narrator is dead. It was a dead guy telling his story. As a young teen, I hadn't even considered the possibility that Caine would die, because, duh, he was telling the story. I was duped. But it was awesome. What a powerful way to get the message across. When he finally realizes he wants to live, it's too late.
On the topic of Caine, good God is Tyrin Turner ever outstanding in that role. A perfectly nuanced performance, from the sensitive emotional side to the tough guy G to the scared child that never got to grow up. Plus, that scene where he rolls up in his car with the freshly stolen rims and macks on that chick while "Computer Love" plays is the best. Interestingly enough, that cute, seemingly innocent scene is what ultimately leads to his demise. Every actor in this film deserves serious cred. Jada Pinkett as Ronnie, Larenz Tate as O-Dog, MC Eiht as A-Wax. The list goes on. All great. That's another thing I love. The film features two of my favourite rappers: MC Eiht and Too $hort. I suppose that this is the perfect segue into another favourite film that also features one of my favourite rappers.
It's near impossible to discuss Menace II Society without bringing up Boyz N The Hood. And I love that. Two outstanding films that deserve more praise than they will ever receive.
I believe that Boyz was made before the Rodney King beating/ L.A. Riots whereas Menace was made after. It makes a lot of sense if you watch these two films with that in mind. While both hit heavy on the same issues, there's something a little more edgy about Menace. I think it had to be. Not to take anything away from Boyz. There are some brutally violent scenes in that one, too, but there's a different vibe about it. I mean, it ends with the message "Increase the Peace" whereas the last line in Menace is "Now it's too late." Both films were directed by young black men in their early twenties. John Singleton was only 24 (and nominated for an Oscar) and the Hughes brothers were only 21. That's crazy when you think about it. To be that talented when you're that young?!
One of my favourite things about Boyz N The Hood is that it's Stand By Me in the hood. If you've ever met me, you're probably aware that Stand By Me is my favourite movie of all time. I have a feeling that John Singleton felt just as strongly about it. There are the obvious ways that Boyz gives a nod to Stand By Me, such as the scene on the railroad tracks followed by the dead body and the way that Doughboy (Ice Cube) fades away at the end, just as Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) does, but it goes beyond that. I would argue that not only is Doughboy the film's Chris Chambers, but also Gordie Lachance. Look at the relationship with his family; his mother puts his brother Ricky (Morris Chestnut) on a pedestal and constantly emphasizes the potential in him while knocking Doughboy down. It's really sad. In both cases, the "good son" dies. Well, in this case, Gordie (Doughboy) dies, too.
Ice Cube's portrayal of Doughboy hits all the notes for me. Truly impressive. But among the incredible actors and performances in this film, the standout has to be Cuba Gooding Jr. This is his best role. I feel like every scene with Tre and Furious Styles (one of the best character names ever) looks like an Oscar clip. I hate using the Academy Awards as an example, because I happen to think they're bullshit, but I think it gets the point across. If you're acting in a scene with Laurence (Larry) Fishburne and you're the standout, you pretty much hit it out of the park.
When it comes to Menace II Society and Boyz N The Hood, I don't necessarily believe that one is better than the other, but I think everyone who loves these films has a favourite. For me, I want to say it's a tie but I think it's Menace. By a nose. Both excellent films with great soundtracks, and both pack a punch in a short amount of time. I'm pretty sure both films are under an hour and a half. Brilliant storytelling. I highly recommend watching them as a double feature: Boyz followed by Menace.
Now I will leave you with what I think is one of the best songs ever written for a film, "Streiht Up Menace" by MC Eiht and Compton's Most Wanted. Yes, that's how it's spelled. I'm not sure why most people spell it wrong. Even in the YouTube video. It's a damn shame.
This Cavebitch is gonna keep listening to Lethal Injection and hope that it motivates me to get through this week with a smile and a booty shake. I hope it does the same for you.
The truth is not out there, it is in here.
Not necessarily inside of this crab (sorry, I've been spending lots of time scavenging around beaches) but most definitely inside. I'm not so sure what the truth of that first picture is, though I imagine a bird flew by right as I snapped the photo. I didn't see it when I took the picture, as the sun was blaring. I was just trying to capture that beautiful man standing atop the cliff, taking in the view.
Speaking of taking in views, as previously mentioned, I've been spending a great deal of time in nature. In turn, I've been spending less time on social media and on the internet in general. And let me tell you something, it is the best thing I have done for myself in a long time.
While I am grateful for platforms like Twitter and Instagram, where I can share pictures and thoughts and creative projects while interacting with likeminded people, I find that some interactions and things I see in general leave me feeling a bit drained. I'm so glad that I started paying attention to how I've been feeling, and not only noticing, but doing something about it. I now know that I was set up early on to be able to withstand a lot of discomfort, but that doesn't mean that I have to continue down that path. I can simply choose a different way. I can choose myself.
I stole that line from my therapist. She often tells me to consider where I'm giving myself away--where my energy is being spent. Thinking of emotional energy in terms of currency exchange is actually quite helpful because it makes you consider not only what you're giving, but what you're getting back. Your time is an investment, so invest wisely. On that note, I've never been good with money. This makes so much sense to me now. It's a form of self sabotage. It's a way of keeping you stuck. Thankfully, I now realize that "stuckness" isn't real--it's not even a real word--it's a state of mind. It can feel very real and be frustrating, but opening your eyes and taking responsibility puts the power into your own hands. Now I am taking responsibility and owning that power by making necessary changes.
It's funny what happens when you allow yourself to see things for what they really are. Part of my struggle in life is due to being a truth-seeker. Stole that one from my therapist, too. The problem with being a truth-seeker is not your desire for answers and thirst for knowledge, it's that it makes you a pretty good bullshit detector, and the world is full of bullshit. But it's also full of a lot of other things, too, and you begin to notice those things more when you start turning your attention inward. Other things start happening as well. Things come to the surface that were buried, sometimes long ago, and while that can be painful it's also healthy and can be freeing.
I think we are often unaware of the dead weight we carry around. Regrets from our past, worries about the future. Those heavy bags that we don't have to take with us at all. But I do believe that in order to put those bags down for good, we need to unpack them. Have a look inside, get curious about each item, and once you understand what's there you can just pack that shit back up and send it on a plane destined for some far away land that you don't ever have to visit, if you don't want to. I didn't steal that from my therapist, that's my analogy. It just works for me and hopefully it works for you, too.
Now I will leave you, as I often do, with a smile and a song. This song actually inspired me to write this post. I was sitting outside, listening to Devin Townsend and watching the birds in the front yard. I closed my eyes towards the end of the song and the lyrics really got to me. I've heard this song dozens of times, but this time it all felt different. May Devy's words sink in for you the way they did for me.
Take good care, everyone.
May you learn to live without fear
May you be at peace
May your beauty unfold before you
But I am home
I'm sitting on my porch in the scorching heat on this Friday afternoon, thinking about the Habs advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
Last night, they beat the Golden Knights in overtime of game six to advance to the Cup final for the first time since 1993. I just smiled big time as I typed that. It feels unbelievable, yet at the same time I'm not surprised. This is a special team. Every now and then a team seems to hit another gear in the playoffs and becomes unstoppable. This year, it's the Habs. I'm beyond excited for these guys, especially Carey Price who has never made a trip to the finals. Being a diehard Canucks fan, I'm also very happy for Alex Burrows and Tyler Toffoli. The Canucks sure fucked up letting Toffoli go, but I'm glad they did, because he fits in nicely with the Habs and has been a key asset in their run this year. I look forward to Monday night when it all kicks off against the Islanders or the Lightning. Whatever the case, it's gonna be a great series. I pick the Habs in five, because they've already won in 4, 6 and 7.
Yesterday, right before the game, I had an online meeting with one of my students who's a Golden Knights fan. He showed up wearing his Golden Knights shirt and put on his Knights hat in front of me, giving me an antagonistic look. It was priceless. Price-less. I guess that's one of the reasons his team lost. In any case, it was cute to see the kid get all riled up, telling me that he hopes Montreal doesn't win. I laughed and wished him luck. I told him to enjoy the game no matter what happens, because it could be his team's last one this year. I wasn't really taking a jab, well not entirely, but rather reminding him to seize the moment and enjoy. In turn, I kind of reminded myself to do the same.
As I sit here listening to birds and kids playing baseball in the park, and the unfortunate boom of a nearby construction site, I feel good. It's hotter than the devil's dick out here, but I'm alright. I actually sat in the sun for a while today and did some reading. Ok, I only withstood the heat for about twenty minutes, but that's good for me. I don't tend to enjoy high temperatures and sometimes get physically sick from the sun, but I caught a few rays and even got some colour. And a slight burn. But that's to be expected when you're basically a vampire.
Lately I've been making an effort to get outside more, no matter what the weather. I used to avoid the heat at all costs, and while I still prefer the shade, I'm learning to be more adaptable. I stay hydrated and find enjoyment in the sounds and scenery. Sometimes I go on big nature adventures on hiking trails and in forests, and other times I just sit on the porch and read. I've been loving reading outside, and today on the porch I finished a book I recently found in a nearby free library.
Gross Misconduct tells the story of the life and death of former NHLer Brian "Spinner" Spencer. I knew a little about Spencer, but holy shit, you guys! This story is a wild one. Spencer's dad actually went down to a TV station with a gun because they weren't broadcasting his son's first NHL game. He went out in a hail of bullets when he refused to surrender to the police. Absolutely insane. I am still in shock from reading that. I've heard of crazy hockey parents, but holy Moses, that guys takes the cake. I really did feel for him when I read about it, though, because he was clearly a mess and just wanted to see his son play. What a sad, sad story. And Spencer himself was shot to death as well. Totally different situation, during a random robbery, but good God do I feel for that family.
Now back to nature
Here I am on my birthday, chilling at the sea in my happy place. It poured rain for most of the day, but it was absolute magic. There weren't many people around so you could go to the beach and pretty much have the whole space to yourself. I can lose myself (or find myself) for hours just staring at the hundreds of tiny crabs and other sea creatures mucking about in the tidepools and on the rocks. I think I sat in one spot, on a rock, for an hour straight just observing. It was so peaceful. I always feel good getting out of the city and into a natural space. The feeling seems to last for days. I'm more calm and content and less reactive, and I've noticed that the more time I spend in nature, the better I seem to be at my balancing poses in yoga. It's like nature literally keeps you in balance.
I've pretty much spent the whole day outside today, which is awesome. The fresh air, though sauna-like at times, has been nurturing. At this point, I think I'm just about ready to head inside, order food and watch the game. It'll be interesting to find out who the Habs face off against next.
Whether I decide to drink this dented can of Halloween beer I found at the back of my fridge or something else, I cheers to you, my friends! I hope everyone stays cool and has a wonderful weekend. And of course I will leave you with a song. One of my favourite summer jams. I will never understand the hate it gets. The lyrics perfectly capture that feeling of summertime in your youth. School crushes, summer gatherings. It's a special song. Sit back, relax, have a listen and take good care. Until next time...
GO HABS GO!
Enter Code "Murder" At Checkout
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!
I Ain't Got Nobody...
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.
To Read Or Not To Read
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.
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!