Sam & Dean Halloween

by meanlouise on October 17, 2016

in halloween, true life 2016

Instead of spinning the Sam & Dean adventures off to their own Instagram account, I’m going back through and tagging all of the photos in this series #SamAndDeanHalloween.

If you haven’t been following along, the boys have been having all kinds of adventures.

You sure you know how to drive this thing? #halloween2016 #halloween #skeleton #trains #caboose #delrayva

A photo posted by Rebecca (@meanlouise) on

The Hunter boots sight-gag makes me laugh every time. What can I say, I’m easily amused. Now, of course, every time it rains and I put on my boots, Husband is going to ask me if I’m off to save people and hunt things. Yes, yes I am. Duh.

The downside to all of this is that we keep leaving these two life-sized plastic skeletons in random places in the house, which means I keep walking by darkened rooms late at night that I expect to be empty, only to glance in and see mysterious motionless figures sitting in a chair or standing in the corner. So that’s fun.

Concerned that my imagination might quit running away with itself, I’ve been feeding it a steady diet of haunted house type movies during writing breaks. The Conjuring & Conjuring 2, Lights Out, and The Haunting (1963).

Also the new Ghostbusters, which I adore (and not just because I’ve accepted and embraced my former students’ assessments that I am, in fact, Holtzmann, which explains a lot, doesn’t it?)

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If you’re looking for a fun read for the Halloween season, Sam & Dean & I Colin Dickey’s brand new book, Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places.

Husband and I were lucky enough to hear Dickey talk about this work in progress last year at Death Salon Mutter in Philadelphia. I’ve been waiting impatiently to finally get to read the book not just because it sounds cool, but because I’ve been working on revisions to an article on the socio-cultural and social justice implications of ghost tourism and historical ghost narratives. (One of the many reasons I’ve been neglecting you, my devoted readers).

Now I’m going to neglect you further so I can go finish reading this book!

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Clowning around

by meanlouise on October 3, 2016

in halloween, true life 2016

In the middle of writing a post about creepy clown sightings I found an excellent article on the subject at Rolling Stone, so I’m going to save some time and post that instead: ‘Killer Clowns’: Inside the Terrifying Hoax Sweeping America.

As campus safety officials in Pennsylvania pointed out in their notice, the “creepy clown” situation is becoming a national phenomena. Unfortunately, the situation is nothing new. In 1981, “sinister” clowns were seen in Boston and neighboring towns throughout New England. The clowns, who harassed small children, were never seen by adults. They would coax children into vans with candy, usually driving alongside children walking down the street or in front of schools. The Phantom Clowns, as they were dubbed by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman given their allusive nature, spread to Kansas City, Denver, Omaha, and Pennsylvania. Since the 1980s, clowns have made appearances across the country, usually in the weeks and months leading up to Halloween.

There is, of course, much more to the article but I’m not going to pull anymore quotes out.

Instead here’s some creepy bonus clown content to send you on your way to Rolling Stone. Or is it bonus creepy clown content? How about creepy bonus creepy clown content? Yes, that last one, definitely that last one, so here it is:

[youtube video: clown scene from Poltergeist (1982)]

You’re welcome, JunglePete!

Youbtube clip at top of post from Supernatural S7 E14, “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie”.

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Happy Halloween (Month)

by meanlouise on October 1, 2016

in halloween, true life 2016

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Like many parents, I have trouble getting the kids off the couch on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I’m not above bargaining, so I made these two a deal today: they can play Rise of the Tomb Raider all afternoon, but first they had make plans to go out and play to celebrate for the rest of the month of October.

They’ve cooked up some pretty fun adventures, so you should also make plans – to check instagram each day to see what my bony buddies are up to. And don’t forget to check back here for new horror & Halloween posts from me, as well, because I’ve been up to things!

SkeletonsOct1.1

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Windows, soundproof

by meanlouise on April 4, 2016

in horror & scifi, true life 2016

Something has broken my comprehension of basic architectural features. Have I lived in the DC-area too long? Spent too many decades studying nuclear culture? Seen too many action movies? I guess we’ll never know.

Here’s what I do know: last night I booked a hotel room. The hotel is a lovely Marriott resort and conference center. There’s nothing weird or unusual about a Marriott.

That’s a lie. Have you seen Marriott carpeting? Who chose that? Did they chose it on purpose? Did they hold a seance to commune with H.P. Lovecraft’s interior designer’s immortal soul? Did they then choose the carpeting that H.P. Lovecraft’s interior designer’s immortal soul dismissed as too much?

Other than the unspeakable cosmic horrors of some of the carpet, Marriotts tend to be pleasantly benign.

Or so I thought.

After I booked our room, I got a message asking if I wished to upgrade to a “concierge level” room. Out of curiosity, I read the description of this upgrade.

soundproof1

I’ve embedded an image of the room description section, but in case you’re unable to view the image I’ll quote the item that caught my eye: “Windows, soundproof.”

“Soundproof windows” would be one hundred times less awkward, but let’s not digress yet…

My immediate question about this detail was “Is the concierge level in a SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility)? It would be impractical and impossible to operate a SCIF on a commercial property, right? Not even in Hollywood’s vision of a conference hotel would that exist. I spent a lot of time thinking about this.

This is a kid-friendly hotel in which the towers of rooms surround a busy and noisy pool and bar area, so there’s no logical reason to question why they’d up-sell a feature like soundproof windows.

But I did.

Eventually, of course, I realized that this hotel doesn’t have a SCIF. It probably doesn’t even have industrial-espionage-thwarting conference facilities at all. At that point, I laughed off my absurd idea and got around to asking the most obvious question about “Windows, soundproof”:

Is the soundproofing an effort to cater to people in the market for a conference and/or resort hotel in which to commit a loud and/or leisurely murder?

That’s a disturbing niche market I decided not to think more about, in light of the fact that I realized the “room features” makes no mention of other critical features for such an enterprise, such as “walls, soundproof” or “door, soundproof.”

This lead me, finally, to accept that “windows, soundproof” was a feature meant to assure the guest that they will be troubled with a minimal level of environmental noise pollution from the pool and bar area.

I’m not saying that’s a bad feature. It’s just a boring one. A more appealing feature is the availability of snacks. Never underestimate the importance of snacks.

Hey, remember that time people cosplayed the Marriott carpet in Atlanta and the carpet designer sued them?

The DragonCon cosplay carpet (DragonCon carpet cosplay carpet?) isn’t one of the Lovecraftian carpet designs, it’s much too geometric. H.G. Wells-ish, one might say. The Lovecraftian ones, those defy description. Conveniently, at least one of them can be viewed on youtube in this promotional carpet-cleaning video from the New Orleans Marriott.


BTW, you can buy squares of that old Atlanta carpet on etsy and ebay these days. Google “DragonCon carpet” and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of options.

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Dancing Albatrosses

by meanlouise March 14, 2016 true life 2015

This video of dancing albatrosses is all you need today: Courtesy of the live Kauai Laysan Albatross Cam and the Cornell Ornithology Lab, which has a variety of live bird cams guaranteed to destroy your productivity for hours on end. Also: Here’s the Cornell Ornithology Lab’s YouTube Channel. I was only joking last week that […]

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I thought I was going to need a wildlife rehabilitator

by meanlouise March 2, 2016 art

If I don’t start updating my blog regularly soon, I’m afraid JunglePete is going to hack into it and start posting ornithology memes. Grappling with a rheumatological flare this week, I haven’t exactly been a high-functioning machine lately. Today I took a shower, put an oil-based leave-in conditioner in my hair, and went back to […]

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Mortifying moments: ostrich edition

by meanlouise November 17, 2015 true life 2015

A few weeks ago, while on tour promoting her brilliant new book, Furiously Happy (which I did not steal), the Bloggess tweeted a moment of mortification, and her tweeps responded by sharing their own mortifying moments. Ever since, she’s been rounding up her favorites and posting them on her blog. My childhood friend Kara and […]

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Monster Jokes and Riddles

by meanlouise October 18, 2015 books + libraries

Recently, my favorite contrarian, Casey Rae, mentioned that he was running out of jokebooks with bad puns and corny riddles suitable for precocious little girls. Being raised by such eclectically gothy parents, and being whip-smart, I knew exactly the book their kid needed, because I adored it myself: Normal Bridwell’s Monster Jokes and Riddles. It […]

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The (Pumpkin Spice) Singularity

by meanlouise October 4, 2015 true life 2015

Would ya like a pumpkin spice latte to go with that fragrant fall-scented litter box? A photo posted by Rebecca (@meanlouise) on Sep 14, 2015 at 8:40am PDT Mocking pumpkin spice is the new black. And what’s the new black? That’s right, kids, burlap! Okay. Maybe not, so let’s get back on topic. I was […]

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