Whoops! I thought I posted a clever Wonder Woman-themed gif to let you know we’re off to spend some quality time doing as little as possible on Siesta Key.

Alas, Florida had to suffer without our presence, because I broke my foot the day of our scheduled departure. That’s probably also why I forgot to post. It’s been a challenging time.

To be fair, our week hasn’t been nearly as challenging as the one had by this family in Cape Coral, Florida. They discovered a 4 foot monitor lizard living in their attic. I figure not having a giant carnivorous lizard living in the attic is a big win and I should stop complaining.

Story courtesy of Craig Pittman, aka @craigtimes on Twitter.

But back to me, because this is all about me, damnit.

Husband named my cast Boba Foot. Admittedly, it was funnier when I was still taking painkillers, but it still makes me laugh.

We almost immediately started referring to it exclusively by name. I go back to see the surgeon next week and you know it’s going to blurt out of my mouth, so that could be fun.

On a Star Wars-related tangent, we started listening to Carrie Fisher’s audiobook of The Princess Diarist. I read it the day it came out, but since Husband hasn’t, it was in our road-trip entertainment stash.

I enjoyed the book when I first read it, but now that Fisher is dead it’s a bit sad, especially since I keep picturing her reading selections aloud to Gary.

Last night while we were listening, Husband suddenly sat bolt upright on the couch and snatched up his laptop. I paused the book and asked the most obvious question: “Are you looking for pictures of Gary?”

Husband didn’t actually think this was the most obvious question. I don’t know what’s wrong with him sometimes.

Happy Wednesday everyone, I'm back ??? #garyloveshisfans #garyloveshismom #garyfisher #garymisseshismom

A post shared by Gary Fisher (@garyfisher) on

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!

Grady Hendrix: Horrorstör

Grady Hendrix’s Horrorstör is clever in all the right ways, but it’s also quite creepy. You can’t ask for much more from a high-concept horror novel.

It’s a little too creepy and clever, honestly.

I used to love our IKEA clothes drying rack. It folds flat and stores neatly in a nook in the laundry room, but it’s quick and easy to set it up and it holds several loads of laundry at once.

“Love” might be over-stating my relationship to any of our household accoutrements, but it’s safe to say I liked this thing a lot. Liked. Past tense.

Horrorstör ruined my laundry rack for me.

IKEA Mulig drying rack

Ever since I finished the book I’ve been utterly and completely creeped out by the laundry rack. I’m not kidding. I have such a visceral reaction to the thing that I avoid doing laundry until Husband can set the rack up for me.

This is ridiculous, not least of which because there isn’t a drying rack in the book.

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the TV series, particularly since it’s being developed by Gail Berman, who was responsible for developing both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel for television.

Berman did, however, Executive Produce a couple episodes of Dig, which was truly abysmal in ways that even the narcotics and other assorted drugs I was on while recovering from a long and serious illness couldn’t improve. Seriously, even for television, that was some seriously ridiculous pop culture archaeology. Let’s just hope she learned her lesson from that debacle, because damn. Just…damn.

I was out at the local coffeeshop not caulking the bathtub in our guest bathroom when I ran into a friend who asked me why I wasn’t at home re-caulking the bathtub like I said I was going to be.

I’ve been avoiding re-caulking that bathtub for 6 weeks. I’ve spent more time talking about re-caulking the bathtub than any human ever spent actually re-caulking a bathtub.

All the messy stuff – the cleaning and scraping – has been done for ages. I just have to squoosh the caulk onto the places where you have to have caulk to, um, keep the bad things from happening. (Still not Martha Stewart, in case you were under the delusion I was actually getting the hang of this shit).

I told my friend I was off the home improvement hook because I’d taught our monkey butler how to caulk.

The woman at the next table flipped out, because caulk is toxic and I shouldn’t be letting an animal handle it without supervision.

I think any animal cruelty issues here would begin and end with the words “monkey butler,” but she left in a furious huff before I could explain that our monkey butler is, to the best of my knowledge, a complete figment of our imagination.

I think I should maybe try to remember to let Husband know that some of the neighbors may think we’re terrible people who have a monkey butler.

I’m starting to think that Popemania is making people a little crazier than usual. Soon after, while I was still at the coffee shop and still not caulking the bathtub, a person I’ve never laid eyes on before marched up to our table and accused me of breaking into a warehouse and stealing a copy of Jenny Lawson’s new book, because it’s not being released until tomorrow but I clearly had a copy right there in my non-caulking hands. (Wait…Was she suggesting that The Bloggess has her own warehouse? I really need to read her blog, don’t I?)


furiouslyImage: a not-stolen copy of Jenny Lawson’s
“Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things.”

I also think it would be awesome to have a monkey butler, even though Jungle Pete has been berating me about how this is a terrible idea since we were 12 years old. And he’s absolutely right, but I hate admitting he’s right.

I don’t actually hate admitting Jungle Pete is right, but originally there was a punchline that depended on a setup wherein I admitted to hating to admit I’m right to Jungle Pete. It wasn’t funny so I scrapped it. I don’t know why I left this part in the post. What can I say? I’ve spent the better part of the year desperately ill and then impatiently trying to recover and I may have broken the part of my brain that remembered how to blog.

I do, however, hate how much I secretly wish we had a monkey butler. Even though I think keeping captive primates in your home is a terrible thing.

(But…monkey butler).

In other news, I still haven’t cracked open The Bloggess’s new book, but it took less than 20 minutes to re-caulk the bathtub. It probably would have only taken 10 minutes, but I had to go upstairs to retrieve the paper towels and I procrastinated for a few more minutes by emptying the dishwasher.

Plus, I couldn’t avoid re-caulking any longer because we have a guest arriving on Wednesday (who isn’t the Pope) and who will probably want to take a shower or two sometime over the next week and probably wouldn’t be too keen on my caulk-avoiding alternate plan, which was to spray her with the hose in the backyard. With our luck, that would be the moment animal control shows up to investigate monkey butler allegations.

Conference going (and organizing) and such haven’t slowed down my movie-watching much but they’ve slowed down my blogging. While I get caught up, and while my Grimm post is still hanging around on the front page, I thought I’d bring two related items to your attention.

First up, Neely Tucker has an intriguing review of The Annotated Brothers Grimm, which is edited by Harvard scholar Maria Tatar:

Once upon a time, fairy tales were not as nice as they are now.

Mother and Daddy dear — not an evil stepmom — take Hansel and Gretel out in the woods and leave them to starve. Little Red Riding Hood does a striptease for the Big Bad Wolf. Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to force the mangled stumps into the glass slipper.

Ah, childhood. Ah, the Brothers Grimm.

It has been 200 years since the German siblings and folklorists published their landmark first volume of “Children’s Stories and Household Tales,” and it becomes clear in scholar Maria Tatar’s “The Annotated Brothers Grimm,” published this week for the bicentennial, that the modern tellings of fairy tales have gone soft.

[read the rest of the review at WashingtonPost.com]

If you’re in the Philadelphia area, the fantastic Mutter Museum has a new exhibit, “Grimms’ Anatomy: Magic and Medicine: 1812-2012”.

Which reminds me that I never got around to seeing Terry Gilliam’s The Brother’s Grimm. I put it in the Netflix queue. I think it has witches and wolves in it, so that should put things back on track here….

To purge some of the crap I’ve been reading from the top of my brain, I read Amber Benson’s charming new book, Among the Ghosts.

AMBER BENSON co-wrote and directed the animated web-series, Ghosts of Albion, (with Christopher Golden) for the BBC. The duo then novelized the series in two books for Random House. [edit]
As an actress, Benson spent three seasons as Tara Maclay on the cult show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has also written, produced, and directed three feature films, including her latest, Drones, which she co-directed with Adam Busch and will be released later this year.

I included this bio in case you didn’t know who I meant. I liked this book a lot. If I hung out with any kids, I’d recommend it to them.

West’s previous failed proposals include requiring the high school band to perform the tuneless flute songs of the blind idiot god Azathoth and offering art students instruction in the carving of morbid and obscene fetishes from otherworldly media.

Several parents attending the meeting were not impressed by West’s outburst.

“Last month, he wanted us to change the high school’s motto from ‘Many Kinds of Excellence’ to ‘Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn,'” PTA member Cathy Perry said. “I asked if it was Latin, and he said that it was the eldritch tongue of Shub- Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young. I don’t know from eldritch tongues, but I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.”

Husband had to work obscenely early this morning so I decided we might as well catch the early matinee of Coraline when he got home. We’d heard that the local theater was fairly dead on weekend mornings, so we decided to test the story out. I suspected choosing a so-called kids movie to see at 10:45 a.m. was probably going to push the boundaries of the experiment, but we did it anyway.

We got there around 10:30 and there were two other people in the theater with us. At 10:40 there were still only about a dozen adults and three or four kids. Just as the last previews ended, the place suddenly became infested with parents and their tiny spawn. Tiny, tiny spawn. Tiny, wiggly spawn.

If you plotted the ages of the people in that auditorium this morning I think there’d only be two spikes on the graph: one around 3 years and the other around 35.

yet it was the quietest audience we’ve ever been in, I think. Go figure.

Maybe they’d all taken narcotics right before the movie. I know I had.

Close to the end one little boy got scared and pleaded with his dad to take him home. Dad scooped him up and left without a fuss.

I liked the movie a lot – it looked stunning and sounded great. I thought the story was a little bit flat and the end seemed rushed. I can’t remember the book all that well, it’s been years since I read it so I can’t say if it’s the same way. Doesn’t matter, because you can forgive a lot when a movie has bat dogs.

There’s a fascinating and lengthy post at W+K’s website detailing the publicity and marketing campaign they created and managed for the film.

They’ve posted trailers, pictures of the boxes and keys they sent to bloggers, images of those creepy interactive billboards that made you look like you had button eyes, and lots more information you probably don’t want or need but will read anyway because it’s really clever and cool.