You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2011.

Witches, monsters, zombies, ghouls

Mummies, vampires, aliens, trolls

Ghosts and goblins – Tricks or treats

Demons dancing in the streets

Jack-o’-lanterns complete the scene

Greetings this All Hallow’s Eve

Well, maybe not so much global . . . more like an expansion.  No, not my waistline!  I wouldn’t announce that and it certainly isn’t my dream . . . nightmare, yes, dream?  Jeez!  And about that dream thing . . . it might better be called a whimsy.  So, what’s crazy Miss D up to now? I’m getting to it.  “It’s important to build anticipation in your readers.”  I read that somewhere.

Some of the bloggers I follow write movie reviews.  Secretly, in the depths of my black, little heart, I’m always filled with envy when I read them.  I wish I could do that.  If I wrote cinema assessments; surely, the national feeds would be beating a path to my door, clamoring to feature my wit, publish my words.  Hey, I changed it from dream to whimsy.  Didn’t I?  Okay, far-flung fantastical daydream might be closer.

I may have inflated the expansion just a wee bit as well.  I am, however, featured as a guest blogger today over at . . a misplaced boy. .  Yeah, can you believe it?  Somebody more demented than me.  Anyway, Joe asked me to do a movie review.  Baby steps, people, baby steps.

I’m so excited!  Happy Dance! I can’t wait for you to see it.  So without further ado . . .

Guest Random Movie Review – Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

I hope you’ll pop over and take a look.  Let me know if I’ve found my calling.

I’m of two minds when it comes to these blog awards.  First, I’m always honored to have my writing recognized in any way, shape or form.  This one is especially surprising because I don’t really know the blogger bestowing it.  Thank you, Angel Land Canada, I am most grateful. You can be sure I have already been checking out your site.  Second, I believe it is a great way to find new and interesting blogs to read.  That’s the angel sitting on my right shoulder.   The devil on my left is whispering, “Run away.  You remember what happened last time.”  To fill you in, last time I got a blog award it was a precursor to going into blog hiding for almost two years.  Well, let’s give this another go.

I am passing this award on to 15 blogs I personally follow:

Now I’m supposed to reveal seven things about myself. 

  1. I’m a Wikipedia junkie  . . . I will search anything and I do it all the time.
  2. I have a lhasa apso named Rocky that talks . . . he also happy dances with me when no one is around.
  3. I’m a failed computer graphic artist . . . I never could color inside the lines or release artist license.
  4. I met my best friend through this blog . . . we’ve been friends almost four years now.
  5. I’m a natural blonde . . . the carpet matches the drapes . . . TMI?
  6. I won’t eat any meat still on the bone . . . it’s too much like eating an animal . . . I know . . . meat = animal, but if I don’t see the bones I can handle it.
  7. I was Chinese in a past life . . . I know this because I could eat Chinese every day, three meals a day.

So, there it is.  The important thing is for you to check out the blogs I’ve linked here.  They are awesome.

I love horror movies.  Halloween is the best time of year to indulge this passion.  The old boob tube is brimming with spooky fair.  Not all of it will be of the highest quality, but I’ll watch it anyway. Oh yes . . . even the cheesy stuff holds a place in my heart . . . the hokier, the better.  You never know, however, what the TV Gods are going to serve up and ‘tis the season to scare the bejesus out of myself.  To guarantee my fear quotient is met, each year I dig into the old DVD pile for some of my frightful favorites.  Don’t worry, no spoilers here, just a bit of nostalgia.  So without further ado – listed chronologically, because I’d drive myself crazy trying to rank them any other way – I plan to re-visit:

 The Haunting of Hill House

Now I’m talking about the original 1963 version.  I did, in fact, enjoy the 1999 remake.  It had a great cast and both versions can be found in my personal movie collection, but I have an intimate relationship with the earlier film that can never be usurped.  I was quite young when I first lived through Julie Harris’ descend into madness.  The banging in the hall was frightening enough, but the “breathing” door . . . that took up residence in my darkest, adolescent imaginings.  This bloodless classic has haunted me for years.  Did you get that?  Haunting of Hill House . . . haunted me . . . nevermind.



The original, the mother of the teen, slasher genre, the introduction of Michael Myers and beloved scream queen, Jamie Lee, in 1978 started an epidemic – a virtual fear fest – you might say.   There are ten movies in the franchise, if you include the Rob Zombie remakes and there are plans for a new Halloween 3D.  What other movies had both the original and the first sequel remade?  The first is almost always the best and the young, innocent Jamie Lee was perfection in the role of the teenage babysitter stalked by a psycho killer.  I’ve watched this flick dozens of times and it never fails to give me the willies.


The original 1998 Japanese release is seriously the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.  Japan agrees with me and they make the best straight up horror cinema by far.  There’s no blood spraying across the screen, but I swear the first time I saw it I had a full-on anxiety attack.  I closed my eyes.  I plugged my ears (for a subtitled flick? Oh yes).  I covered my head.  I couldn’t get away from the terror.  I was suspicious every time a phone rang for months.  I threw a blanket over the TV.  I thought about burning all the VHS tape I had in the house, just to make sure, you know.  If you want the crap scared out of you, this film will definitely do it.

Ju-on: The Grudge

Do I have to say again? The original!  I know a lot of people like Sarah Michelle, but Megumi Okina as Rika in the 2002 Japanese release beats SM’s rather wimpy portrayal in the 2004 American remake all to hell.  There are frights galore with ghosts and haunts and Toshio, the creepiest kid to every be projected onto the silver screen.  The story moves along with one spine-chilling scene after another.  It’s rather like the proverbial train wreck.  You want to look away, but you just have to see if it’s really going to be as bad as you expect and it is.  And that noise . . . what is that?  I have nightmares each time I watch this movie.

The Mist

What list would be complete without a monster movie?  How could I not include a Stephen King adaptation?  Arguably the greatest horror writer of our generation – I said arguably – King’s stories have not always made the transition from the printed word to celluloid as well as they could and at times make for weak, sappy films.  The Mist was released in 2007 without any real box office muscle in the cast. I had almost no expectation when I first saw it.  I loved it.  It was suspenseful.  It had frights.  It had excellent monster effects and I really liked the characters.  It also had a great twist at the end that differs from the novella. 

So there they are . . . my picks for scaring myself witless this year.  If you can only see one and you haven’t seen it yet . . . Ringu.  I don’t care who you are, this one will have you squirming in your seat and crying for your mommy.

Happy Halloween!

Mum was only going to be living with me for six weeks, maybe two months.  That was nine, long months ago.  I love my Mum.  She is sweet and well-intentioned.  She is much sweeter than I am.  I would do anything for her.  I am now, however, on the verge of losing my mind.  Patience . . . I’m not sure when that deserted me but I think it was somewhere between the Chubby Checker debate and the blog debacle.  Maybe I’m just crazy.  That is Mum’s opinion anyway.  It is an art form . . . caring for your parent . . . a highly underrated art form.

Remember the Twist . . . the song and dance that became a worldwide phenomenon in 1960 when Cubby Checker’s cover of the song hit the Billboard Hot 100.  That’s how it happened in my reality.  Mum, she remembers doing the twist at her high school dances.  The only problem is that she graduated from high school in 1954.  “No, Mum, you couldn’t have.  The song wasn’t out yet.”  “I did too.  You can’t remember that, you weren’t even born.”  “Look Mum.  See Wikipedia says . . .” “Wiki-whatever-ia wasn’t there either.” “Okay, Mum.  You did the Twist in high school.”  Divergent time streams, that’s all I can come up with.

I know each generation has their own particular style and I’m no fashionista, but come on.  “Mum, that shirt doesn’t go with those pants.”  “They’re the same color.” “But the shirt is plaid and the pants are striped.  Besides those pants are too big.”  “I like these pants.”  “Mum, they are falling off!”  “I thought that was the style now days.”  “For teenage, rapper dudes, Mum, not women in their 70’s.” “Are you saying I’m too old to be trendy?”   “Fine, let’s just go to the store.”  I try hard not to notice the stares from people thinking I’m some kind of elder abuse offender.

We also speak different languages.  “I forgot my water in the bedroom” means “Please get my water from the bedroom.”  “I need to do laundry today” means “Please do my laundry today.”  I have learned to focus on keywords like a computer search engine . . . water bedroom . . . laundry today . . . then I’m able to extrapolate the most likely meaning.  It works most of the time.  Just like a search engine, sometimes I need more information.  “What are you doing?”  Now, that can mean “I’m bored” or “I’m hungry” or “I don’t feel well” or any number of other things.  What I finally figured out is she doesn’t want to know what I’m doing and more input is needed for proper translation.

I made the mistake of actually telling her what I was doing recently and that lead to the blog incident.  Now I know Mum thinks my writing is a huge waste of time.  This is nothing new.  It started when I was in grade school.  Back then it was . . . “What are you doing?”  “Writing a story.”  “Is it homework?” “No.”  “Is your homework done?” “Yes.” “Then go outside and play.”  I fully accepted long ago that she thinks anything is a better use of my talents than writing.  I don’t know why I thought the current event would be any different.

I was merrily doing my happy dance around the house earlier this month in celebration of a huge blog accomplishment.  I had written a post about a local celebrity . . . Phoenix Jones, the real life superhero.  Anyway, he and his wife saw it, liked it and posted a link on his Facebook page.  I mean how cool is that?  They liked it enough to share it with his fans at a time when the media spotlight had focused on him like a laser beam.  It was as good as being “Freshly Pressed.”  More people than I ever dreamed were reading my blog!

Enter Mum.  “What are you doing?”  In my excitement I forgot the training of a lifetime and told her about my blog (first time in four years).  “Can I read it?”  I should have known this was a trap, but I walked right into it.  “You wrote this?”  “I did.”  “I don’t get it.  Aren’t you supposed to be looking for work?” “Yes, Mum.  I’m doing that right now.”  Yeah, my feelings were hurt, but hey, what did I expect?  I know she loves me and wants what is best for me.  She’s 100% right.  What I need more than anything is a job.  The bottom line is that Mum and I are very different people.   It doesn’t diminish our love and caring for one another.  Mum’s from Venus and I’m from Alpha Centauri.

It’s almost over.  I should be sleeping in my own bed very soon.  My aching back!  The peddler of futon sleep preeminence swore the mattress he sold me – memory foam and all – was as good as any I have ever slept on.  May he writhe in a lumpy, back-breaking innerspring purgatory to atone for his transgressions against the spines of trusting customers like moi’.  In other words, he lied or mislead at the very least.  Curse him.  I just had to get that out of my system.  Anyway, Mum will be returning to her home in the next couple of weeks.  It’s a good thing for both of us.

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October 2011