When we first spotted this ad in the Washington Post Magazine, we debated whether the secret weapon is an army of lethal girl assassins or symbiotic fungal zombie child husks. Husband concluded its something boring, like sofa beds – which are probably as painful & dangerous as highly-trained murderous children but not as useful.
We kicked off the new year doing as little as possible for a few days on Siesta Key, in preparation for a whirlwind bout of Family Fun that we had to schedule for the 1st week in January because…well, just because.
Despite the delay, we did indeed have a fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. One could go so far as to say it was the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye.*
Seriously, does anyone ever actually get through the holidays without someone shouting “Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?” at least once a day?
Today’s the last day of our visit, so Mom and I made it as challenging as possible for Husband. Mostly, this involved taking both cats to the vet. Mom makes separate appointments because it’s too difficult to manage both cats at the same time.
In the morning, Tom T. Cat struggled a bit while we inserted his ponderous bulk into the cat carrier, but then he settled down and spent the car-ride singing the song of his people. Tom may be of mysterious parentage, but that voice is all Siamese.
Getting Count Scratchula into the carrier later in the afternoon wasn’t quite as easy. It involved 3 adults running around the house after a cat acting as though her hindquarters were being licked by the very flames of perdition. Did I mention the screaming? There was a lot of screaming. And, at one point, mom and I collapsed in a heap on the kitchen floor and laughed until we nearly passed out. Husband didn’t find this terribly helpful, for some reason.
I believe this day will go down in family legend as a spit-drenched fiasco of feline proportions. No video exists of this incident. All witnesses are currently resting comfortably and expected to make a full recovery. After we staunch the bleeding.
*I’m appalled how many of you don’t get that Christmas Vacation reference, so here’s the whole NSFW clip, for your post-holiday enjoyment:
embedded clip: Christmas Vacation
If anyone is looking for me, I’m busy working on my newest performance art piece: a 6 hour PowerPoint presentation titled “The Many Mudras of Michael Fassbender.” (Alternate title: “Jazz Hands, With Michael Fassbender!”)
1. No, I’m not really doing this, I’m just bored standing in line at the post office.
2. Yes, this dude has been in some delightfully awful movies.
3. Yes, I’m fully aware this post isn’t nearly as hilarious as Husband & I think it is.
4. Yes, we’ve really been calling our Michael Fassbender film festival the Fassbender Bender.
4a. Wouldn’t you?
4b. See footnote 2.
5. I may not be doing a performance art piece, but I do plan to blog about some of these under-appreciated gems – Just wait til I blog about the one with the bear!
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.
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?)
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!
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”.
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!
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.
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.
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.
This video of dancing albatrosses is all you need today:
Also: Here’s the Cornell Ornithology Lab’s YouTube Channel.
I was only joking last week that JunglePete was going to highjack my page and replace it with ornithology memes, but apparently I’ve had birds on the brain ever since.
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 bed for a few hours. I used half the suggested amount, yet I woke up looking like a penguin in an oil slick. I was afraid to send anyone a selfie, I was afraid someone from Greenpeace would be deployed to scrub me with Dawn.
Fortunately, the conditioner washed right out; but shampooing your hair twice in one day rather defeats the purpose of deep-conditioning, doesn’t it?
That was a boring story, wasn’t it?
Maybe letting JunglePete post bird memes isn’t such a bad idea. I liked this one a lot: