I don’t have a Halloween costume. (Yet?) Here’s “Jameson,” though! (Short Horror October post 3)

I’ve been so immersed in the glories of October that I almost forgot about a Halloween costume! I didn’t realize it until yesterday at the gym when a few of us were talking about maybe coming to class in costume next week. Callaghan and I have no plans for Halloween this year, after all… unless I were to count Body Pump as a Halloween plan?! Should I get into costume just for the gym? Hmm.

Today’s Short Horror October film, Jameson, was written and directed by John Humber, and it stars Brad Carter (Ascension, Sons of Anarchy, True Detective). I’m excited to share this one with you. I’m uninterested in zombie films for the most part, but every now and again I find myself caught off-guard by a fresh specimen of the genre.

Please to enjoy…

 

 

Until Thursday!

 

 

My hand is fine. Also, I have “The Blue Door.” (Horror short October post 3)

Quick story-time: I missed Monday’s workout. Why? Because when I pulled up the bedroom window blinds that morning, the whole apparatus fell off the wall and crashed down onto the back of my left hand, which was resting on the dresser beneath. I felt it, and it didn’t feel great. A bruise appeared instantly and my fingers tingled as my hand swelled up, so I found myself going to urgent care instead of to the gym.

Point being, this was the second time in six weeks that my house attacked me. First, it tried to chop off my foot, and now it’s tried to crush my hand. Can’t wait to see what it does next.

Let’s get on with the purpose of this post, though! I have another excellent horror short to share with you this lovely October night: The Blue Door.

The Blue Door is a British short horror film starring Gemma Whelan, an actress you may recognize from Game of Thrones.

 

 

Happy Friday Eve!

 

 

“Widow” (Short Horror October post 2)

Happy Halloween 16 days in advance!

This second horror short in our series, Widow, is one of my favorites. Steven J. Mihaljevich wrote, directed, and edited the film in Perth, Australia.

Widow is rated MA 15+ (minimum age to watch unaccompanied by an adult is 15), a classification that cautions of material “strong in impact.” Examples of this given on the Australian government’s (Department of Communications and the Arts) website are sex and drug use, neither of which figures significantly in this film. There are no sex scenes at all, and the extent of the drug use is merely the protagonist taking sleeping pills. You won’t find violence or excessive gore in Widow, either. The horror is psychological; in terms of being “strong in impact,” I can only say that yes, Widow is superb, and therefore it is harrowing. Mihaljevich left no room for dead space in its 14 minutes and 39 seconds. Every second is meaningful, resulting in a cinematic density rarely found in the horror genre. Such density is a defining aim in the making of short movies, in general, and Mihaljevich smashes it.

Without further ado, then!

 

 

 

 

Creepshow (2019) PSA and The Coatmaker (Short Horror October post 1!)

Ahem. I have an important Public Service Announcement before I jump into our first Short Horror October post. TAKE NOTE! Creepshow (2019), a Shudder Original Series, has arrived, and I’m sorry that I’m just now telling you about it. You’ll see this anthology horror series listed in my October Favorites post, but what good would it do to find out about it in November? Creepshow is glorious, campy, spooktacular fun that’s perfect for right now, in October, as Halloween approaches.

 

 

Shudder gives us new episodes on Thursdays. With two unique stories within each episode, you’re all set if you have just half an hour at a time to escape into a complete comic book horror story. The animated character who presents the stories is quite a character, by the way, and the stories are told wonderfully as comics come to life. We’re so into this series, we’re impatient for the new episode each week. We’re three episodes in as of today.

In case you’re not familiar with it, Shudder is an online streaming service mainly for horror content, but you’ll also have thrillers, suspense, mystery, etc. at hand. A Shudder subscription is only $5.00/month, and less than that if you get a one-year subscription! (This is not a sponsored post. I just can’t keep Creepshow to myself. You’re welcome.)

Now for Short Horror October post number 1!

 

(Bloody Kisses, haha)

 

I’m thrilled to finally start posting short horror films again! I’ve been watching them all summer (okay, spring and summer) in anticipation of the decision-making challenge. This year, you’ll find many of my picks to be thought-provoking, layered in meaning, and fleshed-out with metaphor and symbolism… the kind of films you’ll want to give a second viewing. Many of them represent the psychological horror sub-genre.

Today’s short horror film, however, is a simple one, and time-wise, it’s on the shorter end of short horror. It’s best to watch this film – all of these short horror films – in the dark! Dark is more visible in the dark. Don’t ponder that. Just enjoy The Coatmaker:

 

 

Happy Friday Eve!

 

 

HELLO Geronimo’s pre-hibernation report. (Desert tortoise update!)

You must be wondering where you are, because this isn’t a Short Horror October post. I’m surprised, too. It’s just that Geronimo went to the vet yesterday for his pre-hibernation exam, and I couldn’t neglect to share his report card with you, now, could I? I WOULD BE REMISS.

First of all, we can say with absolute certainty that Geronimo stole every single heart in that clinic.

Initial assessment: Geronimo weighs exactly 13 lbs. His nostrils are “nice and clear,” his eyes are “clear and bright,” and he has no stones in his bladder or elsewhere. (He’s so beautiful! He looks so healthy!) We didn’t have a fresh fecal sample to bring as requested, but once in our room at the clinic, he pooped on the floor, right on cue. You know you’re real parents when you’re proud of your kid pooping.

When Geronimo’s lab results came in this morning, they showed that he’s free of G.I. parasites. No worms! This was the last piece of info we needed to have him officially deemed healthy for brumation (hibernation).

Dr. R. was pleased and delighted overall.

Geronimo did his Geronimo thing and charmed everyone. He easily bewitched Doctor R., who was again impressed with his personable and affectionate nature. She noted how he asked us to pet his head, nose, and neck, leaning into our hands and stretching his neck from one side to the other to get equal attention on both sides. According to her, many desert tortoises don’t care to be touched at all. “They’ll pull their heads in when you go to touch them,” she said. “You must spend a lot of time with Geronimo.” We do, indeed, not to mention AGAIN that we really bonded with the little guy when we had to keep him indoors, entertained, and out of trouble during hibernation season that first year. Last year. Yeah, that was a lot of bonding.

[/medical report]

Geronimo’s been extra active and feisty lately! One morning last week I went out to investigate a commotion I’d heard from my office it sounded like glass breaking, but it couldn’t be that, could it? and found him marching all over the patio amidst furniture he’d moved, yard tools he’d knocked over, and, yes, glass he’d managed to find and break. I didn’t even know there was glass out there. It must have been a jar or something on the table, which he’d pushed over.

You would think we’d have learned by now: we have to child-proof every corner of his domain. Geronimo is like a Roomba tank. He goes where he wants to go and sweeps aside everything in his way. He’s quite focused, though he does deviate from his path when he sees us appear in the yard.

Yesterday, he changed course to greet me on the patio when I stepped out there later in the morning. He stopped at my feet for cuddles before turning in the direction of his burrow. Knowing full well where he was going, I asked the question I ask him the most, a question familiar to him: “Where are we going, Geronimo?” (This is our game – he loves to lead me around.) He headed to his burrow knowing that I was following. When we got there, he stopped for his “good night” cuddles, and then he went into his burrow, all the way in and down into its depths. “Good night, Geronimo,” I said to his disappearing butt, as usual. “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

Here are some pics we took after we got home from his appointment yesterday:

 

My little lap tortoise.

 

[Note to self: get estimate for sprucing up the patio with pavers]

 

Eating lettuce on my lap.

 

Cuddles!

 

Crunchy, watery, cold GOODNESS

 

Time to wander the yard!

 

“Where are we going, Geronimo?”

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Some pics I took this morning:

 

Hello!

 

(I was sitting on the patio in my usual spot on the ground)

 

HELLO, MOMMY. I AM HERE.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

(If we have a theme for our yard, it’s either “Geronimo’s Paradise” or “Edward Gorey’s Evil Garden.” I like them both equally.)

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Good-bye.

 

 

OCTOBER office updates tour! (HAUNTED CATHEDRAL)

Many changes took place in our house over the summer. It’s basically a different house now, in more ways than I care to describe at the moment. This moment is the moment of my office, and it’s about time!

When my office had brown walls, brown carpet, and a brown ceiling fan, I loved having my plant family as my only décor. My desk was in the center of the room, facing the window. I was surrounded by greenery. It was earthy and calming.

After we re-carpeted the bedrooms, re-painted the walls, and replaced the ceiling fans, we had gray carpeting, white walls, and white ceiling fans. Gone were the cozy earth tones that yet made the house feel smaller and my pictures look strange with inconsistent lighting.

Facing the blank slate of my office inspired me to rearrange the furniture, and also to decorate. The changes put me in the mood to create a theme!

I had nothing particular in mind when I happened upon this framed black-and-white print of England’s Canterbury Cathedral at the Goodwill. I was elated. This is a gorgeous interior shot, and I found the picture to be in excellent condition.

 

Canterbury Cathedral print

 

Print detail

 

I carried the $5.00 print to the check-out thinking of the spirits that inhabit the famous Anglican cathedral in Canterbury. I thought of my old copy of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. I had all kinds of ideas in mind.

Canterbury Cathedral is a stunning monument of Gothic architecture, so all things considered, the vision came easily: “Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Gothic,” or “Haunted Cathedral,” to get more to the point. The theme also pays tribute to my English side. I’ve recognized my Japanese side in past décor themes, but never my English side.

[My French husband has no comment. He’s always joked that he “only hates half of me” – the half that isn’t Japanese. He’s a bit miffed now that there’s an Anglo-Saxon-themed room in the house, but it’s my office, after all.]

It was early in July when I found this print. I slowly began to collect things. My “Summer office updates” got pushed into the next season, but it was worth it to wait for stores to fill up their “occasion” aisles with Halloween décor. I’m glad that I waited, too, because I was able to find that mysterious antique mirror on Craigslist. The Gothic design-inspired mirror works beautifully in this theme. It matches the architecture of Canterbury Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral is haunted by the ghost of Archbishop Thomas Becket and those of several others who were murdered there, but I did not create a murder scene in my office.

I do believe that the antique mirror is haunted, though…. (More on this later.)

The first item I picked up for my theme was this cathedral stained glass tapestry from an artist on Etsy. I’ll take you around the office from there, starting with my desk corner and going clockwise around the room. Enjoy!

 

Cathedral stained glass tapestry

 

Desk corner

 

(I stacked my two low bookcases to make a hutch behind my desk. The décor you see here is on the hutch part.)

 

Desk-facing wall

 

Relevant texts

 

(A few of the English literature textbooks I’ve refused to let go.)

 

Literary skulls

 

Area behind me as I sit at my desk

 

Desk corner wall, right side

 

Antique trunk

 

(I got this trunk in Germany back when it was West Germany, but we’ll just pretend that I got it in England.)

 

Skull and crow

 

Green bat bottle and icy purple pumpkin

 

Antique mirror with black roses

 

Clock and more plants

 

A better look at the clock – 2:45am

 

(I took this pic at almost three o’clock in the morning. I was still up because I’d decided to make a pie in the middle of the night. I’d just finished it.)

(Also, this was a plain, white clock. I arranged a black satin ribbon around it and made the pendulum with a couple of fake roses.)

 

Shirt and gargoyle

 

(This t-shirt currently up on my closet door is one of two departures from the theme. It’s just the message I need to see in my office right now.)

 

Gargoyle (Grendel)

 

(The gargoyle above the t-shirt, though, is Grendel from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf.)

 

Buddha fountain

 

(Buddha fountain – the second departure from my theme.)

 

Hats and bags, behind-door hooks

 

(The two bags between which I’m currently alternating.)

 

Cat doorknocker

 

(This brings us back around to the tapestry in my desk corner.)

 

Desk wall with doorknocker (night)

 

Center of the room (night)

 

Desk wall at night

 

Desk at night

 

(The only picture I took of my actual desk, I realized!)

This is where I’m sitting right now, and we’ve arrived at The End. I hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you’re interested in where I got some of the décor pieces. It was all very affordable.

Happy Friday Eve, my friends.

 

 

Newsflash: It’s October 1st. (September Favorites!)

All I can say about this list is that it means OCTOBER has arrived. It’s already been very Octoberish! September lives on in my continuing love for the items on this list, but OCTOBER, okay.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

 

1). Savage X Fenty Show (Amazon Prime)

 

 

I put Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty (lingerie by Rihanna) Show at the top of this list because it’s the best thing I saw in September, and one of the best things I’ve seen all year, and maybe even one of the best things I’ve seen ever. Here’s my opinion in the wake of our watching this superb and mesmerizing production: Victoria’s Secret should just go ahead and file for bankruptcy, because what are they doing, exactly? I’ve yawned while watching their lingerie fashion show. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from Rihanna’s lingerie fashion show. We’re all in it… you, me, everyone. Rihanna wants you to know that her lingerie is designed for YOU, but even if you don’t wear lingerie, you won’t want to miss this magnificent show. Amazon Prime, guys. Go see the Savage X Fenty Show if you haven’t already. (RUN, don’t walk!)

 

 

2). Marianne (Netflix)

 

 

Here is where September got very Octoberish. We just recently started watching French horror series Marianne on Netflix; we’re only on the third episode, but we’re not sitting around waiting for the series to get scary. We were good and thoroughly horrified one minute into episode one, and that is no exaggeration. October’s off to a great start.

 

3). Black Spot (Zone Blanche) S2 (Netflix)

 

 

Also in September, we discovered that season two of this excellent French thriller series is available on Netflix, and we found that its story’s paranormal aspect has been heightened. Octoberish!

 

4). Luna Bar in Creamy Dreamy Peanut Butter. (Vegan and gluten-free)

 

Luna Bar Creamy Dreamy Peanut Butter

 

I made a couple of fabulous candy bar energy/protein bar discoveries in September, both from Luna Bar: their Creamy Dreamy Peanut Butter flavor, and their Chocolate Peppermint Stick flavor (below). Love these!

 

5). Luna Bar in Chocolate Peppermint Stick. (Vegan and gluten-free)

 

Luna Bar Chocolate Peppermint Stick

 

6). ThinkThin Original Sprouted Grains Oatmeal. (Vegan)

 

ThinkThin Original Sprouted Grains Oatmeal

 

Having cycled back into an oatmeal phase, I’ve been enjoying ThinkThin’s Original Sprouted Grains Oatmeal. It’s yummy and wholesome and 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber and what more could you want in oatmeal? It’s great with a spoonful of peanut butter, too.

 

7). Trader Joe’s Jalapeño Sauce.

 

Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Sauce

 

My assessment of this sauce is that it’s basically a thin wasabi based on Jalapeño rather than on horseradish. A dab on the finger suggests more heat than flavor, but added to nachos, it’s great flavor!

 

8). Birch Benders Plant Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix. (Vegan)

 

Birch Benders Plant Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix

 

YUM.

I love browsing supermarket aisles and discovering convenient foods (aka fast food you prepare at home) of solid nutritional value. Birch Benders Plant Protein Pancake and Waffle mix gives you 10 grams of protein per serving… and who eats just one serving? These just-add-water pancakes are delicious.

 

9). Snak Club Spicy Party Snack Mix. (Vegan)

 

Snak Club Spicy Party Snack Mix

 

This was my latest road trip junk food discovery. This stuff should be called “Spicy Party Crack Mix.” That is all.