horror confessions

Horror Confessions: December is for The Shining

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I just downloaded The Shining back onto my Kindle.

I’m not telling you this just for blog fodder. If I wanted to just talk, I’d tell you about the week I’ve been having-because while the net result is positive, it’s been eventful (including discovering the length of my kitchen pipe has been cracked for who knows how long and dumping into the basement).

Next month is December, and December is for The Shining.

There are certain books I read at certain times-the big two being American Gods in May and The Shining in December. I don’t really have a good relationship with winter, though I think that may change this year. I don’t know why I say that other than a lack of my normal brooding angst headed into the month.

Somehow The Shining has come to stand for all of my darkness towards winter. Maybe you’d have to live in Buffalo to get it, I don’t know. The only other book that may touch it would be Storm of the Century. I don’t know what it is with Stephen King and snow. There is also something about the madness that runs through the novel. I don’t want to say that I recognize it…but maybe I do.

I just walked in on Mid watching the Kindle light go on and off when he closed the cover, like when you discover that the fridge light goes on and off when you close the door. He might have been standing in a dark bathroom at the time.

Maybe this madness really is a Buffalo thing.

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Early Winter Musings

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It won’t be winter for another month or so.

Tell that to the weather. And the lake. And my mood.

My SADD. My evil, infernal, challenging SADD. This winter I decided to actually make it a challenge-I’ve already had two really, really hard days. They may have been the hardest two days I’ve had in years with regards to my mental state. Since we haven’t even gotten to true winter yet I’ve decided to make a goal of it, one that’s almost ironic considering the running theme of the last few horror posts on the site.

Each day around noon, which means just before when I leave for work during the week, I post a positivity thread. On Sunday I posted a picture of a puppy. Most of the time it’s text-based. I ask my friends list to tell me what’s going good in their life. Sometimes the answer’s a little bleak, but in a way that I think I can appreciate-sometimes just waking up in the morning is as good as it’s going to get. One time the answer was pancakes.

People were really excited about Dr. Who this weekend (and really, the 50th anniversary special was worth being excited for).

I think that the run of death-related imagery the past few days has been a way of me reconnecting with my desire to help people. I think I mentioned at one point that my life-dream job is in the end-of-life field. I want to help people, and for whatever reason I feel like my path is heading in that particular direction. I’m certain my Pinterest followers must love me right now; I started a death studies board on Saturday.

So it’s perhaps vaguely morbid, but oddly grounding at the same time.

Horror Confessions: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Other Books

All Rights Held by Owner, Blogger does not claim ownership of this image.

All Rights Held by Owner, Blogger does not claim ownership of this image.

I’m not a parent, admittedly. But as a fast fact, my MA is concentrated in Family Studies (which is almost amusing, if you know me for any length of time in real life). What I’m saying, while I’m not in child psych I’m also not exactly unaware of the functioning of the pre-adult brain.

I know that each child has a different capacity for fear, and exposure to fear is something that needs to be gauged against the individual kid and factors like age and material. However, as I’ve said on this blog before, I really cringe whenever I hear parents talk about how they don’t want to let their kid access even mild horror because it’s going to do something horrible to their development.

Done right, no, it won’t. It might even land them an MA down the line.

No, really. My senior capstone for my BA was on Hellraiser. The realization that real adults with real adult jobs study pop culture-which meant I could study monster movies and figure things about Society and People was one of those mind-blowing experiences that ends up reshaping a kid’s entire reality.

The book that actually got me into sociology and academics was Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein might seem like an odd choice but as a kid growing up in conservative, exceptionally rural Upstate New York these were thought patterns I had never come across before. And I wanted to know it. All of it.

I got to Heinlein and therefore by extension higher ed through books like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Goosebumps, and Christopher Pike. By the end of my high school career I was reading everything that I could get my hands on-and yes, scaring the beejesus out of my myself-and thinking. Don’t let anyone fool you. If your kid is thinking in odd but not damaging ways-let them. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t get to where they are by thinking in purely straight line paths.

It might require some work. You might have to have some conversations. There might be books your kid comes across that’s too much for them-too old, or too dense, or too scary. But they’re building bridges to places you haven’t even dreamed of yet. So be a parent-and let them read.

Horror Confessions: I was the kid sneaking Steven King and thinking I was getting away with it-and it got me a Masters.

Horror Confessions: They’re So Big and Whaley

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Mid thinks that I’m hilarious.

Hilarious, I tell you. He likes to look at me sometimes and say, “Well…they’re so big. And whaley. Big and whaley.”

This is because one night after putting in a 13 hour shift I informed him about my hatred of whales. I hate them. They’re as big as a bus and they’re just out there…floating. So big. and whaley. Big and whaley.

You know why? Because they are. There should not be a creature on this planet the size of a school bus-and don’t make me think about the fact that there is water deep enough on the planet to comfortably hold entire pods of the things.

I’ll be twitching in the corner.

I was not that child that had pictures of Orcas and dolphins on their walls. Well, maybe dolphins because they are just different enough from whales to be safe.

I mean, there has to be horror movies about whales but you won’t find me watching them. Well, there seems to be one anyway. And it gets a partial pass for being shot in Newfoundland. Unlike my hatred of Jaws and sharks, I have no idea why I hate them as much as I do.

Horror Confession: Whales scare me more than Michael Myers.

Horror Confessions: It’s all Chernabog’s Fault

Night on Bald Mountain was most likely NOT my first run in with horror.  But that’ll be another entry at some other time. I think though that it ranks right up there with formative brushes with horror.

I know that July is Retro Horror Month on Horrific Knits, but unfortunately we experienced an unexpected death last week and it’s thrown me for a loop. I’ve only recently been getting back into my horror grove-expect more reviews (and Ghost Month in August!).

From a really young age-I mean, really, who asks for Classical Thunder for Christmas at 10 years old? This blogger, that’s who-I’ve been drawn into the heavy baroque classical pieces-both in the sense of heavy ornate music and actual Baroque period pieces. I think Chernabog has a lot to do with it.

I remember watching Fantasia as a kid and sitting sort of glossy eyed through the Night on Bald Mountain piece. To this day I still love that piece of music, as well as Ave Maria. Ironically, I don’t remember the Bach piece from Fantasia at all-Bach is now my favorite composer. As long as he stays away from the harpsichord. I never did grow to like those things.

Horror Confession: an animated Disney demon turned me into a classical music lover.