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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Horror Movies and Halloween Parties

First time to the theater in ages and we went to watch Annabelle with our besties Danne and Chris. It’s been so long since I’ve gone to watch horror movies in the theater and sadly, I’m such a screamer, people have to deal with it. There were so many scenes that I watched through my laced fingers, which had Emory chuckling at my side. I really love Halloween at the movies, the smell of popcorn, the surround sound, the big screen horror fest. 

They advertised that on October 30th, they are showing the first Saw movie at a super late showing. That won’t be something I’ll be attending. The Saw industry falls into slasher, and I like my horror movies with a bit more supernatural to them. I like the bump in the night, the shadows that disappear when you look at them straight on, the moment you’re in the shower and you feel something touch you, but nothing is there. That’s my horror.

Target has all these yummy Halloween Marshmallows on a stick. I know it’s super early for sugar, but I’m eating a candy owl. I wanted to make Halloween care packages for my good friends, but I don’t think most people have the candy diet that I do. Oh yeah, I can feel the sugar now. I probably needed real food first.

There are a few costumes I want, mostly couple costumes, like the male and female Despicable Me Minion costumes, and Ninja Turtle Costumes and Mario Brother Costumes. I think for Mario Brothers, I was really bent on having a fairly tomboy Mario Brother costume, but I might actually go for Princess Peaches. Strange right? Me in “girly girl” costume? Actually, Emory says I’m more girly than I want to admit, so maybe I’m just fooling myself. So now I need to find a Princess Peaches dress that I actually like. It has to be well made because these aren’t seasonal costumes for me. These are my comic con costumes. 

Boot Scooters had their annual Halloween Party and people were asking me if I was going to go. It was super short notice because I thought I was going to be out of town. I didn’t think the party was a week sooner than my leave date. People were suggesting all sorts of things for me to come as, but nothing really creatively whispered to me, so we’ll wait.

I wish I could’ve made it to the horror convention out here. This is the second year I’ve been aware of it and let it pass without attending.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween Costumes and Shopping

Total Candy Collection: 2 bags of Rolos, 3 bags of Reeces Peanut Butter Cups, 1 bag of Pay Days, 2 bags of Hello Kitty Cotton Candy

I don’t know if I’m in a funk, but I’m not super impressed with Halloween Goodies this year. There are a few things here and there that are the foundations of Halloween that are creeping up, but for the most part, I was more thrilled with last year’s hauls. GoodWill’s costumes are so/so this year and surprisingly expensive. I’m not the only person who feels like GoodWill has really upped the prices in the last couple of years for a second hand store. I was in the car with Ann and Nadine and they both mentioned that even Savors along with GoodWill have become pricy. Also, I found loads of great items last year at GoodWill and this year it’s just not in the bag.

We had this discussion at a church yard sale. Nadine found flowers. I found a few cookbooks, a Terry Pratchett novel, unopened Halloween plastic bags to load with candy, some knitted Halloween magnets and these beaded Christmas bells. I loved the beaded bells. They remind me of my childhood, so whenever I see them at yard sales, I will buy them. I think my entire purchase was about $2.00. The beaded bells my mom had, were given to her in high school by the mother of a friend. The “friend” is now an undercover street cop. He’s pretty handsome too. I know this, because my mom asked me to take the bells and give them back to him, because his mother had passed and she thought he’d like to have something she made. In truth, I think there were like four bells, and color me human, I just couldn’t part with all of them, so I kept one. We are talking about something I’ve put on the Christmas tree my entire childhood! My mom had these before I was born. So when the cop and I started talking, I told him how important these bells were to me, because they’d been one of the ornaments that I’d looked forward to seeing every Christmas. He offered me one, and I admitted that I already kept just one of them. His offer and my admission made me feel less guilty. I now have this beaded bell with his blessing.

That said, Ann and I went out earlier, looking at garage sales. I found a lab coat! Finally! She asked what I needed to do with a lab coat and I told her it’s essential to every person who collects costumes, to have a lab coat in the collection. She laughed. I got it for .50 cents. I also got 2 white nurse pants for .25 cents a pair. I had Emory try them on and they fit, so I need to look at Pudgy (Betty Boops dog) to see how I’m going to make his spots. If you can’t guess, I’m Betty Boop. Plus, this is the perfect time to make/collect costumes for the comic con. Next year I hope to make it to Denver because I hear their comic con is super good. I liked their lineup of speakers and guest appearances.

When things go on sale, I want to go to Fry’s grocery store, because they have zombie garden gnomes. I’m going to hit up the Spirit store because I want superhero colored tutu’s and other yummy things. I want a few of the electronic monsters too, but that’s a gamble since all sales are final. I’m going to go to Michael’s Craft Store, because they have tons of fun things like candy eyes for cookies and cupcakes. I have a major shopping list.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Travel Plans and Writing

I’m starting to pack for our trip to Massachusetts. We’ll be flying by plane, which has a layover in Texas. I believe it’s a three hour time difference once we get up there, so it’s going to be much later than the time zone we’re used to, putting us at 12:00 in the wee morning. I also heard it’s going to be pretty chilly. I don’t do so well with the cold, so this is going to be a great show of mind over matter. Once there, we’re going to visit Boston and Salem. Salem was the main reason why we’re going. I’m hoping there is time to visit Plymouth Rock, which I hear is a super tiny rock, but HISTORY!

Every October, we like to do something special for the month and it’s usually the theme parks. We decided to step outside our usual haunts. It took less than a week of brainstorming before we decided Salem would be a really historic and amazing experience, hence or plans so late in the year. And let’s not forget all the history Boston has! Literally, I think this is the best history lesson I’ve had. I didn’t retain much in lecture hall, so let’s see what visualization gets me. 

What I hope to find in Salem: I hope to find something in the antique stores that I can put on my shrine. I want a sweat shirt that says Salem. I want to find a really pretty string of prayer beads.

My roommate started a care package which began with gloves and masks for the plane. Since then, she added Emergen-C the powder you mix with your drinks and some chewable Vitamin-C pills. We laughed every time we looked at the pile and something was added, but now that we packed our suitcase, we loaded up all her finds into our carryon luggage. I added a little bottle of sanitizer and I think that’s about it on what we can do. We both have our flu shots, so I’m not concerned about catching the flu, but everyone I know seems to get a cold when they’re on an airplane. Then there is the other scary outbreak that seems to be happening around the airports, the Ebola virus. Not even going to think past the cold part.

Writer Update:

Untitled Horror: rough draft: 2/30 chapters written, very small outline going forward.

HBA: still no cover. 137/148 pages edited.

Creative Outlook: Strange obsession with cartoon fiction right now.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Not so Subtle Clean

I see the fairly impressive health trainer and nutritionist standing two rows down from my cubicle. I may harbor a small, less than innocent interest, but seeing the both of them wandering the rows, I nearly gagged on my Pop Tart, after I swore up and down that I was a health junky, etc… Okay, maybe I fabricated just a tiny bit to them on my healthy behaviors. So I start shoving things into my desk. It’s not enough. I collect all my sticky notes, pens, page tabs and tuck them under my monitor, and push all my cups to one side of the desk, throw things away, put my phone piece on its peg…
Michael says, “Christina, are you leaving?” Me: “No! I just put a few pens away.” Michael: *snorts* “You put more than a few pens away.” Me: “Never mind, just leave it alone.”
Next thing I know, Nicole has passed by and stops. Nicole: “OMG! Are you work at home now? When did that happen? When are you leaving?” Me: “I’m not work at home.” Nicole: “Where are you going? What are you doing? Your stuff is all gone.” Me: “No it’s not. It’s in my desk. I just moved a few things.” Nicole: “Your desk is so… so…” Me: “Clean? I clean my desk! I’m not dirty!” Michael: “I’d say you are more… maybe… settled than the rest of us.” Me: “Okay! Can we just drop it! I cleaned my desk.”
I’m watching over my co-workers shoulders, because the trainer and nutritionist are just a row over and my heart is pounding. I need to look like this is casual, but secretly I’m trying to decide how to strike up a conversation.
Terri comes over. “What’s up chicka? Nicole is afraid you’re leaving and not telling anyone.” Me: “I cleaned my desk! It’s not uncommon for me to clean my desk!” Terri: “Yeah, but this is really clean.” Me: “Good lord! Does everyone think I’m messy? I don’t get it. I put a few pens away and everything things there is some conspiracy!” Terri: “We’re just concerned.” Natalie: “You keep saying ‘cleaning will kill you’ so this is a little odd for you.” I sighed, almost sure the nutritionist and trainer heard some of this.
P.S. I shoved the remaining Pop Tart in my mouth. It was dry and I’ll probably not crave them for a good while. I usually like them in the winter, straight out of the toaster, but I made myself gag doing it like this.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Haunted Houses and Writing

Last Saturday was great. We went out for dinner at this little hideaway Mexican restaurant and since there was four of us; we got the party platter of tacos. That included 32 tacos on this super long plate, and sides. I had the veggie tacos which were fabulous. It’s been a long time since I ate avocado. I overdosed on guacamole way back when, and made myself so sick that I just haven’t touched it, but I’m more than willing to go again after these tacos. The other tacos were a little of everything: pig, chicken, beef, fried fish and shrimp. I wish I had tried the fried fish since I love fish tacos. The rest I could leave. I have a very hard time stomaching cow and pig. I’m okay with chicken as long as it is boneless. It makes it easier pretending like I’m not eating a feather friend and we all know how much I LOVE my feather friends. I love birds as much as I love bugs. Okay, I just love nature.

Rob Zombie Haunted House Arizona

Afterwards, we had to part ways with our company, because they had absolutely NO interest in hitting up Rob Zombie’s haunted houses. This was an opportunity that I couldn’t let go, though truthfully, I wasn’t in any hurry to actually be there. I can’t say I love or hate the guy. I just don’t listen to his music unless it comes on the radio, which is my answer about most artists, because I usually only listen to soundtracks or artists who don’t have a super huge following.

The three haunted houses were inside this large dome, which made it a little stuffy waiting in line, but the first maze was actually pretty horrifying. There were monsters in the first portion of it, but that’s not what was terrifying. It was the utter pitch black that you had to walk through in the second part. I’ve never known claustrophobia. I have blood and I have friends who experience it. I have crowd anxiety, maybe the direct result of being anti-social, but I’ve never known pure, unadulterated claustrophobia until I went into that maze. At first, it was just this itch under my skin. That itch was like this growing awareness that I was a little uncomfortable, but I kept saying, “I’ll be out of this soon.”

Then the itch became worse, it wasn’t just at the base of my neck, it was down my spine, limbs and inside my head. It was this growing tightness that I was more than uncomfortable. I could feel panic blooming. It was so strange. I’ve been panicked about a lot of things. I’m just a highly nervous person, but this was different. I wasn’t just panicking, I was really super afraid. Emory had to take the lead when I got up backed into an alcove for the third time. We were alone, I could feel it. The people that went in with us were gone. The group got separated because some people panicked and got taken out through an exit. Others just got ahead of us. If I lost Emory, I think I would’ve found an alcove and waited. It gets worse though. At one point, there is this tunnel you have to walk through that is fabric with air behind it so you have to push through a very, very tight hall that pushes back.

The second one was a 3-dimensional clown haunted house. LOVED IT! You get glasses so when you walk through everything is moving on you, the walls, the characters and the decorations! I jumped and screamed a lot in this one, because the wall would detach and come right at you. It’s a classic haunted house parlor trick, but I fall for it every time, and laugh, because I got spooked by something so simple. Then we get out of that one and go to the next.

The last haunted house was a hillbilly one. You got to love the American hillbillies! They make super great horror movies every time. Something about the country is scary to city folks, mostly maybe because we don’t know how to live off the land and make it beneficial to ourselves. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have supermarkets. There was a mini show where the police and the hillbillies have a standoff. That was exciting! Then we got into the haunted house and the sounds start to become overwhelming. At the beginning, Emory starts to whisper in my ear, “I hope they separate people.” Sure enough, we get to this part where there are 3 doorways and two men guarding them, separating the people we came in with. So we get the middle room and of course, I jump because I’m an easy scare. Emory is loving it!

We get into a kitchen and a hillbilly is waiting there. He gnaws a huge slab of meat and Emory whispers, “I think it is real.” I’m like, “GAH! He’s eating steak! Horror! Horror! Dead cow! HORROR!” Emory’s like, “Really?” My answer, “Nightmare! If he held me down and made me chew it, I’d die! Just die!” Emory laughs. But that aside, it really was a super great horror house. I love being scared. And bonus: No chainsaw! Lots of chainsaw like sounds, but no chainsaw. This was so much fun. I’d do it again if they gave us a pass to go through it again!

Writing Update

HBA: 133/147 pages edited. So glad I’m doing this edit. There are a few small portions that needed additions and it is so much easier to do it after I’ve had a small break. I wanted to finish this before I go on vacation, but it doesn’t look like that will happen.
It's crunch time with the three projects I'm about to juggle during my autumn/winter write-fest. This is when I take every project I meant to start and actually get a first draft and hopefully a second draft before spring.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bad Day Sweets and Writing

I was having a super bad day so I went to Target after work and got two bags of Halloween candy, and a box of Little Debbie Halloween cakes (the white cakes with the white filling because I like those ones the most come Easter). The guy at the checkout said, “Starting your trick-r-treat shopping early?” And I had to grumble, “Bad day.” I try not to physically feed my bad days. I usually push anything horrible into a writing project, but this was beyond writing. It was something so vast that only a mindless sugar binge followed by hangover effects, could fix.
Speaking of tricks, I have two co-workers who need to be fixed with a trick and I have a great idea for one of them. I need to go to the dollar store and get a pack of fake roaches. I know exactly where to hide them too, so they won’t be super obvious at first glance, or I can just keep telling them I’m going to seek revenge, but do nothing about it. Sometimes the very thought can leave the mind itchy. My partner in crime thinks my second idea is the best, so I left little sticky notes that they both had something waiting for them and “did you spot it yet?” I think that’s a pretty good amount of revenge, especially for my one co-worker who is as jumpy as I am.
P.S. Speaking of tricks, I just bought a toilet cling that looks like spiders are climbing out of the toilet and stuck it in my roommates bathroom. Emory helped. I have one roommate that just came back from California, but the other one is still in Dakota. The one that came back from California screamed and then yelled a choice of words before laughing. Nice to play a few house hold tricks. :) However, I like spiders, so I don't think that would ruin my day.
Our first demo for the year was cancelled. This was on Sept 27th due to a pretty bad storm that passed through. At first it was just gray skies, but very quickly, it turned into such strong wind and rain, that we couldn’t see the houses surrounding us. At one point, Ann and I heard this constant roar in the sky. I’ve never lived anywhere with tornado weather, but she has. She was suddenly really worried about it, so I ran outside to see if I could see the sky, but the rain was lashing and I came back soaked as if I’d jumped into the shower with my clothes on. I toweled off and within seconds the wind stopped, then the rain grew very soft and we just held our breath trying to see if that sound would get louder, but it didn’t. After an hour, we decided to venture outside, since it was a Saturday. We were hoping GoodWill had 50% off, but when we got towards that area, all the traffic was backed up. The stores in all the lots were closed due to no electricity. We turned the car around, went to the grocery store just up the street from us and got dinner and a few night snacks since it looked like the rest of the night would be indoors.
Later we found out that the power went out in many major areas. Thankfully, it wasn’t our area this time.
Writing Update:
Untitled Horror: 2 chapters done, and 2 more outlined. Sometimes just writing it gives some pretty amazing ideas in the making.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Halloween Shopping and Writing

My friend and I went to Applebee’s for lunch and got the all you can eat salad and soup. We were both surprised when “all you can eat” ended up being only one serving, because we weren’t hungry after that and didn’t want more. It’s still a great option. I’m a firm believer that it makes a great lunch. I had tomato basil soup and Asian salad.

After that, we stopped off at Target, Kohl’s, Ross and Michael’s, looking for Halloween stuff. We took a side trip into Ultra just to see what makeup was there. I have a huge interest in lipstick right now. Strange. I seem to go a long time without having to be girly, then BAM! It hits and I obsessively do girly things like look at makeup. At Target, I bought a haunted, talking phone and a Halloween card. There was so much I wanted to buy, but there is no space right now in our living quarters.

The Halloween section at Kohl’s consisted of a two single shelves of items. Major disappointment. Last year, I did a stop with my mom at Kohl’s and they had super cute witchy items and boards with sassy seasonal sayings. They had cute little witch shoes that had chocolates in the stockings and a variety of black cats. All of that was sized down to two book shelves of cheap 99 cent looking items. They had their Christmas items up so we drifted in that direction. Patti stopped to admire anything that was a snowman or a cat. Those are her weaknesses. I ended up getting enamored with a mouse made out of a corkscrew. There were other corkscrew ornaments, but that’s the one I bought. Since my family and I love wine, the corkscrew just seemed memorable to me. I showed my mom and her first reaction, “We have tons of corkscrews! We can totally make these.” I should’ve bought the other one because it would’ve been easier to duplicate.
Ross was another place that lacked a huge selection of Halloween things. There were a few things I would’ve bought, but again, space being an issue; we decided to just skip to the back of the store to see what existed. On our way out, I saw this magnificently cool cupcake, long sleeve shirt, and peach in color. I ended up buying my very OPPOSITE of Halloween, shirt.
Michael’s, the craft store, had a lot of cool things. I found a wire bird cage, which I wanted for a fake raven. It’ll go in my Poe-Halloween office. What can I say, macabre is my style. I don’t think a lot of people get it when I say, “this is my season.” I won’t get into the psychological issues I might have, but this is me. There are skeleton masks that you can paint. I watch a witch on YouTube and she does a lot of witchy crafts and she saw the same masks as me and she is actually talented enough to paint them. She’s going to make one for her ancestors. I sort of want to do something similar to that, but I’ve yet to think how I want to set up an ancestral shrine for the month of October, being that it’s a time to respect our ancestors and those who’ve come before us
Our last stop was Walmart, one of Emory’s most hated store lines. I wasn’t really impressed. I think last year had way better Halloween stuff. On our way out, I noticed apple spice mini cupcakes and got a tray of 12. Sadly I ate 8 of the little cakes. My roommates had the rest. I’m a glutton for cupcakes.
Writer Update
HBA: 126/148 pages edited. Now I need to work on what kind of cover I want.