My Eurasian equation revealed! (DNA test results.)

Not sure whether any of you are the sort who’s interested in other peoples’ DNA test results, but I am. I find personal genetic make-up discovery stories to be interesting, and now that I’ve learned my own, I thought I’ve give back. I’ve been super stoked about my report since I received it last week!

I submitted my DNA to 23andMe for analysis. It’d been done in Palo Alto by researchers a year and a half ago, actually, but now I have the report. (Long story not worth telling, trust me.)

I’m excited to be demystified, especially as an adoptee. I’ve known that my bio-mother is Japanese-American, but all I ever knew of my bio-father’s genetics was “English.” Now I know the whole story: I’m English, German, Scandinavian, and Japanese.

For half-breeds, I guess, it’s rarely as simple as “my mother was this and my father was that, so I’m half this and half that.” I have to re-write that part of my bio now. Haha.

 

No makeup in paradise. And no, I will never stop rhapsodizing over our glorious Arizona winters. I took this selfie two days ago. [18 January 2021]

 

The report says that I’m 50.0% European and 49.9% East Asian, with a smidge more DNA from my European bio-father. So my bio-mother was right when we met and she observed that I take after my father’s family more than hers.

My European side is 39.2% British (from England: Greater Manchester, Greater London, and Merseyside), 5.8% German (from Hamburg), 4.2% Scandinavian (from they couldn’t say where), and 0.8% Broadly Northwestern European.

My East Asian side is Japanese (from Hiroshima Prefecture).

I wasn’t expecting to encounter such precision in my DNA report. I mean, I spit into a tube and someone in a lab was able to trace my recent ancestry to Manchester, London, Merseyside (they nailed it with that last one… my family is from Liverpool, which is in Merseyside), Hamburg, and Hiroshima.

Not a single strand of Welsh, Irish, or Scottish DNA was found, which was also a surprise. The internet says that my bio-surname is Welsh, but the lab coats with my saliva say that I have no Celtic DNA whatsoever. If there is Celtic DNA somewhere in my ancestry, I didn’t inherit it.

As for my 5.8% German heritage, I like to think that this explains why the German language came to me so easily and naturally when I lived in Germany. (Nothing like the struggle of conversing in French.)

One bit that came out of this DNA analysis experience was no surprise at all, because I’d been told as much by my bio-mother: if I want to meet my paternal family, I’ll have to leave the country. This was confirmed by one of my first cousins (23andMe connection)!

Almost all of my bio-father’s huge family lives in England, including him, which I already knew. A fraction of the family lives in Canada, mostly in Greater Toronto… whereas I have no extended family members living in Japan. My maternal family is here in the States, and they’ve been here for generations.

My Asian side is American. My European side is not. HA!

(Is it still accurate to say that my British family is European now that Brexit happened?)

My bio-father has many siblings, so I have many aunts and uncles, and loads of cousins. 14 first cousins! I’ve been getting to know a couple of them, and I’m beyond touched to know that they’re as thrilled by our newfound connection as I am…  and to know that they’d been wondering if they’d ever find me! I had no idea that anyone in the family even knew that I existed.

I can’t get over it. I’m so pleased and grateful, and the fact that my amazing parents are 100% supportive – and also curious – makes it even better.

23andMe’s analysis also revealed such trivia as: I inherited my preference of salty over sweet; my ring fingers being longer than my index fingers; my ability to match a musical pitch; my flat feet; my fear of heights; and the fact that I’m a mosquito magnet.

Spitting into a tube, man. Amazing!

 

 

The post that wasn’t. (Isn’t?)

[:Ahem::]

If you could see the inside of my head right now!

I’ve been at odds with my own schedule since circumstances have taken me out of the norm these last two weeks, and today capped it off in grand style as a perfectly chaotic Saturday that had me running all over Phoenix metro (aka tarnation). It wasn’t bad, but it was stressful, and it was a lot. Thus I come to you empty-handed tonight. I do have apologies in hand, though. Everything should be back on track starting next week.

Keep taking care, my friends. I’ll see you on the flip side!

p.s. I do want to share this video with you, though. It’s the sound of snow falling on a lake. It’s almost weirdly lulling….

 

 

 

 

So long, 2020, and thanks for all the (December Favorites!)

You know how I often post on Thursday thinking that it’s Wednesday because I started writing while it was still Wednesday, so it looks like a Thursday post rather than a Wednesday post? Well, this time, it truly is Thursday. A Thursday post. I’m sorry for the day-delay.

What I wanted to share with you tonight is my list of December Favorites, as it’s the middle of January already!

I’m determined to get to bed “early” tonight, so I’m going to get right to the point with this list of nine “little things.”

Let’s start with some manga and anime!

1). Alice in Borderland (Netflix, manga live action adaptation)

 


 

A most brilliant re-telling of Alice in Wonderland.

 

2). Kakegurui (Netflix, anime live action adaptation)

 

 

A most bizarre series about gambling. I mean, bizarre. I loved this!

 

3). The Mess You Leave Behind (Netflix)

 

 

What’s a “favorites” list without at least one mystery/thriller/drama series? This one’s well worth the watch.

 

4). Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)

 

 

Sabrina’s fourth and final season left me a bit unsettled, but regardless of whether I liked the way the series ended, I did enjoy this last season. I’m going to miss looking forward to Sabrina.

 

5). Room 2806: The Accusation (Netflix docuseries)

 

 

I must state here that I’m including this docuseries because I recommend it… not because I enjoyed it. I did not enjoy it.

From IMDB:

“This docuseries follows the 2011 sexual assault case involving French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the height of his career.”

Some of you may remember when this powerful French guy sexually assaulted a Black hotel housekeeper in New York City? And basically got away with it? Netflix covers the case. I wasn’t pleased with the way this vile man is exalted, revered, and glorified in the docuseries (mainly through the interviewees). People are proud to know him. People are willing to believe him. Adultery is brushed off as something to be expected. (France, you know.) One of the most nauseating parts came at the end when Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer summed up his own role in the case.

The docuseries is good, though. I think it’s one of those that should be widely viewed. I’m including a sexual assault TRIGGER WARNING with my (admittedly dubious) recommendation.

 

6). The Ripper (Netflix docuseries)

 

 

Yes, another Netflix docuseries landed on my list this time. I was in a true crime kind of mood, and The Ripper provided. Such an interesting case. It should be subtitled “How to bungle a serial killer hunt.”

 

7). Derry Girls (Netflix)

 

 

I only watched two episodes of this comedic series, but they did get me laughing. I’ll likely pick it up again at some point. The writing and acting are top-notch.

 

8). Pacifica Sea & C Love Vitamin Serum. (Vegan and cruelty-free)

 

Pacifica Sea and C Love Vitamin Serum

 

9). Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream. (Vegan and cruelty-free)

 

Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream

 

I’m loving these two products. I mix a few drops of the serum into a small dollop of the cream each morning, and I’m finding the combination to be wonderful. I highly recommend it!

The End!

Happy Friday/Friday eve, my friends. I’m off to pass out!

 

 

Exquisite Corpse poem using TALC search terms!

So I came up with a weird little poem that I absolutely love. I don’t have to be modest about it, because you’re the ones who wrote the lines… you whose internet search terms brought you here, if any of “you” are still here, that is.

I put this together at the suggestion of Caroline, who ventured that it might be fun to craft an exquisite corpse poem out of my blog’s search terms. A challenge! Thought I. Rather than the Missed Connections subject lines I glean from Craigslist, I’ll use your search terms.

She was right. It was fun.

I used many of the search terms I’d listed in my recent post, plus a few more that I found as I dug through hundreds and hundreds going back to 2012.

Oh, and if you recognize your words in this poem, worry not, for I have no knowledge of your identity… no idea who you are, where you are, or anything else. All I can see are the terms, themselves. These caught my eye for one reason or another, so thank you.

My own contributions to the poem are some punctuation marks, capitalizations, and spelling corrections along with the words “and,” “not,” “because,” and “with.” All the rest is all you.

Enjoy!

From the Hundreds: Search Term Exquisite Corpse

Night fury,
badassery,
dead boy in love,

body disposal scene with acid.

Trilogy of terror:
Palm tree roaches,
Reacher’s creatures,
and
flesh-eating bacteria.

Mandingo vs asian chick:
industrial dance boy.
Hydrogen peroxide vs flesh:
rob zombie clown.
Aristotle on minimalism:
ezema ginka porn.

Is body combat good for martial arts fitness?
Does hydrogen peroxide kill flesh-eating bacteria?
Does hydrogen peroxide eat away at your flesh?
The dude
is not in
leave a message

not

ukulele jokes.

What do you get when you cross a flamingo
with dinner short horror?

Velociraptor! save doors –
Panic! at the disco –
Panic! at the Costco –

because orange is the new black, and

(cactus with long sharp thick spikes)

Asian,
Asian,
Asians’ selfies in mirror….

Flavor that comes from an insect.
Polar lights headless horseman.
Ex machina Asian.

Asian.

 

 

 

Workout motivation 2021! (Music and a thought to self-motivate.)

Working out is for fitness and optimal health and mental wellness and (yes) fun. It’s also for when the world makes even less sense than usual and events form around alien shapes that are pure menace and hatred and lunacy and have no names and the shock and magnitude of it all defies articulation and you just want to throw your whole being into the next universe over to escape for a little while so your mind can recover after having been blown to smithereens. (I had an epic one-hour Body Combat workout this evening, my friends. January 6, 2021.)

But all I really wanted to say tonight is that I come bearing a gift, which is a lofty way of announcing that I put together my current workout fuel music playlist on Spotify, and now I’m going to share it with you. Because some of you might find this music to be as mood-setting as I do. You might be an athlete or a gym rat or a general workout and fitness junky. You might be a resolutioner (having made a New Year’s resolution to get into shape) or a patient (having had a medical professional issue strong advice to lose weight). Whatever the case, if this music offers anything of use on your journey, I’m honored to contribute in this small way.

As a reminder that I’m not a delicate Asian flower, I’ll mention that this playlist is tough love, which is what works for me when it comes to improving my gym (living room) performance. Achieving levels and goals is a mental endeavor whether you’re aiming to work harder or to walk outside to the mailbox and back (both legit, along with everything in between). It’s even more of a mental endeavor if you’re working out at home. Self-motivation can be tricky! This playlist fires me up. I listen to it to boost my determination before doing my Les Mills workouts, but I would also listen to it while walking or running on the treadmill for an hour, or lifting weights for an hour, or doing whatever (fitness activity) for an hour. Because the playlist is one hour and two minutes long.

So what I did was I took some of my favorite battle cries and alternated them with favorite songs that rely on beats and bass drops rather than vocals. The battle cries are to light a fire under your ass. The instrumentals are to keep it lit. Have at it!

 

 

While I’m at it and before I sign off, I’ll also share a thought that motivates me greatly during my home workouts. It’s just five words:

Work out like someone’s watching.

With this thought in mind, I go harder, and I make maximum effort to perfect my form. I empty the tank. Because I wouldn’t dig someone watching while I merely go through the motions with sloppy form. Would you? Putting someone in the room even when there’s no one works for me, anyway.

That’s all I’ve got for now, my friends. I’m wiped out. Until the weekend, then!

 

 

2020 – YEAR IN REVIEW.

There’s nothing I can say about the retreating year that everyone isn’t already thinking, but I’ll put it forth anyway since this is my 2020 “year in review” post:

2020 said, HAHA let’s start off the new decade with a shitshow! Its brightly anticipated, shiny-new-thing luster dulled quickly, as if we’d been sold a fake. After just three months, we couldn’t see our reflections in it anymore.

Then 2020 combusted in a raging dumpster fire that wouldn’t go out.

So now it’s 2021, but dumpster fires are disagreeable and rude, and this one’s no exception. It’s not about to be extinguished with the flip of a calendar, and it hasn’t. 2021 is 2020’s Act 2. If we’re lucky, the final six months of the new year will return us to normal, whatever that even is, so we can at least look forward to that.

For me, personally, though, 2020 was a wondrous year (despite starting out with pneumonia), and the fact that such a year could take place concurrently with a dumpster fire kind of says everything about my life, if I’m going to be honest and self-absorbed about it. The virus is scary and relentless and saddening, but it’s only because of it that I’m happy. I’m myself. I’ve settled into a state of contentment overlying a subtle frequency of thrill, like an energetic zen, and I’m in better physical condition than I was in the Before Times.

And no, I still have no plan to sign up for a gym membership once the All Clear is sounded. Taking my workouts from the gym to the living room made an amazing difference, dumbbells in my private space proving to be just as effective, if not more so, and the whole circumstance opening up a plethora of workout options that I can take whenever I please.

What I want to do in 2021 is to write more poems and to sleep more. Broken-record aspirations. I’m leery in the suspicion that these two things might be mutually exclusive. Maybe they aren’t. I hope they aren’t, because I’d really love to achieve both.

On a lighter note, I thought I’d scroll through the search terms that brought people here to my blog in 2020 and then share some of them with you. If you’re here because you found me using one of these search terms, thank you… and thanks for sticking around!

2020 TALC search term hall of fame:

1). body disposal scene with acid
2). ezema ginka porn
3). what do you get when you cross a flamingo
4). dinner short horror
5). does hydroen peroxide kill flesh eating bacteria
6). palm tree roaches
7). hydrogen peroxide vs flesh
8). aisian naked blog
9). veloceraptor save doors
10). bodycombat geronimo 69 (<– my personal favorite)
11). does hydrogen peroxide eat away at your flesh
12). yoga crotch shot
13). panic at the disco panic at the costco lyrics
14). flavor that comes from an insect
15). orange is the new black asian
16). victor the cleaner point of no return acid
17). reacher’s creatures
18). bradley cooper jack reacher
19). is body combat good for martial arts fitness
20). henry cavill

I love that someone found my blog when they searched for Henry Cavill.

I’ll sign off with this pic that I took when I turned around in my desk chair last night:

 

Spooky gothic evil garden votive candle holders on the left and right (courtesy of my job). In with the new!

 

I hope that your new year is off to a good start!

 

 

 

What you don’t remember won’t kill you. (After-the-fact birthday post.)

Sunday felt like a good day to have a birthday, and coincidentally, it was my birthday. So it worked out well. It was good.

For breakfast I had chocolate cake (that I made). Friends and family texted, messaged, and called. Caroline and I discussed Alice in Borderland, which we were both watching raptly on Netflix.

And Jessica gave me a Slytherin necklace that she crafted herself, which was funny because I’d been looking for a Ravenclaw necklace to give to her for her birthday.

And she also gave me a print of Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, because she knows of my obsessions.

And I had veggie fajitas with extra guac and Mexican rice, and also a vegan New York cheesecake, complete with candles.

The day was a mystery in some sense. It was different than last year when I woke up on my 51st birthday feeling ever more slightly like an undead being than I did the year before, refreshed in the wake of the full half-century disappearing like vapor behind me.

On Sunday, I turned 52 and woke up in quiet surreality.

I feel like a stalactite made of lava, suspended and piercing. Or like a splinter of glass, crushable and dangerous. I don’t feel older, though it’s not an age or a span of time that I’m feeling. It’s a jolt.

Remembering how I proclaimed my satisfaction with past decades when I was in them. I liked aging in an abstract way, is what it was, and now what’s left is hindsight exposing the gruesome underpinnings of those years.

My 30’s, for instance.

Saying in the moment that I loved my 30’s even as I hated my high-paying job and woke up every week day already stressed out and unhappy about going in. Resenting Sunday because it forced me to think about going back to work the next day. Sick, sick, sick with autoimmune bullshit riled up by stress. Way too thin. I think back on it now and feel absurd. “I love my 30’s.”

It would be in someone else’s dream, if anyone’s at all, that I’d choose a radically different sort of job at 51 and love it and look forward to going to work every day because it’s fun and not a grind and not an infestation. It can’t be real to enjoy getting ready for the work week on Sunday, and yet it is. I used to suppose that everyone disliked Sunday for its portent of Monday. My experience now is the opposite, so I know that this isn’t true.

This (job) is one of the few great things that happened in the year that I was 51, this past year, 2020, which will otherwise go down in history as damned.

Quiet surreality.

52 and rid of the expectations that weighed like some obscene diamond-encrusted piano on parchment throughout my previous decades.

30’s: too old to qualify as a young adult, too young to qualify as an older adult. 30 being a milestone birthday heralded either by keen anticipation or foreboding doom. One way or the other, everyone feels some kind of way about turning 30. It’s a big deal to exit your 20’s.

I can see now that with my 30’s came a shadowy trickster of expectations of various sorts. And uncertainty and self-doubt and wondering is this it and shouldn’t I be doing (fill in the blank). And all kinds of clocks, each one telling time through the perspective and ideals of others, muddling my own sense of being in relation to the concept of time, and what I really wanted, and where I was in my life. My life.

For me, 50 was the more (most) impactful milestone birthday, and this decade isn’t terrible, as an ageist society might have you think. My (big life) decision-making skills are still (somewhat) lacking, but I’m proud of my survival skills, grateful for good luck (which I’ve needed due to said not-great decision-making skills). And it’s a relief to be an older adult now, no longer an adult in limbo. No longer an adult under scrutiny.

At 52, the expectations of others have mostly dispersed. I’m past the age….

Well, for me (as for most women), the big expectation was the having-babies one. Now I’m in my 50’s and people ask if I have kids and I say “no, not human ones” and it ends there, no follow-up questions. (But you DO want to have kids someday, don’t you?) At 52, I don’t have to explain that I had my spawning parts removed long ago, or why. At 52, there’s no need for clarification, no sequel of assumption or indignation, because there can’t be. “OH. Dual Income No Kids.” Or “You don’t want kids? WHY NOT?” As if living a childfree life was a sin, or at least a personal affront. Such judgment has ceased to matter. The question of babies was a bomb that finally fizzled out when I turned 50.

52, safely in my fifth decade and enjoying the fizzling-out of such questions and comments. Aging out of the window of expectations has been freeing.

Freedom in unexpected forms comes with being an older adult, I’m finding. That’s what they don’t tell you about aging. That things start to make sense. That you can develop more of an indifference to what others may think of you. That the way out is through. My 50’s are my reward for getting through my 30’s.

So my birthday was good. I got a lot of love. I didn’t hear from certain immediate west coast family members, but I couldn’t say that I was surprised, sadly, and overall it was too gorgeous a day to be crushed by the not-hearing-from.

And I’m continuing to work on my decision-making skills.

Like that.

Happy belated Birthday to me.

~~~~~

A couple of b-day selfies on my way out!

 

52nd birthday, makeup-less in the morning, in bed. I woke up late. [27 Dec. 2020]

 

I look like a floating face. ^ haha

 

52nd birthday, outside on the shaded back patio, early afternoon. [27 Dec. 2020]

 

Next time I come back here to post it’ll be January 2nd, so Happy New Year, my friends! 2021!!!

 

 

They got it right, In My Opinion. (REACHER CASTING WIN!)

[::Ahem::]

I feel it’s my duty to inform the uninformed that Reacher has entered the Amazon Prime Video building, and he’s the real deal this time, though most of you Reacher fans have probably long since been informed, and I’m one of the last to find out. STILL.

It was just today that I learned about Alan Ritchson’s casting as Jack Reacher in the Amazon-Skydance-Paramount (Amazon Prime Video studios, Skydance TV, and Paramount TV studios) Jack Reacher series! And I’m totally stoked about this casting choice.

 

Alan Ritchson is Jack Reacher!

 

Alan Ritchson

 

Ritchson has the same quality as Henry Cavill (my top pick) in that he’s attractive yet easily (reasonably) uglifiable to Reacher standards. I mean, Reacher is described as ugly more often than not, though many women see hotness when they meet him. Such a duality and versatility in physical appearance is important in the casting of Reacher.

The ideal Reacher can be ugly and attractive; unpolished and polished (to military standards); menacing and bemused; charismatic and terrifying; patient and spring-loaded; ruthless and affable; and intimidating, funny, and mysterious all at once. I believe they nailed it with Alan Ritchson. [::APPLAUSE::]

(Not to watch the entire video; just to get a look at the new Reacher!):

 

 

Filming will commence in the spring if COVID conditions allow for it, is my understanding!

And that’s all I have to say for tonight, my friends. Until Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

‘Twas the post before Christmas, and all was random.

It’s not the night before Christmas, but this is my post before Christmas, so I mainly want to wish you all a merry one. Christmas day marks one week before the new year, so we should have a merry one, indeed. It will be the dark before the dawn. 2020 is dying down at last, and I love a dark Christmas.

I’m in the honeymoon phase with my new desk, meaning that it’s still clean and orderly. I’m enjoying it while it lasts. I know that a person of the literary persuasion is stereotypically too engrossed in their craft to think of tidying the desk. A neat and clean desk in the office of a writer is suspicious. I promise that I’m a real poet and writer; I’ll declare my desk a disaster soon enough.

I’m in a good mood.

Sometimes all it takes is the memory of a quirky coincidence, like the time I drove home for lunch behind a pale-colored pickup truck with a white washing machine in its bed, secured with ties and facing me, and then, 15 minutes later, I drove back to work on that same street and found myself behind another pale-colored pickup truck transporting another white washing machine facing me. What are the odds that I’d drive down the street staring at a washing machine, and then drive back staring at a different-but-similar washing machine tied down in a different-but-similar pickup truck? Weird random coincidences like that. I only take one street to and from work, and that day, the universe said that I’ll make the short roundtrip lunchtime jaunt behind some pale pickup truck transporting some backwards-facing white washing machine or another. (No, the universe was not telling me to do my laundry. I’d done it recently.)

Outlook makes the difference between inane observation and amusing coincidence, is what I’m saying. If the washing machine thing is any indication, my outlook is positive these days. These months, actually. The washing machine thing happened a few months ago. Yes, I’m easily amused, BUT.

I’m in a good mood, and I’m also feeling somewhat restless. I have big feelings about big things that I can’t talk about. I want to share everything with you, but I have good reason for keeping certain things under wraps for the time being.

Today I went to the V.A. to have my annual mammogram, which revealed the cold hard truth that I’m never going to be a contortionist.

Also at the V.A. today, I went to the pharmacy to pick up some refills along with a new medication. I’m now being medicated for OCD. It’s official. I figured this day would come. If you have OCD tendencies and serve in the armed forces, you know that this day will come. Dress-right-dress and all that. I could never shake it. It just intensified. My case is mild, though, thankfully. I’m okay with it.

I miss the Army.

Oh! I was browsing “best of Craigslist” tonight, and I saw that on January 20, 2020, an Arizonan posted a Craigslist “for sale” ad for a white hearse with purple flames on the sides and “the last ride” inscribed on the back beneath a graphic of a bowler hat. One year from that posting, January 20, 2021, certain keys will change certain hands.

Also in 2021, I’m going to be a ninja armed with a boxcutter for Halloween.

I’m getting way ahead of myself, though. I’ll stop dwelling on Halloween for just a minute to say Merry Christmas and everything that you celebrate!

See you on the flip side, friends.

 

Little poems written by strangers. (Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 9)

It’s midnight here, as it often is when I post. Tonight, I’m happy to come bearing a Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse poem. What is this, you newer friends may ask? As longer-time readers know, I periodically browse the Missed Connections section of Craigslist and pull out the subject lines that strike me as interesting for any reason. Eventually, I fit them together to create a poem. I’m essentially a harvester in the MC section, gathering the choice subject lines. Words are my jam.

There are 36 lines in the nine stanzas below. This means that 36 strangers wrote this poem, each one unknowingly contributing a line. In the case of this poem, the four-line stanzas are like little stand-alone poems, unrelated to each other.

Everyone is writer, is what this practice reveals to me time and time again… and I marvel at this.

Let’s get on with it, then! Here’s the ninth MCEC poem I’ve created, all credit going to the strangers who wrote the lines:

 

Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 9

 

I

You were my tech at the hospital
I was your driver
You were on your phone &
you liked my hat

 

II

Saw you on the trail at Dreamy Draw
White horse
Luminarias
Thank you for breakfast

 

III

If you remember
You were homeless and on the street
You said you liked my shirt
“Angel Fire”

 

IV

Met cute scientist at power plant
COVID testing
Two times
looking for…

 

V

Gal in line at mailbox place
Cinnamon Girl Smart and Final Friday Night
The young lady sitting in the front row of a comedy show
Runner with red eyes

 

VI

You have a dog Lola
99c Sunday poodle
Exchanged glances while you jogged
you live in the neighborhood

 

VII

Sweet smile at cruisers
You wore a kimono and cork clogs
In town visiting
Football fan at Harbor Freight

 

VIII

Vintage CD player for use
Empty house
Jaguar
Confetti

 

IX

miss you
Chevron ballerina
Driving to Los Angeles
Run away train never coming back

 

Take care, friends.

 

 

Christmas playlist for your dark holiday mood. (Eight days away!)

Season’s greetings!

Tonight, I have some darkly festive sounds to share with you. Pursuing the Christmas spirit while mourning the end of Halloween season, I looked to music to bridge the two. Keying “spooky Christmas” into Spotify’s search bar brought up a playlist called exactly that. (Thank you, litchen78!) I just now added my favorite Christmas carols from that list into my own Christmas playlist, and I thought I’d share it with you before I slink away to bed.

To my ears, the music on this playlist is as beautiful as it is haunting. I’ll be listening to it on repeat for the next eight days:

 

 

Until we meet again, as they say.

 

 

Sharing a couple of new things. (New desk and evil grandma dress!)

Witching hour greetings from a barstool at my kitchen peninsula! There’s currently no desk in my office. I finally admitted that the time was nigh to invest in a new desk. It’s arriving tomorrow, so I’m temporarily stationed here in the kitchen.

My old desk is still so loved, and I’m going to be a little sad to see it go. It’s just too small and too completely devoid of organizational storage space. It has a couple of shelves underneath, and nothing in the way of drawers or cabinets.

I liked my set-up with the small, low bookcase perpendicular to the desk, but I’ve been feeling crowded into that corner as of late. The makeshift L-shaped desk situation invited clutter. My new desk will be large enough to hold my printer, so I won’t need another little piece of furniture for that purpose.

This is the desk that I chose:

 

Desk from IKEA

 

Though I ordered it grudgingly, I’m excited about this new desk. The improvement will boost my inspiration receptors that are already on high these days.

This sounds sad, but it’s not: I pretty much live at my desk when I’m at home. When I’m not in the living room working out or in the kitchen cooking and baking, I’m in my office, at my desk. I do everything there! I eat at my desk, watch Netflix/Hulu/Prime/Shudder there on this laptop, play Quiddler there, and, of course, I write there.

Thing 2:

I’m also excited about this dress that I got on clearance (me? excited about a dress?!) that’s totally timeless and ageless. Actually, it’s not ageless. It looks like it’s meant for a specific age. It looks like it belongs on an evil grandma, like the Victorianesque Flowers in the Attic grandma. It’s black, mostly cotton, with long sleeves that button at the wrists. It buttons down the front, too, all the way down from the throat. The shoulders have a design detail with a lace panel in between. It’s difficult to describe, so here’s the retailer’s pic:

 

Dress from Killstar

 

It’s called the “Wake The Dead Shirt Dress,” which is clearly a euphemism for “Evil Grandma” dress. I’ll grow into it, as it’ll look better on me the older I get. I can’t wait to be a spooky elderly lady wearing this dress. Haha! Until then, I’ll wear it as my go-to Christmas party dress, if we can ever have Christmas parties again.

Whatever the case, it’s definitely an occasion piece. If you know me, you know that I don’t like to wear dresses, in general.

Those are the two new things I thought I’d share with you tonight as I sit here in the kitchen. The desk was a necessary expense. The dress was a frivolous early birthday present to myself.

Enjoy your day or night, whatever it is that you’re doing!

 

 

Magic all around.

Last night, I slept while I’d usually be writing and posting here. It was involuntary, so much-needed, for sure. I felt so much better today!

It was a magical sleep. I wanted to listen to the sound of rain when I went to bed, but my favorite rainfall sounds are captured in a certain YouTube video, and I didn’t want to risk the possibility of ads interrupting the rain. (Plus, I don’t need to know that the McRib is back.) I didn’t fall asleep to the sound of gentle rain, but I did wake up to it. We had a gentle rain this morning, and it continued on and off all day. The rich scent of creosote saturating the air put me in an especially good mood. I will never get tired of the smell of rain in the desert.

Creosote fragrance in the rain is magical.

It was magical to wake up to gentle rain after falling asleep thinking about it.

It was rain, and it did magical rain things, such as replenishing us here in the desert. It rinsed my dirty car and watered my yards, and at work, its cloud-cover insulated us from the cold. It felt almost cozy at work today while it rained! I wore the hood on my hoodie and felt like I was at home.

 

After work today. [10 December 2020]

 

I’ll share a couple of videos before I sign off! Here’s the rain one that I love, to give you an idea. Maybe you’ll enjoy it, too. It’s a rain forest sort of rainfall:

 

 

And here’s a video that made me cry laughing. Did you hear about the humpback whale spotted in the Hudson River on Tuesday? A Late Show did a thing about it:

 

 

Happy Friday Eve!

 

 

The eleventh month. (November Favorites!)

My fingertips are no longer painful and bleeding. I’ve kept my hands coated in Aquaphor these last few days, and it’s helped a lot! My hands are coated in Aquaphor right now, and if you know what Aquaphor is, then you can imagine that writing is a little bit tricky at the moment. It’s a thick, heavy, greasy ointment, and it’s hella-incredibly effective in the treatment of severely dry, cracked and bleeding fingers. It doesn’t play nicely with laptops or other devices, though.

So I’m going to leave you with mostly just the visuals for the little things that I enjoyed in November. The Netflix films and series that start this list are simply outstanding, all of them well worth your viewing consideration. I’m including the trailers here for the sake of convenience.

Let’s get right into it!

 

1). The Devil All the Time (Netflix original film)

 

 

 

2). My Octopus Teacher (Netflix original film – documentary)

 

 

 

3). The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix original limited series)

 

 

 

4). Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix original film – documentary)

 

 

 

The fact of the matter is that minority groups win fairness via activism. The disabled were no exception. Crip Camp tells the story.

 

5). Quiddler.

 

Quiddler card game

 

I’ve been obsessed with Quiddler! I love playing cards and I love words, so it would be surprising if I didn’t enjoy it. Quiddler is an award-winning card game that consists of a double deck of cards with letters instead of numbers. The game can be played competitively with two or more people (it’s a rummy/scrabble hybrid), or it can be played alone, as solitaire. My obsession lies in the latter. I’ve loved solitaire since I was introduced to it ~40 years ago, and I never had any interest in playing it digitally… I’ve used the same deck of cards since my late uncle won it off a table at Harrah’s in Las Vegas and gave it to me. I was something like 12 years old. Quiddler is the second deck of cards I’ve acquired in my life.

Fun Fact: Quiddler comes from Fountain Hills, AZ, right here on the outskirts of Phoenix!

 

6). Women’s Calysta Sport Bottom Winter Boots (Universal Thread at Target).

 

Women’s Calysta Sport Bottom Winter Boots (Universal Thread at Target)

 

The first day my toes went numb at work, I came home and ordered these boots from Target. They’re incredible, just super comfortable and warm. My feet stay cozy in them all day!

That’s all I’ve got for November, friends. Stay safe and well!

 

 

Waking up in the dark and the cold and not loathing it.

SUCTION CUPS, guys. Those are suction cups lining the octopus’ arms/tentacles. In my last post I’d written “tentacles” even though I knew when I wrote it that they were suction cups. Have you ever done that? You write something incorrect and you know that it’s incorrect but you just go on your merry way intending to fix it later, only to forget to do it until after 900 people have received it in their inboxes?

I promptly made the correction. No one called me out on it! Either you didn’t notice, or you hadn’t read the post yet. (Or you let me slide.)

Still can’t stop thinking about that film.

It’s dark and cold when I get up now, and quiet and still. It’s peaceful, and I’m grateful for that. I’m not a morning person, though. Neither am I a winter person or a cold-weather person. First thing I do in the morning is a thing that makes the day feel welcoming: I light the two front rooms with pink light and candlelight. There’s a pink salt lamp in the living room and a triple-wick candle on the dining table in the other room, and it’s nice because I can see into both rooms from the hallway, on either side of the partial wall that separates them. The glow from candlelight on one side and pink salt lamp light on the other makes the front rooms cozy, and I can ease into the day without feeling like I was jarred awake by an alert.

May your early mornings be filled with peace, too.

 

Sharing my interior morning view.

 

My bleeding fingertips and I are heading off to bed at this moment. November Favorites coming on Saturday night!

 

 

Finally found a word to share about Netflix documentary MY OCTOPUS TEACHER.

Professionally burnt out, documentary director and cinematographer Craig Foster dives into the Atlantic near his coastal hometown in South Africa and leaves the terrestrial world behind as he descends into the kelp forest. The underwater world had been his childhood refuge, and he’s returned in search of a meditative space, a place where he can reconnect with himself and with the world around him.

A freediver, Foster conducts his underwater exploration without equipment, holding his breath for extended lengths of time. His tolerance to cold waters allows him to navigate the kelp forest without a wet suit. He’s unencumbered and unsheathed in a realm of nature that feels like home to him. Going in without a wet suit heightens his sense of merging with the ocean, and relying on his honed ability to hold his breath frees him further.

Foster does bring his camera, though. He captures the moment in which he encounters a young octopus. The next time he visits, he finds her again. The time after that, too. She’s consistently, reliably there, and Foster is fascinated. He commits to visiting her world every day to spend time with her, which he does for an entire year.

In meeting the octopus, Foster found inspiration to work with his camera again. He wanted to observe and get to know her. He captured hundreds more moments with her.

What came of it was a precious bond and this stunningly beautiful documentary: My Octopus Teacher.

 

 

These days, my own sense of being in love with life is heightened, too, and the slightest moments move me to tears of gratitude… and always, in any medium, I cry while taking in storytelling involving animals. Quite naturally, then, several tissues were required as I watched this film.

My Octopus Teacher is an emotional drawing-in of a film, unlike any other nature documentary I’ve seen. To witness a bond of trust grow between this enchanting underwater being and Craig Foster is to know even more profoundly the sentience and innocence of animals. To move with Foster through the kelp forest with its glorious population of sea creatures is to realize on a more personal level, somehow, that there’s an unfathomably vast world in the oceans and seas, a richer world than our own.

When Foster first visits her den, the octopus is tentative, but the intellectual curiosity ingrained in her prevails over her trepidation. A relationship begins to form. After a while, she’s confident that he won’t hurt her, and she goes about her daily routine unworried by his presence as he observes. We’re then able to discover her personality: she’s captivating in her expressiveness, and she’s exceedingly smart. She’s intrepid, affectionate, and playful. Innovative by nature, she displays creative survival skills that leave Foster – and we viewers – in awe. She’s well-informed, as each of her many suction cups has an intelligence, her suction cups like little brains lining her eight arms.

At one point in the film, we’re privy to a moment between Foster and the octopus. We can see how very small and vulnerable she is, and the extent to which she’s come to trust and love him.

My Octopus Teacher is a soothing meditation of a film with shimmering facets of drama, thriller, and horror. All at once, it’s gentle and sweet and exhilarating and fraught with the harrowing realities of octopus life.

 

 

Foster fell in love with the little octopus, and so did I, along with probably everyone who’s watched the film. I was rather a mess by the end of it, but in the best of ways.

My Octopus Teacher is a nature documentary that tells a powerfully human story. Foster’s goal was to reconnect with himself and with the world, and the octopus helped him with that. She drew him out of his own den in which he’d been stuck. She left him with invaluable insight and epiphanies that translated seamlessly into his relationships with others, and with the world as a whole. The bond that she cultivated with him strengthened his bond with his son.

Please don’t miss this film. Its gorgeous cinematography and mellow narration make for a healing balm that we all can use, and its story imparts lessons that we all can learn. Bravo to Craig Foster, the filmmakers and producers, Netflix, and to the little octopus, herself, for bringing us My Octopus Teacher.

~~~~~

[Correction: I’d originally written “tentacles” where I was referring to suction cups. I realized it when I re-read the post just now. Middle-of-the-night-oversight corrected.]

 

“Safe” is the happy common denominator.

It would be pleasing to write for real right now, but I’d need all two of my thumbs to operate the space bar, and I can’t. I have a tiny open wound on the tip of my right thumb and I rubbed acetone into it when I was removing black nail polish, and now I can’t touch anything with that thumb, and that’s the absurd situation. I washed my hands and coated the wound with pain-relieving Neosporin and loosely applied a Band-aid and took two Tylenol, but idiocy isn’t that easily undone.

I wanted to expand upon this: If you live in the States, have a happy and safe Day of Expressing Gratitude! If you live elsewhere, have a safe day.

 

Burning down to the dregs in the deep fall. (Mood.)

Fall cleaning took place today, finally, and now my freshened house smells like sweet, warm spices and apple cider. It’s been years since I’ve been much of a candle person; I cycled back around to candles this season. Currently I’ve got a “pumpkin muffins” soy candle burning on my dining table, along with a couple of tea lights.

 

Burning down to the dregs in the deep fall.

 

You wouldn’t know it from my last post (which I edited for brevity), but my mood for the month has been super chill. Now that October is over, I back-burnered my Halloween Spotify playlist and created one for November. It’s what my house would sound like if you were step into it at any given time these days, and I thought I’d share it.

Warning: Four of the 13 songs contain explicit lyrics. I should add that I’m not about the lyrics in the case of this playlist. I love its lilting, slow tempo and its soft roundedness and occasional edge. I keep it on in the background for the melodies, for the vocals whose sounds I find gorgeous in and of themselves, and for the lulling effect of the beats. Nine of these tracks are old favorites, so there’s a bit of a nostalgia factor here, too.

 

 

Also in the vein of seasonal festivities, I confess that the winter holidays ahead have me envisioning Michael Myers’ return to the front patio sporting a Santa hat and a lei of colorful Christmas light bulbs around his neck. It’s a whim and a fairly potent temptation, and I’m already shrugging my shoulders at whatever anyone night think. I feel that my neighbors think I’m strange, anyway… even more so now that I’m free to be my strange self.

I’m that neighbor, I guess. I won’t yell at people to get off my proverbial lawn, but I’ll put a mannequin out there dressed like a classic fictional serial killer.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, though. Thanksgiving is coming up this week in the States! I’m going to spend it safely with exactly two people, both of whom see me on a regular basis. I’m prepared. I’ve secured a tofurky – a minor triumph, as they sell out so quickly – that’s hunkered down in the freezer. I have the Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider, a Thanksgiving must. My Sunday baking tomorrow will include pumpkin scones with raisins and walnuts that’ll keep in the freezer until Thanksgiving Day, as well.

Happy autumn holidays to you!

 

 

In which I’m going to get slightly obnoxious. (COVID pandemic-related plea.)

[Edited for brevity]

I don’t know, man. We all need to wear masks. We really do, because we’re being stalked by a demonic virus, and there’s no exorcist, and no, I’m not being overly dramatic. The virus has now infected a person in my life, and from what I’ve heard from that person, I wouldn’t wish COVID on my worst enemy.

It can’t be said enough that this virus is not “like the flu.” There might be more deaths from the flu, but statistics like that aren’t reassuring or meaningful. COVID is more contagious than the flu, and I’m pretty sure that death by flu isn’t as painful and horrific as death by COVID. Pretty sure no one ever lost hands, feet, arms, or legs to the flu. COVID can and does attack every organ in the body. Blood clots are common. COVID can lead to amputation and kidney dialysis, among other critical medical interventions. I just haven’t heard of this happening with the flu. Neither have I heard first-hand testimony about the flu to match the awfulness of the first-hand testimony I’ve heard thus far about COVID.

Please be careful out there.

Let’s all just stay safe.

 

 

Happy belated National Black Cat day, Salem! (Laundry room tour, + it’s getting cold.)

It’s getting chilly. I’ve resisted turning on the heater at home or in my car, because my unheated workplace is colder on the inside than it is on the outside, and I don’t want to leave a heated house and get into a heated car to drive to a cold place where I will spend eight hours. I figure I need to develop some degree of tolerance to the cold if I want to get through the cold months.

I’m forcing myself to acclimate, and I’m fine with it. I’m trying to be comfortable and safe at work so I can keep loving my job. Comfortable relative to the cold. Safe relative to the virus, which is even scarier now because the cold encourages it. (Not to mention, the virus has now infiltrated my workplace.)

Here at home, I have a kid who also does her life in unheated places, and that would be Salem, my little black cat. She’s acclimating to the weather, too. I take inspiration from her!

Salem is a special little girl. National Black Cat Day was on October 27, did you know? My friend Caroline texted me that day to inform me of this. I never did get to posting a pic of Salem on social media that day, but I intended to make up for the cat mom fail with a blog post all about Salem. Here we are! I’ve got a ton of pics, too. I have pics of Salem, and also of her room, aka the laundry room.

First, the sweetheart, herself:

 

Salem at home in the backyard.

 

Salem is a happy girl.

To say that she’s come a long way from her terrified-of-humans-rail-thin-foraging-for-food-in-the-garbage days is an understatement. She’s still feral in the sense that she doesn’t let me touch her, but she’s increasingly comfortable with me, and she’s recently had a couple of major breakthroughs: She discovered furniture and the joys thereof, and she realized that the toys in her room are there for her to play with.

Yes. Without any guidance from me, she’s chosen to sleep on the old ottoman I’d moved into her room, and she plays with her toys… domesticated cat behaviors more than feral cat behaviors. She’s had toys in her laundry room for the last two years, and she always ignored them. Heading into this third winter, she’s comfortable to the point of relaxing into playfulness. When I go into her room every evening, I find the stuffed fishy and various meeses scattered hither and yon, and the two rugs pushed out of place. I can envision her tossing her toys around and skidding on the rugs as she chases after them.

Every day, I make her bed and gather her toys and put them back where they go. The rugs, too. I love arranging everything perfectly in the evening and then seeing the disarray in the room the next day. The nest she’d made of her blanket, her toys all over the place, the rugs wherever they’d moved. Picking up after this little girl is the best thing ever!

Salem used to disappear during the day and stay out half the night. Now, she’s home more than she’s away. She slips out for a little while, and next thing I know, she’s back in her yard, lounging here and sleeping there.

She comes home to this house. She comes home to me.

Going out isn’t the norm for her anymore. Staying here is. She loves her yard, her patio, her room. In the morning, she comes out to eat her breakfast, and then she goes back in. I’ve noticed on the weekends that she sometimes stays in the laundry room well into the afternoon.

 

Salem napping on her patio, as seen through the screened side of the sliding-glass door.

 

Salem seen from afar.

 

Salem getting closer to me, little by little. One day!

 

Salem grooming on the go.

 

Salem lounging in the grass.

 

Salem stretching and blinking at me. Cats will only lie on their backs and expose their bellies when they’re comfortable and trusting that they’re safe.

 

Meatloaf Salem.

 

Salem on her path.

 

Salem owning the place.

 

Salem in cuddle-mode. Those little paws, though!

 

Salem on her doorstep, surveying her yard.

 

If that’s Salem’s doorstep, then that’s Salem’s door, and if it’s her door, then it’s her room. It’s my laundry room, more technically, but let’s be real here. When a cat lives in a place, it’s her place. It is not up for discussion. This is Salem’s room. She often hangs out on the doormat on her front porch next to her food area.

This brings us to the room, itself. Its aesthetic? Well, I’ve filled it with old furniture and old treasures, found treasures. A dusty candle last lit over a decade ago, fake dead flowers, natural objects I’d picked up in nature – hiking trails, beaches, backyards – with every intention of keeping them forever. Crystals, an antique doll handed down to me, re-homed tapestries, a few garish cast-offs. It’s kind of witchy and celestial and grimy in there. You might decide that it’s cottagegoth or goblincore. I’m still adding to it; I have the ashes of several beloved furbabies in their wooden urns waiting to be arranged in the shrine to them that I’m going to make.

This laundry room is attached to the house, but it’s only accessible from the outside.

 

(LED) candle-flame lights on either side of the door.

 

Looking in from the doorway at night.

 

I don’t think I’ve ever brought you into my laundry room! I believe this is also the first time I’ve dedicated an entire post to Salem.

 

Lest there’s any doubt as to whose room this is.

 

The long wall to the right of the door.

 

Bookcase corner (to the left of the door): stones, crystals, a piece of coral, a pinecone, a wooden Tibetan figurine, an owl trinket-holder, fake dead roses, everything old or found or gifted or all of the above. I’m going to create the shrine to my dead cats in one of the cubbies in this bookshelf.

 

Washing machine corner: an old floor lamp, a string of cloth elephants from an Etsy shop in India (which I got to replace my cherished elephant string that I’d lost), a small handmade plaque I’d purchased in a ghost town.

 

Dryer corner: a clock sent to me by mistake, more fake dead flowers, a dusty old candle, an antique doll handed down to me, the green bats’ blood bottle I had in my office during its dark academia iteration.

 

Water heater corner (to the right of the door): the water heater, of course, and the utility sink. Above the sink, a cast-off sakura paper lantern, a small round mirror in a wooden frame in the shape of an eye. Next to it, my little glass and wrought iron table from 20 or so years ago that now holds my laundry detergents, a fake tree, and random objects.

 

My celestial tapestry on the long wall, with faerie lights and glittery, jewel-toned paper origami stars.

 

Tapestry at night.

 

Salem’s bed: an old ottoman with mismatched old cushions and Salem’s winter blanket. The black and gold rug used to be in my office. The rug is never neatly positioned like this when I go in during the day. It’s askew, and often, I’ll find a toy mouse beneath the ottoman.

 

Above Salem’s bed. These things are self-explanatory.

 

Daylight detail: top of the bookcase. These treasured objects are much easier to see in the daylight. The pinecone is obscured from this angle, though. It’s behind the blue crystal.

 

Daylight detail: corner shelves. I didn’t like the look of the doll sitting up. I prefer her lying down, looking deceased.

 

Daylight detail: top of laundry table.

 

Salem’s toy area beneath the laundry table. She used to sleep in this space. By the time I moved the ottoman in, she was brave and comfortable enough to choose it for her new bed. It started to get chilly at night soon after I realized that she was sleeping on the ottoman, so I put her blanket there instead of down here. Most of these toys are scattered throughout the room when I come in during the day.

 

Salem’s doormat and rug. This is the old rug that’s really dramatically out of place when I go in every day. It’s pushed aside, bunched or folded. Sometimes, I find it in the middle of the room. Often, I find one or two of Salem’s toys where the mat should be. They tell the whole story.

 

Doorknocker above the door on the outside. It also used to be in my office.

 

Since I took these pics, I wrapped Salem’s ottoman in heavy plastic sheeting all the way down to the floor, in case of wandering male cats feeling territorial for no good reason. I will not be laundering piles of bedding every day in order to clean up male cat spray, thank you! Furthermore, the ottoman is upholstered. No surefire way to get the male cat odor out of that. Salem would never sleep on the ottoman again! With the plastic sheeting protecting the ottoman, I’d only have to wash her towels and blanket. With luck, I won’t have to deal with it at all.

I hope you enjoyed this first post dedicated to Salem and her room! Happy belated National Black Cat Day, little girl.

And a lovely rest of your weekend, friends.

~~~~~

ETA: I just took this pic of Salem eating and thought I’d include it, as this post is also a journal entry for my own memories. She ate her breakfast when I gave it to her at 7:30am, and here she is finishing it after having gone back to sleep for a few hours. (Just like her mommy.):

 

Salem finishing off her breakfast on a Sunday morning.

 

Alright! I have some baking to do right about now. Until Wednesday, then. Stay safe, friends.

 

 

Welcome to the Hotel Arizona – such a lovely place. (Desert tortoise update! Hibernation 2020.)

October is over. Short Horror October is over. Michael Myers is once again in the house, in pieces piled up on the bed in the spare bedroom (pending my decision on where to store him). You know I seriously considered leaving him out year-round. I had to talk myself out of it, as the mail carrier was visibly skittish bringing the mail up to the box.

At October’s end, I had a few requests for a Geronimo update. What’s going on with Geronimo’s hibernation? When are we getting a pre-hibernation updates post? I was eager to provide the updates, too, but it’d been a few weeks since I’d seen him. I’d had to cancel his pre-hibernation exam because he wasn’t out that morning (it was a Saturday), though he’d been out a few days before that.

I wanted to oblige your requests right away, but I also wanted to wait, because I wasn’t sure what was going on. Maybe he would come out again, like he did after I thought he’d gone in last year! False hibernations happen.

In the weeks following Geronimo’s canceled pre-hibernation appointment, I searched for him every day when I was home. Eventually, I had to assume that he’d already tucked himself in for the year.

To tell you the truth, I’ve been a little sad about it. His departure was so unexpected! I didn’t have a chance to tuck him in, myself, and wish him a good night. I wasn’t ready. I never am, but this year, I really wasn’t. Last year and the year before, he went into hibernation toward the end of November. This year, it was mid-October-ish.

If I had to guess, I’d say that Geronimo was eager to hibernate because he wanted to retire to his new digs. (Pun totally intended.)

In 2018, he wasn’t 100% out of sight during hibernation. The edge of his heel could be seen in the shadows of the deep turn from the back of his burrow where it dips down and veers off to the right into the tunnel he’d dug. It was his first year here. His burrow was new.

In 2019, he dug a little more while he was out in the spring and summer, and he couldn’t be seen at all during his hibernation.

In 2020, Geronimo went on an obvious mission in the spring, spending even more of his warm-weather time digging. It can be assumed that he’s now got a sprawling labyrinth of a subterranean tortoise mansion in a network of tunnels beneath the backyard, an occluded, wondrous interior that’s fit for Architectural Digest.

I’m thinking that Geronimo was eager to move into the dream home that he’d built for himself. He wanted to get settled in down there at the first lick of cold weather, not knowing (or caring) that the weather was a cold front that would give way to a week back up in the 90’s. If my suspicions are correct, I don’t blame him for wanting to go in early. His burrow looks exactly the same from the outside, but on the inside, his achievements probably match those of Frank Lloyd Wright’s.

I would love to behold Geronimo’s architectural wonder with my own eyes. I’m still planning to look into what sort of camera one can use for such purposes.

I’m sorry that a real hibernation post isn’t going to happen this year. I remember the last time I saw Geronimo: I’d just gotten home to grab lunch, and he was out on the patio. As always, I wanted so badly to go to him, but I couldn’t, because I had to get back to work. After work, I’d thought… but I haven’t seen him since.

 

SNACKS! [18 September 2020]

 

I talk to Geronimo for a few minutes every evening, sitting outside of his burrow. Maybe he can hear me down there, in some part of his resting brain, wherever he is in the depths of his splendiferous winter abode. I hope that he can, so he can know how much I love him and miss him and wish him sweet dreams.

The post I look forward to writing the most is the one where I tell you about Geronimo’s emergence in spring 2021!

 

 

Keeping the candles burning. (October Favorites!)

Saturday’s bright, sunny blue sky and blustery, cool(ish) air made it an ideal fall day here in the desert. October is over, but as far as I’m concerned, spooky season continues with our gradual dip in temperatures.

(Speaking of which, I will have a Geronimo report for you soon, probably a week from today. I haven’t forgotten!)

In keeping with the continuation of spooky season, I’m here to share my October Favorite “little things” with you, my usual smattering of entertainment, food, and products. Scroll down to see the little things that I enjoyed in October!

 

1). Still/Born (Shudder Original movie)

 

 

This film spooked Nenette, who then spooked me when I was myself already a little bit spooked. We basically freaked each other out in the middle of the movie, and I ended up on the phone with Caroline, my partner-in-horror with whom I was watching the movie, and I think I had to finish watching it the next day, as I was preoccupied with Nenette and with being spooked by the entire situation. There was a specific event in the movie that did it. I’ll just say that Still/Born was an effective work of horror, and I do recommend it.

 

2). The Mortuary Collection (Shudder Original movie)

 

 

Like Still/Born, The Mortuary Collection is a Shudder Original. It wasn’t the best movie ever, but I found it to be good fun for Halloween season! It fueled the mood, and I loved it for that.

 

3). Evil (Netflix)

 

 

Evil is an excellent slow burn of a paranormal investigative series that’s available to stream on Netflix. It’s one of those that gradually tucks itself under your skin, almost while you aren’t aware of it, and leaves you with an eerie feeling at the end. That was my experience, anyway. I’m looking forward to Season 2.

 

4). The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix Original Miniseries)

 

 

What I can say about the excellent Netflix miniseries The Haunting of Bly Manor is that it’s a gorgeous, gothic work of horror, skillfully wrought and, in my opinion, deserving of awards nominations. Really beautiful work!

 

5). To the Lake (Netflix Original series)

 

 

In this Russian series (it’s unclear whether it’s a series or a miniseries), we have a virus in a pandemic scenario from which the characters frantically try to escape. It’s not our virus, mind you. It’s a bit on the zombie-ish side. It has a vibe that’s more post-apocalyptic/dystopian, which I adore… and I love that the lead character is played by Kirill Käro, a Russian actor whose work I’d admired in Sniffer and Better Than Us.

 

6). Roasted, salted pumpkin seeds.

 

Roasted, salted pumpkin seeds

 

I snacked on roasted, salted pumpkin seeds throughout the month. I’m more of a salt person than a sweets person, so roasted, salted pumpkin seeds taste more like October to me than pumpkin spice anything.

 

7). Food Should Taste Good Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.

 

Food Should Taste Good Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

 

Ingredients: Organic blue corn, high oleic sunflower oil and/or safflower oil and/or canola oil, brown rice flour, flax seed, sesame seed, sunflower seeds, sea salt, quinoa

I found my new favorite brand of blue corn tortilla chip in October. These chips from the brand Food Should Taste Good are thick and crunchy and delicious with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and quinoa. They’re fabulous for nachos! They’re sturdy enough to hold a whole lot in the way of toppings, and they’re perfectly salted for my tastes.

 

8). Siete Cashew Queso (Mild Nacho).

 

Siete Cashew Queso – mild nacho

 

Ingredients: Water, Cashews, Tomatoes, Carrots, Green Bell Peppers, Nutritional Yeast, Sea Salt, Distilled White Vinegar, Flax Seed, Fermented Extract (Oregano, Flax Seed, and Plum), Coconut Milk Powder, Lactic Acid, Onion Powder, Tomato Powder, Garlic Powder

The texture of this cashew queso may not be quite what you’re used to in a dairy queso, but its flavor is outstanding. This queso with the blue corn tortilla chips above make a wonderful plate of movie theater/convenience store/sports arena-style nachos, even more so when I pile them up with jalapeño peppers, as I always do.

 

9). Sweet Earth Spicy Kung Pao Plant-Based Jerky.

 

Sweet Earth Spicy Kung Pau Jerky

 

Ingredients: VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN, WATER, SOY SAUCE (WATER, SOYBEANS, WHEAT, SALT, ALCOHOL), SESAME OIL, GARLIC, GINGER PUREE (GINGER, WATER, CITRIC ACID), SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVORS, 2% OR LESS OF TOASTED SESAME SEEDS, VINEGAR, SZECHUAN PEPPERCORNS, YEAST EXTRACT, SPICES, SALT, CALCIUM LACTATE, LACTIC ACID, SUCCINIC ACID

(All in caps because I copied/pasted the text from the company’s website.)

This is an amazing vegan jerky! I swear to you that if you were to eat this jerky blind, you wouldn’t even suspect that it’s not animal meat. It’s faintly spicy, with the subtle heat developing in the aftertaste.

 

10). Pacifica Natural Origins High Vibration and Cosmosis Perfumes. (Vegan and cruelty-free)

 

Pacifica Natural Origins High Vibration and Cosmosis Perfumes

 

I mentioned these fragrances earlier in October, and I’ve been enjoying them ever since… the sandalwood (High Vibrations) and vanilla (Cosmosis) ones, that is. A co-worker’s assessment is that I now smell like sugary cinnamon, as I’m still using the vanilla-scented hairspray that everyone says makes me smell like sugar cookies. It’s the sandalwood scent that they’re catching on top of the vanilla. I love it, too.

 

11). JASON Softening Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion.

 

JASON Softening Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion

 

I had a Shea Moisture body lotion on a “favorites” list not long ago, and it turned out to be one of those favorite little things that ultimately didn’t work out. It was wonderful at first! It was fabulous until the lotion became separated and required shaking to reintegrate… and after that, it was so thick that it wasn’t coming out of the bottle. At the same time, its scent turned bad. It was weird how it became unusable all of a sudden.

All of this to say that I had to go looking for a replacement, and I’m super digging this JASON product that I picked up from the beauty aisle at the grocery store. I love its scent as much as I did the Shea Moisture one’s before it went bad, and I prefer its consistency over the Shea Moisture’s.

 

This brings us to the end, my friends. I’m sitting here in the wee hours of Sunday morning, falling asleep. I have a feeling that I’ll be offline most of the day when I wake up, because I’ve got the new Jack Reacher novel sitting here on my desk. Priorities!

 

 

 

Get out of my entertainment, Virus!

November, to me, signals full-blown fall and all of the deliciousness that comes with it. Now that Halloween is over, I’m relishing the natural blessings of the season. You can always tell where we are in the year by looking at what’s on my kitchen counter. Currently:

 

It’s fall! Walnuts, apples, Peruvian (purple) potatoes, and dried persimmons. I’m rich with these blessings. I don’t take them for granted.

 

October was sublime in every way. I enjoyed Short Horror October more than ever before! You might be curious as to what’s on my screen now that my 31 days of chain-watching horror content is over. WELL.

It’s November, and I stumbled into the real horror content.

Because season 4 of The Good Doctor is underway. I was so excited to get into the first episode! I settled in eagerly on Hulu Tuesday night for some much-needed escapism, but in an unforeseen plot development, I didn’t make it through the episode. I had to stop watching it halfway through, because it was utterly terrifying. It was the furthest thing from the entertaining escapism I was after. It was pure horror, and not in a good way. It was about The Virus.

I geared myself up to continue with the episode last night (maybe it was just my mood), but again, I had to peace out. The episode chilled me to my core with fear like no horror movie or series ever has. I’ve never had to turn away from an actual work of horror because it was too scary! Take notes, Ryan Murphy, and congratulations, The Good Doctor, for finally doing it with episode 1 of season 4.

[Side-note: Midsommar doesn’t count. I tried to turn away from that beastly film, but it wouldn’t let me.]

All I wanted was to get back into the storyline, right? That’s why we anticipate new seasons of the series we enjoy. I wanted to resume enjoying. Instead, I found myself swept into a nightmarish COVID State of Emergency scenario at the San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, where I got to see COVID-infected people suffering and dying in horrible ways, presenting with all kinds of symptoms and developing all kinds of complications. I got to see the heartbreak of family members not being able to be with their loved ones in intensive care, and then the pain of being told “I’m sorry” by Dr. Lim when a young woman’s mother died alone while in isolation. And SO MUCH MORE. I can’t even get into all of the terrible and sad events of the episode, and I wouldn’t do it, anyway, lest I “spoil” it for anyone else.

I mean, I get it, TGD. You want to take your hospital dramedy there in tribute to frontline workers and address the pandemic while also scaring us into wearing our masks. Fine. BUT you do too good of a job. Your actors are too good. Your writers are too good. Your commitment to authenticity in a COVID-gripped hospital is too complete. I just couldn’t.

So I had to stop watching the episode on Tuesday night, when I especially needed to escape into a fictional world. (Thank you, Bob’s Burgers, for providing your own new season.) I thought I would give it another try last night, but I took one look at the scene where I left off and immediately exited again, horrified anew by the sight of the sickened patient in that scene.

Tonight, I was determined to finish it. I was doubly prepared. I was going to do it. And I did. I sat through the whole damn episode that not only was un-entertaining and difficult to watch, but IT WAS MISSING DR. MELENDEZ, WHO WAS SENSELESSLY AND INEXPLICABLY KILLED OFF at the end of season 3 (you’re walking a thin line, The Good Doctor), and I was further appalled by the horrors that’d awaited in the second half of the episode. The episode is called “Frontline, Part 1.”  Yes, it will continue in next week’s episode, “Frontline, Part 2”.

Now you might be wondering why I insisted on putting myself through it. It’s The Good Doctor, that’s why. It’s excellent. I’m invested in the characters in their world, and I’m not going to stop watching it just because their world looks like our real-life world.

I hope that we can leave the real world behind starting with episode 3, though.

Happy almost Friday Eve, my friends, and FFS, wear your masks.

 

 

In lieu of an actual post,

I’m just popping in here to apologize for having been zombified by sleepiness and general fatigue since around 6pm today, meaning that tonight’s post will happen tomorrow night. I hate to miss my posting time. Alas, it can’t be helped. The energy has been fraught all day, and I’m feeling it.

Tomorrow night is a new night. Until then, my friends! And thank you for being the understanding lot that you are!

Halloween 2020! (Short Horror October, day 9, + trick-or-treaters, a full moon, and a costume.)

Merry Samhain and Happy Halloween a second time today! In case you missed it, I posted briefly this afternoon to share my Halloween playlist with you.

We’re past the witching hour. The last of the trick-or-treaters have long gone. This was the first year families brought their kids to this street! As a just-in-case, I bought a small bag of candy in the 11th hour this afternoon and filled up a caldron/bowl thing from a previous Halloween and set it outside on the wooden beams next to Michael Myers. I wrote HELP YERSELVES on a piece of cardboard and set that in there, too. The families still rang the doorbell, though, and I opened the door so the kids could scream TRICK OR TREAT!!!!! before I directed them to the caldron of candy.

Not going to lie, guys. Costumed children joyfully trick-or-treating brought a little tear to my eye as our country struggles with the pandemic under what seems to be the penumbra of a civil war. The children’s exuberance drew an emotional response from me. It’s like for one night before potential chaos ensues, they got to skip down the street in costumes, laughing and shrieking and collecting candy as their parents stood by having just as good a time.

It just made everything seem so normal.

But why was everyone shrieking when they arrived, you might be wondering? Because of Michael Myers. Ol’ Michael was a huge hit out there. The reactions were priceless! I could hear them as I sat here in my office, shrieks and laughter and loud exclamations in front of the house, and I knew that trick-or-treaters were afoot.

Tonight was beautiful. As I’d rhapsodized in a previous post, our Halloween moon is a full, blue moon in Taurus, a special astronomical and astrological circumstance. On a personal level, the full moon in Taurus resonates especially deeply, I think, because Taurus is my rising sign.

Of course I went outside and tried to take pics of the moon with my cell phone! There was a cloud cover that obscured it, but my phone is a Google Pixel, so I got some pics that I like nonetheless. This pic is raw and untouched, as usual:

 

Halloween 2020, full blue moon in Taurus

 

I love the history of this holiday, too. It started in ancient times as Samhain, the Celts’ seasonal celebration, and then the Romans came along and conquered Britain and imposed their Autumn Festival revelries onto Samhain as they wanted to do away with the native Celts. (A familiar story, this business of conquerors on a mission to destroy the natives.) In turn, the Pope eventually crashed the party and insisted on giving the day a religious makeover by dubbing it “All Saints Day,” because he wanted to convert the pagan Romans to Christianity. (Another familiar story, this business of The Church on a mission to Christianize the pagans by taking their holidays and renaming them to fit with Christianity.) But this, as you probably know, is how we got this holiday. “Hallow” is another word for “saint,” so All Hallows Day, November 1st, is just All Saints Day by another name. The night before All Hallows Day is All Hallows Eve, which was popularly shortened to “Halloween.” Thank you, 7th-century Pope, for giving us this holiday!

In their celebration of Samhain, the ancient Celts respected that the end of summer brought in a transitional time of the year during which the veil between worlds was the thinnest. Spirits of the dead could slip back into the world during this time.

This year, I’ve really been feeling the ancient holiday of Samhain. My nods to it were simple, following the Celts’ cautionary practices of dressing up in scary costume, setting out a Jack-O-Lantern, and offering up treats. The Celts dressed up to be scary on Samhain in order to ward off the darkly mischievous spirits. With respect to this tradition, I dressed up to be scary on Friday and went in to work as a psycho surgeon:

 

Yours Truly, at work

 

I then went home and took some selfies. We had half the day off in observance of Halloween… another holiday first for me!

 

Halloween 2020! Yes, I’m wearing a wig.

 

Halloween 2020, in character as a psycho surgeon.

 

Now for the moment I’ve been dreading: our final horror short films of Halloween 2020. I’ll start with this little gem: Happy Halloween, Gore score: 1. Run-time: 3:49.

 

 

This next one isn’t what you’d think it’d be; I’m still scratching my head over its title. Here’s Wet Willy, Gore score: 3. Run-time: 4:28.

 

 

And for tonight’s feature presentation, I bring you Dinah, Gore score: 1. Run-time: 11:05.

 

 

The End, until 2021! I’m about to get busy watching all the short horror I can in the next 365 days so I can stash away my favorites to share with you in next year’s Short Horror October.

Happy November, my friends. Until next week!

 

 

Merry Samhain! Happy Halloween! (A little bonus post to share some music.)

I’m doing some fall cleaning while listening to the Halloween playlist I made on Spotify. I’ve had this playing all week, and it just occurred to me to share it with you in case you’re interested! These are just some of the tunes that put me in the mood for Halloween, though they’re not all related to the holiday – collected into a list, they bring Halloween to life in my little world.

If it’s already late or beyond the 31st of October where you are when you see this, perhaps you’re someone who celebrates Halloween as a two-day holiday: All Hallows Eve (Halloween on the 31st), and All Hallows Day (the next day, All Saints Day on November 1st).

I’ll be back later tonight with my Saturday night post! Have at the playlist, if you’re so inclined.

 

 

Until later, my ghoulish friends.

 

 

The penultimate! (Short Horror October, day 8 + Blair Witch audio ookiness.)

Halloween is three days away! I’m all the way into it, starting with the music I’ve been listening to the most. The Halloween 2020 playlist I put together on Spotify is short and basic, but it does the job.

Let me tell you what music really spooks me, though. (Because there’s music for enjoyment, right, and then there’s music for getting creeped-out.) I discovered one playlist out there that makes my spine sweat ice, and that would be “Blair Witch (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).” I don’t know whether you have to have seen The Blair Witch Project in order to be provoked by the film’s soundtrack album, so I can’t say objectively that it’s a spooky set of sounds. How about for a fun Halloween experiment, click “play” on the soundtrack I’ve handily provided here and just have the sounds going in the background as you do your things.

 

 

Let the festivities begin, yes? No? I find it to be spooky, anyway. I love this soundtrack. It makes me want to watch The Blair Witch Project again.

As for dressing up, why yes, I have a Halloween costume this year. I won’t say what it is yet, but I took a pic of these props:

 

Pens. Clearly, I’m easily amused.

 

And about today’s films, already!

To my exaggerated dismay, only two Short Horror October blog posts remain in this year’s series. There’s this one and there’s Saturday’s and that’s it for 2020. I’m going to double or triple the films in these remaining posts so I can share more with you. Two of the three I’m posting tonight are short-short. Let’s start with those!

Together, these first two films amount to a mere six minutes. I’ll start with The Rickety Lady, Gore score: 1. Run-time: 2:30.

 

 

Next up, we have And the Baby Screamed. Gore score: 1. Run-time: 3:27.

 

 

Moving on to our superb feature presentation, we’ve got Skickelsen. If you’re not Swedish, you’ll want to turn on Closed Captions, as this is a Swedish film. You might want to dim your lights, too; this short film is dark in its lovely Scandinavian noir way. Gore score: 1. Run-time: 13:51.

 

 

Happy almost-Halloween Eve!

 

 

Oh, Michael. (Short Horror October, day 7 + mannequin shenanigans, Part 2.)

It’s Saturday night on the 24th of October. Halloween is one week away. Saturday the 31st will arrive under a full moon, and a full moon in Taurus, no less – our first Taurus full moon on All Hallows Eve since 2001. I can already feel and rejoice in the charge of this powerful, impending full moon that will oversee 2020’s ancient celebration of Samhain. What a magical thing to occur in the middle of a pandemic that’s stolen most of our year!

And I’m feeling it. Every day is Halloween for the next seven days. To start, I got Michael Myers where he needed to be. It was somewhat of a journey for him that started in my living room one week ago, as you’ve already seen (unless you haven’t):

 

Greetings.

 

Michael was originally going to come to work with me, but that idea went horribly wrong when I tried to put him in my car in the dark of night on my dimly lit street. The length of him fit in the car from the very end of the trunk to the front seat, but I couldn’t get his heavy base all the way in and his leg detached from his pelvis as I struggled with him, so when I finally gave up, I had to wrestle him out of the car backwards with his slippery leg dangling loose inside his thin, slippery mechanic’s suit and I eventually managed to get my left arm around his torso and my right arm up in his crotch so I could try to grip his butt that was the only remotely grippable thing on him and extricate him from the trunk that way while I prayed the neighbors weren’t watching the spectacle of me wrangling with a body in the trunk of my car, and just then, his head fell off and rolled a little ways toward the sidewalk. I gathered him up as best as I could and dragged him to the front of the car, and that’s how I found myself looking down at a partially dismembered and decapitated Michael Myers lying on my driveway in the white glare of the motion-sensor lights above the garage door, and I was done dealing with him for the night. I left him there.

 

You’re welcome, Jamie Lee Curtis.

 

The next morning I brought him into the house, undressed him, and detached his remaining limbs before I dumped the lot of him on the bed in the spare bedroom with no plan for him whatsoever. I was on my way to work, and he wasn’t coming with me. I hadn’t thought about his future beyond that original idea.

 

He was probably more comfortable here than on the driveway.

 

One week later, he’s standing in front of the house looking out at the street, as Michael Myers does.

 

He came home.

 

I moved Michael in a little closer to the door, figuring that a post further away from the driveway would make things more daunting for the fool who considers stealing him.

Honestly, I’d be amused to see anyone try to take Michael. Their attempt would surely end in the same frustration that befell me. His limbs don’t lock on tightly; if you hold him the wrong way while moving him, they fall off. He’s about 6′, 3″ when he’s attached to his base. He’s slippery, bottom-heavy, and ungainly.

 

He has one job: greet the mail carrier.

 

For tonight’s brilliantly crafted horror short, I wanted to share Lane 9 with you. In addition to being done very well, it’s one of the most original films I’ve seen. This is Lane 9, Gore score: 1. Run-time: 14:52. Settle in for 15 minutes of some truly unique horror content!

 

 

The end… until Tuesday!

 

 

Laughing all the way to the blood bank. (Short Horror October, day 6 + self-pity fest!)

You know what has me worried where this whole COVID business is concerned? My blood. I have Type A blood, aka Type Higher Risk of COVID Infection with Severe Illness and Organ Failure.

Type O blood, the most common type, is Type Less Likely to Get Infected with COVID and Less Likely to Experience Severe Illness and Complications.

Type A is at higher risk of getting the virus, longer time spent in ICU, and interventions such as kidney dialysis. Type O is greater resistant to the virus, milder symptoms, less time in ICU, if any at all, and easier, faster recovery.

[::shakes fist at genes::]

I’ve also read, though, that these findings are not a reason for blood Type A people to freak out, or for blood Type O people to drop their guard. Everyone still needs to Keep Calm and Wear Their Masks and Wash Their Hands and Practice Social Distancing.

There. Now that I’ve thrown my little woe-is-me fit, we can…. Oh, wait, there’s more to this that makes me nervous, which I’ll share for those of you following my health adventures:

My lungs still haven’t fully recovered from the pneumonia I had back in January. Ten months later, my doctor found lingering tightness in my lungs when she listened to my breathing. (This was a couple of weeks ago when I went in for my flu, pneumonia, and cortisone shots.) She now has me using a nebulizer four times a day to help with my breathing, though I’m a terrible patient and I only do it once or twice.

For the most part, I’ve been ignoring my ridiculous lungs. I’m still going beastmode in my workouts, as I enjoy doing. I grabbed these screenshots from today’s self-critique video clips:

 

Self-critique, Les Mills Body Combat (21 October 2020)

 

Self-critique, Les Mills Body Combat (21 October 2020)

 

Regardless, with my age (50+), Type A blood, and long-term effects of pneumonia going on, I’m feeling a little vulnerable to the virus right about now. Doctor’s orders are to take extra precautions while I go about life. Stay home as much as possible. Avoid hanging out with people outside of my “bubble.” Avoid going out to eat, or anywhere else unnecessary, for that matter. Avoid being stressed out as much as possible.

To follow that last bit of advice, I’ll move past this topic and get on with Short Horror October, already! I’ve got your excellent horror short of the mid-week sitting right here.

This is Facility 4, Gore score: 3. Run-time: 14:53

 

 

My little rant was somewhat related to the film, wasn’t it? That was the idea.

Thank you for reading and watching and hanging out with me here, my friends.

 

 

In which we obsess. (Short Horror October, day 5 + mannequin shenanegans!)

As of a sort-of collab with my friend, there is, as of today, a mannequin dressed as Michael Myers standing in my living room.

 

Michael Myers in the house

 

He’s nowhere near as creepy as the mannequin without the mask, though, in my opinion.

 

Maskless mannequin

 

This mannequin is just a little too intense for me with that piercing stare. You have to be standing in front of it at my height in order to fully appreciate this. I was relieved to put the Michael Myers mask over its head! I’ll be further relieved when I get the mannequin to its final destination in the next day or two. For now, I’ve got Mr. Myers standing in front of the living room window.

Nenette was very suspicious just now when she walked out to the living room to inspect him, but she wasn’t too spooked. I have a little video that I took of her doing the inspecting, but it proved to be too large when I posted it here – it takes up too much space on the screen. You can’t see the top and bottom of the video without scrolling up and down, and then what’s the point? So I’m thinking that maybe I should post my videos to YouTube so I can share them here the way I do the short horror films.

Speaking of, I have two for you tonight. Have at it!

The first excellent horror short is Vexed. I’m not going to say a word about this one, because anything I tell you might ruin it for you. Gore score: 1. Run-time: 12:59

 

 

This next one’s called The Cost of Living. I wanted to include a film in the genre that it represents (you’ll soon know which one that is), and it’s less than five minutes long, so it’s a good complement to Vexed. They’ve got it labeled as a horror comedy. Honestly, I don’t see the comedy in it, but you might! Gore score: 1. Run-time: 4:27

 

 

Farewell for now, my friends!