Oct 31, 2009

Halloween Writing Contest Winner: Guest Post # 2

My good friend Rob was the tied winner to Jessica, who wrote the previous ghoulish post.  Rob won me over with his tale of horror and ghouls from beyond the grave that he had the terror of experiencing as a small child living in an old building.  Here is Rob the zombie's tale of creepiness.  Enjoy at your own risk.

Now at 6, my knowledge of the paranormal was neither vast nor feared. I knew of the Bermuda triangle, Bigfoot, ghosts, things more entertaining than frightening. But what I saw that night was not in any movie or book I’d seen. If it was a hallucination of my mind I fear what evil a 6 year- old's mind can conjure.   What I have found in my studies years later is an experience shared by many called, “The Shadow People.”
 I would like to state that I was neither tired nor on the influence of drugs on this night. Those are two explanations “experts” feel could be the reason for a manifestation. Some people believe that the energy of emotions and events can cause physical manifestations; voices, moving objects, phantoms and other things unexplained. Traumatic events such as deaths, broken hearts, murder and abuse can leave their mark on the fabric of our dimension. All things that are possible to pass, in a building built decades ago.

A high-rise can become a chilling place at night. Muffled voices and creaking doors led me to sleep with a light on. A house can see the history of a few dozen families, maybe more, but high-rise walls hold the secret history of thousands of people who have come and gone in more ways than one.

The shadow figure I saw that night wasn’t cast on the wall behind it but had 3 dimensions. Other than the outline of a giant man it was featureless. Its darkness seemed to be moving with energy. Walking on the floor much like a human it quickly caught my attention as it walked out of a spare room. After that the similarities to humans disappeared.  This is why I don’t consider it an apparition of the deceased. This held the sinister air of never being from the natural world.  It was passing through my home as an invader.

It made no sound and showed no emotion. I also became absent of emotion in its presence. I just stared and waited as it left.  As it turned away and walked down the hall to leave I wonder now if I should have followed. Why would something like this thing allow itself to be seen? The lack of answers is what later gave me fear.

Our minds sometimes listen to the calling of outsiders whose essence is up to individual interpretation. We instinctively search for rational ground so we don’t fall into the darkness of knowing them. “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest fear is the fear of the unknown.” (H.P. Lovecraft)

I was content not knowing the answers, only that this creature’s presence, or simply my own fear, was no longer felt.

Have a great Halloween night my dear ghosts and goblins!  Until next year!

Halloween Writing Contest Winner: Guest Post # 1

As promised, here is a creepy, shiver-inducing story from the wonderful, beautiful bride of Frankenstein, Jessica.  Jess was one of the winners of my Halloween writing contest, where the winner won a guest post on my blog.  Here is the tale that was woven inside her twisted, wicked mind.

Take yourself back to Toronto, circa the 1950's.  The post war boom is winding down, and the elite of Toronto are firmly nestled back into their luxurious lifestyle.  The old money mogols of the city are attending galas, balls, dinners and parties and the event location of choice was the Crystal Ballroom of the King Edward Hotel.
On one cool, dark November evening, the cities most prestegious group of men and women got together at the Crystal Ballroom for a very special event.  Penelope Gardiner's 18th birthday party.  The Gardiner family had long been established as one of the leading families in southern Ontario. They owned the CN rail lines, and established one of the cities leading banks. Penelope's 18th birthday marked her official take over of the families assests.  Her father had been ill and both of Penelope's older brothers had been killed in WW2. Events should have unraveled like they had with countless soirees the Ballroom had seen in the past, but on this November evening, nothing turned out as it should have.
The evening started well, dinner had been served and all 100 guests had made their way upstairs to the Ballroom to dance until midnight, when the ceremony to hand the empire over to Penelope would commence.
The scene was perfect. The room was grand, opulent in its decoration.  The guests served as elaborate accoutrements to the Ballrooms decor. In the middle of the floor, the cities largest, and most expensive crystal chandelier hung, its pieces glimmering off of the windows and gilded moldings surrounding the room.  Under this piece of grandour, the ceremony would take place.
As midnight approached, the guests gathered in the center of the room. Penelope stepped forward to speak on behalf of her family and its empire. This is the moment when everything went wrong, and the ballroom, and the Gardiner family, and the city of Toronto were never the same again. At precisely 11:54pm, an earthquake rocked the city of Toronto with such magnitude the city had never witnessed before.  Buidlings and bridges across the city crumbled, hundreds were killed and thousands left homeless, and in the Crystal Ballroom, calamity.  As the earthquake hit, the grand chandelier snapped, broke free from the ceiling, and fell atop the guests gathered below, its crystal pieces shattering and penetrating the fresh flesh of its victims below.  62 people died, including Penelope Gardiner.  The blood and bodies could not be cleaned up right away, as the aftermath of the earthquake proved too much for the cities emergency crews to handle.  It was over a week before the Ballroom was cleaned out.  Reports cite cleanup crews running out if the Ballroom to vomit, the smell and the scene were so overwhelming.
The Ballroom was closed off, the remnants of the grand chandelier cleaned up and shipped out.  The floor was so stained with blood that it could not be salvaged and was ripped up.
50 years later, this is how the once opulent Crystal Ballroom sits, empty, barren, and unused.  I went up one evening, snuck up the last few vacant floors of the King Edward hotel through a service stairwell, into the door with a sign warning not to go in unless I wanted to be fined or prosecuted, and gaped at the eerie wonder of the ballroom, obviously neglected for decades.  I pretendend to be someone who would have attended a gala back in the Ballrooms heyday, I danced in circles on the uneven floor, and felt the presence of what was once the Ballrooms life and energy.  I made the story above up, it probably never happened, but being in that room, something happened, something beyond bankruptcy, something that warrented closing down one of the most grand venues in the entire city. On this Halloween night I dare you to sneak up yourself, if not to the Crystal Ballroom, then to another abandoned space, and imagine what happened to cause its vacancy and neglect.  Happy hunting, and happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone.  I hope you all eat too much candy and have....unpleasant dreams....

Oct 29, 2009

A Blast From the Past Circa 1988

I just realized that I have not written a video game post in a looong time.  So I wanted to write about one that I used to sit on my floor and play as an 8-year-old girl.  With coke bottle glasses and a lot of love for video games.

Did I mention that I love this game?  It opens with a cinematic slideshow.  Ummm.....can you say awesome for 1988? Even then cinematics were used to set the mood. 

The story begins with a boy named Jason who has a pet frog.  His frog jumps out of his bowl one day and touches a radioactive chest (just like that huh?) and he grows to be gigantic.  He tumbles into a hole in the earth, along with the chest.  Jason ventures into the hole and finds an armoured vehicle, his steed if you will, awaiting him.  The vehicle's name?  Sophia the Third.  Damn.  That is freaking amazingness right there.

Jason then uses his newfound vehicle to try and rescue Fred, meanwhile killing all the mutants along the way.  Until you get to this final boss guy:

Just your ordinary run-of-the-mill Plutonium boss.  And doesn't Jason look so cute in his little suit? Almost looks like Hello Kitty from behind. 

I remember this game being hard at times, but also really fun.  I also remember that there was a huge glitch in the system that allowed for killing bosses the pussy way (excuse my language ladies and gentleman), but hey, sometimes you want to get through a boss quickly, or hop down a pipe and skip a bunch of levels.  We all have our days.  Of course now, as an adult, one wouldn't even dream of doing it that way.  But anyway, what you did was you would launch a grenade at the boss and wait for it to just start exploding.  Once that happened you would pause the game for 15 seconds and voila, the scene would pause but the grenade would keep on killing.  I love that grenade killing action. 

The gameplay in this side-scrolling, overhead action RPG was one of a kind for it's time.  Although marketing was bad for the game, it still managed to become a cult classic with gamers.  The attention to detail on every level was uncharacteristic for the time, and this in turn helped to create a huge underground world in which to explore and become lost in.

The music is pretty fantastic as well.  If you have never played this game before, I strongly urge you to do so if you can.  Pull out your NES and dust it off, blow in the game slot until you are light-headed, and go order this game off of Ebay or something.  Or, an easier option would be to download onto your Wii virtual console if it is available.

So have a crazy awesome  time playing this game that Nintendo Power ranked as the 63rd Greatest Nintendo game of all time!  Peace out!

Oct 28, 2009

All I Want For Wednesday Is...

Fractals.  Did anyone ever have a fractal screensaver?  I did in university.  Let me tell you something:  I can stare at these for hours and achieve the highest realm of peace and calm.  Also works well for procrastinating on those 20 page essays.

Today, I need fractals.

Just A Regular Evening In My Life

Tonight Jess and I decided to go and buy fabric for our Thursday night sewing class.  The closest place that sells sewing patterns is Fabricland, which is at Dufferin and Orfus Road.  To those who don't get how far that is: IT'S GODDAMN FAR.  We got on the Dufferin bus and figured it would be a ten minute bus ride, but then we got to bitching about work and thought we had missed the stop because we were heckling like a couple of old ladies.  We work together so as a rule we are not allowed to talk about work on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are okay to spew forth the vile demon inside that sucks out my soul.

So Jess pulls out her iPhone (I KNOW RIGHT!!!!??? Jess with a cell phone...makes mama proud) and checks to make sure that we have not missed our stop and we haven't.  Phew.  We are pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.  Honestly, I can hear crickets; it's like being in outer space.  We find Fabricland easily enough and when we walk in the doors people, it's like I have come HOME.  The only other things that make me this comfortable are sticking kleenex down my sleeve and making sure that people eat.  Did I mention that I spent my Saturday night sewing a pillow, drinking tea and watching Bring It On?  Also, I found myself muttering to the television, scolding the girls in the movie for being too swinging with their sexuality.

For real though, I am in heaven at Fabricland.  The older lady who cut my bolt of fabric thought it was cool that I am sewing.  She said that sewing is a dying skill and anyone who knows how to thread a needle will be alright.  And I am all 'I KNOW RIGHT!!!??' and she probably thinks I am on crack I am smiling so hard.

We peruse and buy what we need and leave.  Easy.  Except that now I am starving.  For those who don't know me well, here is where alarm bells should be going off.  When I am hungry, the world goes wrong.  Because I make it so.  I am slightly hypoglycemic and my blood pressure goes from fine to not fine in a very short amount of time.  Why don't I carry something with me to munch on in cases like this you ask?  Well that would require planning and I don't know how to do that.  Thankfully I can keep the monster inside of me in check and no one had their heads torn off in the process.

Once I get home I believe that it would make me feel better to down a glass of wine and a beer while dinner is cooking.  So in about ten minutes I go from being sober and hungry to empty-stomached and drunk.  Not to mention that I have been sick for the past week, and today is the first day I feel sort of normal.  Not a good time to not eat and drink alcohol.  But I survive.  I even manage to cook for the cats, myself and Dave, and make baked apples for desert.

The best part of the night though was when I kept trying to jump onto Dave.  Picture a tiny cramped kitchen, no room to breathe, never mind jump, and me drunkenly trying to climb my boyfriend.  And Dave, in all seriousness, telling me that I am a grown up and grown ups don't do that.  And then both of us laughing hard enough to wake the other geriatrics in the old folk's home.

Sigh.  Life is sweet. But not too sweet.  It is advised against when you have dentures.

Oct 26, 2009

There Are Some Things You Should Never Admit

But I am not one of those people to hide anything.  I am an open book: what you see is what you get.

For some strange reason today, as myself and my colleagues (friends) were all eating lunch together we were talking about strange things we have eaten in our lives.  And Dave turned to me and said, "It blows me away how you can just blindly eat things".  Now, first of all, I don't do that ANYMORE.  Secondly, at the time that I did do these things I was either a) a child, or b) a very stoned teenager.

Here is my compilation list of things I have either chewed and ate, or just put in my mouth (that's enough now) because it was fun to do:

  1. Ants.  I have told the full story here, but for those of you who want the short and sweet: I made a bowl of popcorn, placed it on my windowsill to save it for later and came back and ate it all.  Along with the colony of red ants that had infiltrated the bowl.

  2. Cat poo.  Cut me some slack people I was a baby.  And my mother was being neglectful.  She only realized what I had done when she noticed brown poo smeared all over my face.  And then she gave me up for adoption.

  3. Toenails.  Again, a popcorn fiasco gone wrong.  I was at a friends house and I was hungry.  There was half a bowl of popcorn sitting on the table and I wanted it.  I asked her when it had been made and she shrugged and said 'today'.  So I asked if I could have it, proceeding to shove handfuls of it in my mouth.  And then I actually opened my douchebag eyes and saw that someone had cut their toenails into the bowl.  Tasty.

  4. Gum.  Sounds alright right? Nope.  Remember those tubes of gum you squeezed to get the goodness out?  Well someone had squeezed one all over the side of a fence.  And I just thought that was wasteful.  So I picked all the dirty brown gum away and found a pink treasure underneath, just waiting for me to enjoy.

  5. Worms.  I didn't actually eat these but I thought it was hilarious to put them in my mouth and open wide to show all my friends.  Of course the girls squealed in digust but all the boys thought I was AWESOME.

  6. Not so gross but equally as disturbing, the Host.  That's right.  The body of Christ.  I was waiting for a friend's dad to be finished what he was doing at church one day and we got hungry.  So we snuck into the little prayer room the priests use for their prep and found a whole tupperware container of that shit.  And we ate ALL of it.  I am going straight to hell.  In a handbasket.

  7. And the pièce de résistance, a tampon applicator.  I will wait a second for you all to puke.  Finished? Ok.  I was at the movies with a friend and I was chewing on a straw.  We went to the washroom and I placed my straw on the counter (ummm can you say vomit? I can't, there is vomit filling my mouth) and when I was done washing my hands I grabbed my straw and continued chewing.  Only when we sat back down did I realize that the 'straw' I was chewing on was a little thicker than I rememberd.  I pulled it out of my mouth and it was, you guessed it.  Why someone put one of those on the counter is beyond me.  What a sick person!

And I have just admitted some of the grossest things ever to you people.  Think you can top it?  Go for it.

P.S.-Wanna make out?

I Love Me Some Creepiness....Especially In Flash Animation Form

I have been a long time follower and huge fan of the flash animation series Salad Fingers.   I stumbled upon David Firth's website Fat-Pie.com back in 2002, in my second year of university and the beginning of my many MANY days of procrastinating by watching things on the internet. 

Mr. Firth has many flash cartoons available on his site, and I promsise you, all of them are just as cool as the Salad Fingers series.  You need to be a little bit brain damaged and slightly morbid to enjoy these, but watch all 8 episodes of Salad Fingers.  Get your feet wet with those mental little ditties.  You won't be disappointed!

I leave you with my personal favorite, Salad Fingers Episode # 5, Picnic.

And no David Firth is not my friend.  He can be if he wants to though!  Maybe he can create a series based off of me:  'Hormonal Girl', a series about a hormonally imbalanced serial killer who flys off the handle because you looked at her wrong or said something insensitive.

Give me a call David!

Oct 25, 2009

For the Weather

I wrote this a long time ago, at this time of year.  I was gazing out the window of a classroom I was in and feeling very nostalgic for home.  I was also very happy to be inside.

There is a tree in my line of vision.  The bark on it is darker than it should be, because of the cold rain that is falling.  And cold it is.  It's one of those days where the rain falls very heavy, with interspersed drops of snow that seem to dive bomb to the ground.  The tree shows signs of previous weather damage: broken branches and stripped bark, leaving patches that resemble newborn saplings.  There are a few last stragglers of leaves clinging precariously to their branches, waiting for a breath of wind to tear them away to reveal just a bare skeleton of a tree.  No animals scurry through the branches anymore.  Most are spending their time on the ground, scrounging for scraps to stow away before the first snow comes.  Everything is dull and grey.  Any bit of color left looks muted and cold.  I would much rather be in my bed, with a cat or two wrapped around me for extra comfort.  Instead I am looking at cold, dull trees.

How does this time of year make you feel?

Oct 23, 2009

And The Winner Is....

The results are in for my Creative Writing Challenge contest!!! I was supposed to post the winner yesterday, but neglected to becaue I got sucked into watching The O.C.  Sorry folks.

The contest was to write a comment on my post about creepy stories: I wanted comments that talked about scary stories, scary experiences, creepy houses, etc.  The comment could have been fictional or real.  I would then choose the best comment and the winner would be a guest writer on my blog on Halloween!

I couldn't decide on just one, so I chose TWO winners!!  These were their comments:

Anonymous said...

The crystal ballroom at the king eddy is still, by far, the best taste of urban exploration I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. If you want a place to make believe, and let your imagination run wild THAT is the place to do it. Also, the abandoned wing of St. Joes's... It used to house the crazy folks until they booted them out and left the entire wing abandoned. To this day I still don't understand how 3 inches of bird poop was able to collect INSIDE the building. ....creeeepy...... :)

As well as:

Rob F said...

Bullet holes and pickled octipus in the celler!

I lived in an old highrise in Mississauga at one point when I was young. I remember lying in bed one night and not being able to sleep. It wasent pitch black, I usually slept with the hall light on. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something come out of the spare bedroom, and enter the hallway. I turned and looked directly at it and saw the shape of a huge man. He wasent a black shadow It was kinda like when you rub your eyes and you see little dots for a bit. It was made up of that. I just stared and he stared at me, then it turned around and walk down the hallway. and for some reason I never told my parents about it

And there you have it!! Two stories will be posted on my blog on the day of Halloween that will get you into the spirit! And because I know the winners personally (thanks guys!) the other prize is a lovely night of company with yours truly, and BEER!

Thanks to all those who left a comment, they were all so great! Stay tuned for my next creative contest, coming soon. Think Christmas!

Oct 22, 2009

How You Know She Is Your Best Friend

I have the BEST best friend ever.  We met when we were 11-years-old, and we have never been mentally apart, even if we were physically.  Here is how I know she is my one and only:

  1. We had the same hair when we met.  She skipped down the street towards me and told me she liked The Doors.  I thought she was rad.
  2. We would make up synchronized swim routines to show off to the hunky local pool lifeguards.
  3. We started smoking together.
  4. We started inhaling together, and thought it felt soooo coool.
  5. We made potions out of dirt, sticks and poison berries and left them in sheds for my family to find.
  6. Marshmallows bound us together forever.
  7. We wrote letters to each other EVERY DAY.  After spending the whole day together.  Letters about our day.
  8. We read to each other in trees (Phantom Valley books.  Anyone remember those?)
  9. A Cavalier was our Eutopia (my sister owned a Cavalier and we spent our lives in it from the ages of 14-16).
  10. We snuck into a Baptist church to hear the choir sing and laughed like apes when we were scolded for chewing gum.
  11. My So-Called Life was OUR lives.
  12. We asked my sister to borrow her car to go on a short drive and drove it really far to the beach at night.  And Ciara let me drive.  Without a license.
  13. Our minds were melded many MANY times as youngsters who liked to dabble, kna'mean?
  14. Our favorite kind of gum was 'ghost gum'.  Made from marshmallows and our grubby little fingers wooshing and smooshing to turn it into the consistency of gum.  Kind of.
  15. Remember the Flinstones?  Dino would make a sound when he would crunch down on a bone.  Ciara and I can mimic that sound while burping.  These are forever called 'Dino Crunch Burps'.
  16. When we are together, all we do is laugh like maniacs.  We turn into best friend snobs where no one else matters except for us.  
  17. When I 'broke' my rib, she 'broke' her boob in sympathy.
  18. I once thought I was squeezing her elbow in the dark.  I was really squeezing her boob.  She did not scold me or call me a perv.  Gotta love a woman like that.
  19. She is River Pheonix and I am Wil Wheaton in Stand By Me.
  20.  I would take a bullet for her.  I would move the world to get to her if i needed to.
We should get a room, I know.  But she is a constant in my life, and I lerve her.  Also, I am watching The O.C. right now and feeling like a tool because I am getting all weepy.  If she was here, she would be too.

Now that's love.

A Thursday Afternoon Work Visual

So, picture me hunched over my desk, working away.  Quietly, doing my work so as to make this company a whole lot more money today.  Not a sound is coming out of me, only out of my speakers which are softly playing background music.  Creating some ambiance, if you will.

Then picture the owner of the company frantically running around like a crazy person.  Eventually she pokes her head over my wall and tells me that there will be VERY IMPORTANT interviews taking place today, and to please make the floor look presentable, etc.  Okay fine.  I will act as your cleaning person, even though you already have one that you pay.  So my co-worker and I proceed to tidy up, empty paper boxes, and carry very heavy boxes down the rickety basement steps to clear the clutter.  Okay.  Great.

A couple of minutes later the same head pokes up over my wall again to re-iterate once more, how important it is that the floor looks good for these interviews.  That these are VERY IMPORTANT people.  Right.  Listen lady, I already cleaned up for you, what more do you want from me?

She then runs up the stairs and returns a minute later.  Just as a I get a little 'doo-dah' that I have recieved a new email.  This email says that some VERY IMPORTANT people are coming today and over the next few weeks so to keep things presentable (holy mother, we GET it).  But then it also said that we need to make sure we look presentable as well. 

Woah.  You might as well ask me to punch my mother in the face.  That is just SICK.

As I reflect back to what the boss lady was seeing, I have no idea why she felt the need to talk to us like we are bratty teenagers who are going to embarrass her in front of the VERY IMPORTANT people.  I mean, as she was telling us the second time I was only listening to reggae.  Twirling my greasy hair around my fingers and chewing gum like a cow.  Wearing only a bra and pajama bottoms and doing a line of coke off my coworkers tits.  I mean, c'mon! Relax already! 

Although, I WILL NOT make myself look presentable.  That is just asking way too much of me. 


Oct 21, 2009

All I Want For Wednesday Is...

A desk.  The thing that regular people sit at when they are using a computer, or reading a book, or writing something.  It's a pretty regular thing to do, for regular people.  I am not a part of the regular club.

A chair.  I am also not a part of this prestigious club.  Instead I sit on a cold hardwood floor and feel every pain and bruise forming on my ankle bones.  And then, strangely enough, suddenly my ankle bones are connected to my shoulder bones and I feel it running ALLLL THROUGH ME!! 

 Maybe one day when I make my first million, I will buy myself a desk and chair.  But only then.

Creativity and the Working Kato

"What a writer wants to do is not what he does".
Jorge Luis Borges 

 I have been struggling very much as of late in regards to what I am doing, and what I want to be doing.  Just like thousands of others out there I am sure, I want to be writing and creating, not pushing numbers on a daily basis.  Sure, accounting is a challenge and it's not like I am neglecting to use my brain every day, I just don't want to be using THAT side of my brain.

Many studies have been done to show that "freedom from external pressure or control and a warm, supportive environment are necessary or at least quite helpful for creativity" (Handbook of Creativity).  People: my world is a cold, hard place to be, creatively speaking.  I am sure many can relate: wake up, go to work, work, go home, go to sleep, wake up, go to work, work.... I have a lot of people ask me why I allow myself to get sucked into this cycle.  Why don't I go out more, expand my horizons, that sort of thing.  There are many contributors to why I don't, but the two that top the list are I am financially disabled and I am a loner.  Sort of.  I have my people and I am okay with that.  I always have been.  Going out and meeting tons of people and doing lots of exciting things and spending all my non-existent cash more so addles my brain than it does clear it.  Now I am not saying that these are bad things to do, I just find my brain gets very tired the more things I have on the go.  God I sound lame.  Excuse me while I complain about my sciatic nerve.

Oct 20, 2009

Dexter Episode 4: Dex Takes A Holiday

Last night's episode of Dexter spawned many emotions in me, as usual.  Fear, suspense, fear.  And I don't want to give anything away in case there are some people out there reading this who haven't watched the episode yet.

But I have to ask those who did see it, didn't the very last crazy scene blow your mind?.  Again, my mouth was left hanging open in awe.  So many emotions were running through me that I didn't know what to say next.  And then Deb spoke.  You know what I mean.  And all my brain could offer up was this little ditty:

I bet all you early 90s music lovers are creaming your pants right now.

Oct 19, 2009

How We Slide

It's hard to believe that almost 15 years ago, I was a fifteen-year-old girl.  I had yet to get the braces off my teeth, and I thought I knew EVERYTHING.  And not the way that 15-year-old girls today know everything, if you know what I mean.  More like, I wanted to believe that I was experienced, even though I was still wet behind the ears and thought that people had sex by rubbing up against each other.  What?  I was into music back then, not gaining knowledge of the carnal variety!

So one night when my friends decided that it would be really awesome to climb up Blue Mountain and slide down the cement slides on GARBAGE BAGS in the rain, I thought the idea was gnarly.  Who wouldn't?

Now, from afar, or even from sort of close up, the 'mountain' does not look as if it would be much of a challenge to climb.  But I am here to tell you that it is.  And erase the notion out of your head that I was an inactive teenager.  There was no such thing fifteen years ago because back then parents would force their kids to go and ride their bikes for ten hours straight.  If they so much as saw you in the house between breakfast and lunch you were in big trouble.  And your European grandmother wrestled with you every morning to make sure you were wearing an undershirt before you left the house.  In the summer.  I know this from experience.

So my amazingly bright friend's and I loaded up on garbage bags and metal bowls.  Because THAT'S a good idea.  Friction of metal and cement? All signs point to sparks flying and asses burning.  But we are all intelligent people right? Wouldn't you guys think of these genius things too?

It took us about an hour or two to climb all the way to the top of Blue Mountain.  Most people, in order to get to where the cement slides begin, take a chairlift up, but we were bad ass and we climbed.  And slipped. And climbed.  It was very wet, and very slippery, but with some effort and a lot of complaining, we made it to the top.

Oct 18, 2009

True Love Found Me At The Mod Club

Tonight was the Daniel Johnston show at The Mod Club.  Ever since I saw the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, I have been enamored with his story, his art, and his music.  I remember watching it and being so incredibly sad, that someone who is obviously a genius suffers from the mental disorder that he does.  All he wanted to do was make art and love, and he was sort of shit on in both arenas.  But thankfully, some people out there saw that he was great, and different, and needed to be heard despite his tumultuous existence in this world.  And I am thankful that they did.  Because in my opinion, Daniel Johnston is one of a kind.

It was an early show tonight: the doors opened at 7PM.  There was an opening band, so we figured we could get there by 8 or 8:30PM and be okay.  No such luck.  We arrived at around 8:30 and Daniel was already 15 minutes into his set.  Bummer.  But Dave and I rushed right up to the balcony area and found an alright spot as the place was packed.

In typical Daniel Johnston fashion, he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt that was a size too small, and ratty track pants that were just above his ankles.  He had a binder of lyrics to his songs (Speeding Motorcycle , Hey Joe, Man Obsessed, Living Life and my personal favorite True Love Will Find You In The End just to name a few),  and to the songs he covered (John Lennon's Jealous Guy and The Beatles' You've Got To Hide Your Love Away).  The crowd was a receptive one: singing loudly and shouting out their respects to him in-between songs.  Every song he sang, he gave it his all.  He gripped the mic stand as if he were hanging on to a ledge for dear life, and his passion for the music showed that he was just doing what he loved.

My only complaint: it was too short.

I leave you with a picture, and video of my favorite Daniel Johnston song, True Love Will Find You In The End.

(Thank you to the nice folks who moved out of their spots to offer me a better view to take pictures! You guys are great!)

Oct 15, 2009

Quebec Prisoners Exercising Their Rights Towards Smoking Ban

Has anyone else read or heard that prison inmates' human rights are being taken away along with their right to smoke?

Nineteen Quebec inmates feel that this is the case, and have launched a lawsuit against the Federal government to lift the smoking ban that was put in to place at the start of 2008.  They believe that their charter rights have been violated and are exercising that right to do one of the only things that makes them happy while they serve their time in prison.

Call me one-sided here, but does anyone else see what is WRONG with that scenario?  Man kills someone, man goes to prison, man is mad that he cannot do what he wishes?  I am sorry, but I believe that you gave up that right, inmate number 12, when you stabbed beloved TV puppeteer Pierre Regimbald.  And what about you inmate number 9, I bet it just totally blew when you got arrested for selling all that dope to a bunch of kids huh?  I mean you knew that you were going to have to serve hard time, but to ban cigarettes, and to take away your favorite pastime, now our government is just sick.  Cruel and unusual punishment indeed.

Oct 14, 2009

All I Want For Wednesday Is...


Where does the time go?  I feel like I am always way too busy and have time for nothing.  And it's not as if I am doing things I want to be doing.  I am working.  And not a good kind of working, like on art or writing or researching cool things to do. 

And then time works against me some more in another sense: I am getting older and the amount that I used to be able to push time, to bend it, is becoming less and less.  Work 8 hours? That's okay, I have another 12 hours to do what I want to do!! Not anymore.

Over time your body gets tired.  Your brain begins to feel the weight of the clock hanging over your head daily.  For me, it's almost a physical weight, because I am where I am, and not where I want to be.

Oct 13, 2009

Phone Calls From The Dead

Because it's almost Halloween, here comes another spooky tale....

The story I am about to tell actually happened to me.  Now, call me crazy, and I know some people will, but I honestly believe that something strange happened on this night.  I am not sure what it was, and I am not about to claim that someone actually called me from beyond, but man, it was certainly one of the scariest nights of my life.

       It was my first year of university, very close to the end of the school year.  Everyone was comfortable with their routine, and things seemed to fall into place nicely despite the fact that 20-25 people, who were all VERY different, were forced to cohabitate. 

I was known as the 'floor mom', and not because I was older and wiser (even though I was), but because I had very gently asked that people try to keep it down past 2 in the morning.  I did not think that this was an insane request, and the only real douchebag on the floor who went OUT of his way to be loud after 2AM was fast alseep in his cozy little cot on this night. I also made it very clear to my friends and family that no one was to call me after 2AM unless it was an extreme emergency.  I need my sleep. I get cranky.  Sue me.

We all had our own rooms in the dorm that I lived in, and it was a very quiet night.  It was still winter and there was a storm raging outside, so nobody had the energy or the guts to venture outdoors.  This made for an early night for most people and almost everyone was asleep by the time I went to bed.  I studied until midnight, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.

I slept soundly until exactly 4AM when I bolted out of bed, terrified.  I immediately jumped towards my light switch and flipped it up to flood my room with light.  I had this terrible irrational feeling that someone was in my room.  I forced myself to check under the bed, in my closet, even to open my door and glance down the darkened hallway.  Nothing. Not a sound.  I shut my door and locked it, still with the feeling that something horrible had happened or was about to happen.  I contributed my bad feelings to having a nightmare.  I told myself that I just didn't remember what it was about, but that the lingering dream must have woken me up and caused my horrible discomfort.

Creative Writing Challenge

Only ten more days left to submit your comment to my Halloween writing challenge!!

Go to this link http://pandorahsbox.blogspot.com/2009/10/noteworthy-if-you-are-down-with-creepy.html and submit a scary, creepy, weird short comment of something that has happened to you, you heard, or wish to write about.  It can be true or made up, it does not matter!

The most intriguing comment will win a guest post spot on my blog on Halloween, along with a chance to promote your blog and showcase your talent. 

Winner will be announced on my blog on Oct 22.  Please leave a link somewhere so that I may get ahold of you to let you know you are the winner.

Looking forward to those comments! Let's have fun writing scary stories!

Oct 12, 2009

Things I Find Interesting

These are all things that happened on this day, October 12th, throughout music history:

  1. 1957 - Little Richard tossed four diamond rings into the Hunter River in Sydney, Australia, to prove that he was giving up rock-n-roll for his faith in God. He returned to music five years later. 
  2. 1968 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed in London.  
  3. 1978 - Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols) was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Spungen had been found dead with several knife wounds to her abdominal area. Vicious died of a heroin overdose before his murder trial began.
  4. 1985 - Ricky Wilson, of the B-52's, died of complication of AIDS at the age of 32.  
  5. 1991 - Nirvana's album, "Nevermind" was certified gold by the RIAA.  
  6. 1996 - "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus", the film documentary, was released. The work had been filmed in December 1968.  
  7. 1997 - John Denver was killed when the plane he was piloting crashed into Monterey Bay, CA. He was 53 years old. (All of this info found on On This Day.com).
That is crazy that all of those insane things happened on THIS day in history.  I am kind of excited to check out what happened in music history on my birthday (December 22).

Check it out, the site is neat.

Things That Want To Kill You In The Night

I am watching Paranormal State right now and it is actually scaring me.  I am not home alone, Dave is in the other room, but demons scare me.  Do they scare you? If they don't, you are a bigger person than I.  I do not want to say that I don't believe in ghosts and spooky things, but I do not want to believe that there are demons roaming around out there.  Crazy things man. 

I read a book a few years ago that detailed a true story of a little girl who had been kidnapped and was the center of satanic rituals, and it was written in a way that she was being interviewed by a psychiatrist and he was making her relive her experiences later on in her life.  I thought it was crazy.   Not in a scoffing way, but in a holy crap kind of way.  That night I fell asleep and had the WORST nightmare about a demon coming to get me and it was so clear in my mind that when I woke up abruptly it was floating in front of my eyes for a good ten seconds.  Ever since then I am so wary to express any doubt about their existence because I feel like they will  come and get me.  And then I will become possessed and people will think I am crazy and I will be left to wander around on the subways all day with tons of bags and crazy hair.

I kind of want to take that back, in case 'they' think I was making fun of them.

Oh dear, I already sound crazy. 

Oct 11, 2009

Thankful and Just Full

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!! I hope that everyone has had a lovely weekend and that you have much to be thankful for.  I know I do!  Today was my family's turkey celebration and it was so amazingly awesome this year as familiar faces, newer faces, and furry faces joined the festivities.  My cousin and her baby Nicholas, who I might add is the first baby to grace this family in 25 years! (ummm...and is so adorable), and my brother's fiance Sara (who has of course been here at family gatherings before, I was just never here when she was) and their little puppy Scrappy.  All in all we were our loud, awesome selves, and it was great.

I just wanted to take some time out to give thanks to everyone (and thing!) in my life this year.  I am thankful for Dave, my family, my kitties, my friends, my health, my video games, my books, and this might seem silly, but all of you who take the time out to read my blog.  This post is a special one!! It is post number 100!!

I would love to open up my comments section to ask everyone what they are thankful for this year, or just say hello if you never have before. I appreciate all of you and would like to know you better!

So everyone have a safe and happy rest of your weekend, and try not to eat too much turkey.  That stuff knocks you out cold man.  I leave you with:

This Weekend: In Photos

A delicious beer (photo credit goes to Dave)


Father and son


End of the night: scotch and fire

Oct 9, 2009

In Lieu of the Upcoming Holiday Weekend

I wanted to give thanks to a few loves in my life that I don't usually give thanks to out loud.  We go about our daily lives and take for granted that they will always be here, but this is not the truth.  The truth is, our furry friends we our lucky enough to have in our lives will not be with us forever and we should all take a minute (or a thousand) to give thanks to our animals this Thanksgiving weekend.

I wanted to post this sweet thing that I have read a few times now, A Pet's Ten Commandments.

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me, please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there because I love you so.

Thank you Pandorah, Mikah, and Ju-ni for being my rocks and for meeting me at the door every  evening with so much love in your eyes.  I will try to follow your commandments to the best of my ability.  I love you  my fur babies!!

After the Rant Comes My New Form of Relaxation

Last night was my second sewing class and it was great.  I was so lost in my work and didn't even realize when the two and a half hours were up.  Our projects were to practice straight lines, angles, and circles (!) on the sewing machine.  It is just so calming to work with your hands, to have something tangible in front of you that is not a number, or someone calling you on the phone to ask you about an invoice (barf). 

So here are my samples!  They go from first to last, and the more I practiced, the better I got.  Except for the circles one.  My teacher held it up for the class to see and said "Look everyone! Katherine is making up her own shapes!", and everyone laughed, including me, because no one is there to judge.

Rants In My Pants

Two things are weighing heavy on my mind on this rainy Friday morning:

  1. I know that the construction job needs to get done.  I know that you are ripping up the street I work on, the streetcar tracks, blocking off traffic and slowing down businesses in the area.  I know that you are stinky and noisy and I also know that I have grown to hate you over the last few weeks.  I also am aware that the hate will grow over the next few months that you are banging away in my brain.  My question to you is: why cant you just take your big machines, and your big rocks, and go play somewhere else?

  2. Why do people bring their dogs with them to a coffee shop when they are planning to sit down and have a coffee, or a meeting?  So many times have I seen a poor dog sitting out in the rain (like today) staring longingly in at their owner who is enjoying a nice steaming cup of coffee.  Why not just kick your dog?  Or string it up by it's ears? Because I honestly think you are being just as mean and neglectful when you selfishly bring your dog and make it sit outside in the  rain so you can do what you want to do. 
And that ends this installemt of Rants in my Pants.  Thank you for listening.

Oct 8, 2009

Metrolinx and the McGuinty Government Stealing Our Air! How Cohaagen of Them!

There was a proposal a while back by Metrolinx that 400 diesel trains would be run daily through the neighborhoods of Parkdale and the Junction, and onwards towards Brampton.  That is a 700% increase as opposed to the amount of train runs through these neighborhoods today.  This proposal has been approved.

So what does this mean for those of us who live in these areas?  Beyond the obvious increase in noise pollution, we can look forward to poorer air quality and more health issues related to carcinogens that will be expelled into the air from the diesel fuel.  Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's chief medical officer of health, has stated that he is worried about the impact this could have on surrounding resident's health (CBC News).  According to the linked article, "Diesel exhaust has been identified as a probable human carcinogen by several agencies, including the International agency for Research on Cancer". 

Oct 7, 2009

All I Want For Wednesday Is...

Christmas trees, Bailey's and candles.  As soon as it starts snowing and the tree goes up, all our money is consumed in delicious caramel goodness. It's what makes the holidays around here!

One Person's Trash...

Dave and I were walkig home from work yesterday when I spotted a pretty non-descript suitcase type thing resting on the curb.  But I knew what it was.  Oh did I ever.  So Dave and I crouched down like two little kids burning ants and opened up my treasure.  And it was what I knew it would be: a beautiful, lovely, old typewriter.  We snatched it up and ran home as if we were stealing something, and once we got there we opened it up and I heard birds sing.  I went over that thing from top to bottom, checking the keys, the ribbon, looking up why there was no number 1 on it.  I did know why at one point in time but I had forgotten.  So I excitedly looked it up.

We then set about looking up the seriel number on the Typewriter Database and found that it is an Olympia (it says that right on the typewriter) portable SM 3 or 4.  These models were made in the 50s and 60s, so that excited me even more. 

But what I wanted to know, as I gently put away my new baby until further use, why would a typewriter that is in such good shape by thrown out? 

For me to find is why!!!

*This last photo: credit goes to Dave
Well now, isn't that just as sweet as pie?

Oct 3, 2009

On The Agenda Tonight

I have to be ready for 8AM in the morning tomorrow to participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure.  So this is what I am participating in tonight.

Steve Coleman Illustrations= Brilliant Macabre Art For Those Who Are Strange and Unusual

In keeping with the creepy theme for the month of October, I wanted to direct you fine folks towards an AWESOME artist named Steve Coleman.  His paintings and illustrations are perfect for those who enjoy one-of-a-kind creepy pieces that are reminiscent of the illustrations in Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy.

My kind of artist.  Check out his website here, and his blog here.  Say hello! He is a really nice guy.

A Rare Video Of Anne Frank Surfaces

 This is the only known video image of Anne Frank.  She is leaning out a window in her house in Amsterdam watching a wedding take place, around a year before she went into hiding.  This video was given to her father Otto Frank in the 1950s when Anne was recognized as the girl in the window.  It has been in the Anne Frank House Museum ever since.  Anne is 13-years-old in this video.(National Post)



Oh The Laughter

Earlier, when Dave and I were sitting at the kitchen table, he got up out of his chair to do this sort of, wonky legged, waving his hand in front of his face chicken dance.  And I thought that this was quite funny.

But then I glanced up to look at his face, and that's where the magic was happening.  The utter look of concentration to get the dance juuuuussst right.  Well now, THAT was priceless.

And We Have Come Full Circle

I have written a couple of posts, here and here, about Dave not being my protector, and then about me putting myself first when in a situation of anxiety or terror, as opposed to doing the valiant thing we are 'supposed' to do to protect the ones we love.

And here we are again, only Ciara is the one who should be stoned and run out of the city.  You thought you would get off easy did you? Not on my watch Ciara.

Let us travel back in time to 1991 (did everything happen that year?), when my family had rented a beautiful cottage in Muskoka.  We invited Ciara along to experience some of the joys of cottage life: swimming, camp fires, boating, meeting a bunch of 14-year-old boys that were just dreamy.  It was the local boys we met who told us about the abandoned store in the camp that still had tons of candy and shit in it, so of course, as any 11-year-old would do, we wanted to get in there.  Even if it meant *gasp* breaking in.

Oct 1, 2009

Week One of Sewing Class=CRAZY

Tonight was the first installment in Sewing 101.  The first cool thing about the class was that it is in Western Tech, a high school/ technical school that I have been wanting to see the inside of for a few years now.  The outside is a tiny bit reminiscent of the school in the Harry Potter series, but not as nice on the inside.  It was just OLD. But in a good way.  The floor that we were on seemed to be the one where all the night classes were held, so it was neat to be amongst the Spanish classes, and cooking classes that were taking place as well.

The room was very similar to the room your mom or grandmother would have been in when they were required to take sewing in school or as part of their vocational training.  Everyone in the class is a woman, which didn't surprise me, but what DID surprise me was that a lot of the women were young.  Young girls, middle aged women and much older women wanting to learn a skill were present in the classroom.  I thought it was very neat the amount of young people there were.

Noteworthy If You Are Down With the Creepy

My sister and I have always enjoyed exploring abandoned houses.  Anytime we were driving somewhere, or driving aimlessly, or driving home to sleep off those wake-up pills we took that one time (Jessie Spano anyone?), we always stopped when we saw those give away boarded up windows and un-mowed tall grasses. 

It was always so exciting and scary to me to walk through the door for the first time.  There was a feeling of anxiety (will I get caught?), expectation (what will I find?) and most importantly mystery (why is it left empty and uncared for?).  For some reason, or maybe because of my morbidity, I always imagined that death is the reason why a house, a home, is left to decay and let nature take it's course of renewing it's place in the world.  It was always so much more scary when glass would be smashed, or if there was graffiti on the walls, and if you really COULD smell dead things.  Like that raccoon that Krista tried to lift up with a stick and THOUSANDS of maggots spilled out of it.  Picture Wil Wheaton and River Pheonix shooting off a gun in front of the Tupper babe, shouting "JESUS!" and taking off in Stand By Me.  Yeah, that was us that day.