Friday Minus the Review

Hello, readers!  I just want to write a quick update to explain my absence on this blog.  My feeling “under the weather” kind of spiraled into a full blown sickness, so basically, I’ve just been really sick lately.  Too sick to watch movies, do home projects, baking, or anything else.  On top of that, one of my dogs got a nasty infection on her tail so we’ve been dealing with that (she’s on the mend currently, thanks to the vet).  I’m still recovering, but for the most part, I’m feeling a lot better, I’m just dealing with getting my energy back and some residual symptoms.

Right before I got really sick, I did manage to watch the 2011 version of Fright Night.  It’s not streaming on Netflix, we got the DVD.  I haven’t seen the original, so I can’t compare (the original IS streaming).  It was pretty fun though.  To be honest, it was worth it just to see David Tennant’s character.  It was like watching The Doctor be a weird, fowl-mouthed magician.

Hopefully next week will be better.

Until next time!

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Poe, Poetry, and Spookiness

Last night, we watched The Possession (streaming on Netflix), as part of our 31 movies for Halloween.  It wasn’t good.  It was boring, and really a very lame version of The Exorcist.  It had an interesting concept in theory (instead of the regular Catholic demon, we had a Jewish one!) but they focused WAY too much on the family drama, to the point it became redundant.

Anyway, moving on…

Today, I’d like to share a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.  No, it’s not “The Raven,” but you really should give that a nice read because it’s so classically spooky.  In fact, read with someone else.  I personally feel like poetry should be read aloud and with others.  There’s something intimate about it.  This one is called, “Spirits of the Dead” (1827).

Thy soul shall find itself alone
‘Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness-for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.

The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne’er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

Don’t worry, you won’t get a literary interpretation from me.  I love this poem, that’s all I’ll say.  Take what you will from it, delve into the imagery, and just have fun.

Until next time.

Oops, I Did it Again

I’ve failed at the daily posts!

Last week, I was under the weather and really didn’t have any motivation to post anything.  Don’t worry, you didn’t miss much, and I’ll update you on the happenings that you did.  I’m still not feeling great, but I’ll try my best to keep up with daily posts.

First and foremost, I do regret not doing a Friday Film Review.  To make up for that, I’ll be doing a double feature this week.  In the meantime, I did watch quite a few scary flicks last week:

Insidious and Insidious 2
Netflix does not stream the first one, but you can get it on DVD.  And you must watch the first before the second, because honestly, the first is a little scarier, and the second literally starts the second the first ends.  We think they might have been filmed at the same time.  You can look that up if you’re curious, because I’m like, eh.  Anyway, I actually liked these movies, directed by the same dude who did Saw and The Conjuring.  They are a little weird, not too scary, and pretty creative.

The Awakening
This is streaming on Netflix.  It’s OK.  The protagonist reminded me of a female Sherlock, so that was awesome.  She even had the jacket and popped collar.  The acting was really great, and I realized I had never seen a British horror film before this one, done by BBC films.  It’s not that scary, so if you want more of a drama and a light creep, this one might work for you.  Also had some creative moments, and a nice twist ending that’ll leave you scratching your heads.

The Addams Family
A nice family film.  No horror and it’s still fun.

Sadako
I believe this is the 3rd in the Ringu series.  It’s a 3D film.  I don’t have a 3D TV.  So… yeah… crap.  It’s not scary, the plot is confusing, and we were very close to turning it off halfway through because it was just so awful.  I like the American adaption of Ringu the best, to be honest.  They’re just not the best Japanese horror out there.  Too much camp.

That’s about it on the movie front.  I also made a wreath:

photo 3
The final product
photo 1
First, I sprayed the wreath ($5 at Michael’s) with ultra matte black paint.
photo 2 (1)
I bought rubber snakes, painted them black, and re-painted their eyes and tongues.

 

I also got some costumes for the dogs.  I don’t have Layla’s up as a picture, but here’s a preview of Penny’s:

We need to add wire to the wings to make them more... Devilish...
We need to add wire to the wings to make them more… Devilish…

 

And that was my week.  Not a whole lot.  Didn’t have a ton of energy, and I’m running behind on many things.  BUT – I may do some cookies and bread this week, so we’ll see how things go.

Until next time.

I Need a Nap This Morning

It’s never a good sign when you wake up needing a nap.  Especially on a Monday.  I’ve been tired a lot lately.  Yesterday was a complete haze, and I really should have just slept the entire day, because apparently, I need some sleep.

It’s also the time of month where I take inventory of my goals.  Setting monthly goals has actually been helping me, and I think the reason I feel so weird is I haven’t done it this month yet.  It helps me stay focused, and it also helps me complete everything I want to accomplish.  It’s way less overwhelming living out your dreams when you take it step by step, by the way.

The thing is… I have no idea what I’m going to do this month (aside from crafting Halloween stuff and curtains).  Everything I have planned is purely domestic.  Is that OK?  I haven’t decided if that’s OK yet.  I’ve been enjoying the home projects, farmer’s markets and all the little things.  They also completely take up all my time.  I also think everything is draining me.  It all wouldn’t be bad at all, but I think I need something that gives me a jump start.

I’m rambling now.  But I will tell you what I’m making for dinner tonight!

Irish Cottage Pie

Yes, I know.  Another GFG recipe.  But holy crap, you know how much I love potato things? A lot.  Potatoes make my heart sing.  I won’t say it’s because I’m Irish, but it’s because I’m Irish.  I’m kidding.  But doesn’t this recipe look amazing?  It’s the perfect comfort food for a not-so-great Monday.

Sorry for the abbreviated post, I’ll try and be better tomorrow.

Until next time.

 

 

Wait a second!  Before I posted this blog, I found this:

o-CUMBERBATCH-900

 

Click the picture.  Yay!  Double nerding!

Friday Film Review: Devil

Devil_film_2

I hope by now, people that read my film reviews realize they aren’t normal reviews.  Since I review things that [generally] have been out for a while, I don’t feel it’s necessary to give a “real” review.  To be honest, even if I was reviewing fresh in the theatres, I’d still do it this way.  Everyone’s a critic, so if you want “real” reviews with “meaning,” you can find them anywhere.

So, I didn’t really want to watch this movie because it looked boring, but then I watched the trailer, and decided I had high hopes for Devil.  Basically, the second I found out that one of the people in the elevator was going to turn out to be the devil, I wanted to watch it.  We love anything in which we can place bets on who lives until the end, and who ends up being the bad guy.  It makes the movie interactive.  This is why we can’t watch movies with people.

Zach and I put our bets in before the movie started.  Then, halfway through the second act, we readjusted our bets.  Then we split our bets. (Side note: we generally only place 2 bets – 1 before the movie starts, and a second around 30 mins into the movie) Basically, we were over-thinking it.  Our first bet (before the movie started) was actually the right one.  Go with your gut, guys.

Technical stuff:
The opening sequence was stupid.  Seriously.  The ONLY thing they could come up with to show the devil was among them was to shoot the city upside down?  Lazy.  And then the end, it showed the same footage right-side up.  Lazy again.  I GET IT THE DEVIL IS GONE SHEESH.  Also, the dialogue in the beginning and the end sequences was terrible.  It’s like, they couldn’t figure out how to set up the elevator stuff with all the people.  They needed to do a better job.

Story:
This movie is about how the devil walks among us and punishes us or something (I didn’t really catch that last part).  We are introduced to the main detective (Chris Messina) as he investigates a jumper from a tall building.  I have to hand it to them.  They made that particular part of the movie really complicated for absolutely no reason at all and wasted a lot of time on it.  It was solid though.  Then, people get into an elevator and people start dying.  The same detective gets brought in to investigate the elevator, and one of the security guards helping him is very religious (and also narrating the story).

I liked the idea of this movie, because I was told similar stories growing up.  I was even warned by my mother (who was warned by her mother) that the devil walks as one of us to tempt us.  I wasn’t sure if the story was meant to scare me, because I didn’t really know who Satan was as a child.  I thought he was a Bible salesman (long story).  Even though I had fun watching the movie, it kind of fell short for me.  It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  But it actually wasn’t very scary.  And literally everything scares me in scary movies.  I’m an easy scare.  I fall prey to all the traps.  I jump high, whimper, and yell out.  I’m the perfect audience.

But it didn’t really scare me.  They needed more creepy devil stuff, and less whiny drama.  To be fair, devil themed movies are actually the least scary for me – I just thought the claustrophobic elevator would be my downfall.

Favorite Line: “When he’s near, everything goes wrong. Toast falls jelly-side down, children hit tables, and people get hurt.” – Ramirez (security guard)

Favorite Scene: The scene with the quote.  He takes a piece of toast, throws it up in the air, and it falls jelly-side down.  The look on his face when it does, is priceless, making him the best actor of all time.  The detective looks at him, and you know he’s just thinking, “I’ve seen a lot of fucked up shit in my day, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”  We laughed all night about this scene.  Watch this movie just for this scene.

IMDB Stats:
Release: 2010
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Runtime: 80 mins
Rating: PG-13 (for throat stabbings, I’d imagine)

Currently streaming on Netflix.

If you like the satanic genre, I honestly haven’t seen a lot that are currently streaming on Netflix, except Rosemary’s Baby, which is a genuinely great film.  Here are my other recommendations that you could find elsewhere:

The Exorcist (classic, disturbing)
The Amityville Horror (honestly, take your pick of the original or remake, I’m not a snob, they are both just OK)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (I actually liked this one, it kind of scared me and made me “believe”)
The Blair Witch Project (It’s OK, it has its moments, but I think has a bad rap because of the bad press around it)
Poltergeist (another classic, you should see it, even if it’s just for the pop culture references)
The Conjuring (was this devil related?  I can’t remember, but I liked this movie, and will be seeing Annabelle, the spin-off movie)

And that’s all I have.  You’re on your own for devil movies!

A Short Post with a Crisp

Hi!  So yesterday, I put together a little list for Halloween stuff.  I also decided to experiment with roasted potatoes (but it needs improvement, I’ll post a recipe later) and then I made an amazing apple and pear crisp.  You can find the recipe HERE.  It’s another Gluten Free Goddess recipe, and in case you didn’t notice, I’m obsessed with her recipes.  She brings comfort food into gluten free eating, which is generally something us people can’t dive into freely without getting really sick.  Then, to top off the night, we sat down and watched Nightmare Before Christmas, and had a glorious time.  Our decorations indoors are mostly up, so now we will be concentrating on the outside.

I also think I’m starting to get cabin fever.  I have an intense desire to leave the house, but I don’t really have anywhere to go.  I run errands several times a week, but that kills my soul in a different way.  There aren’t great coffee shops around my city, and I doubt I want to take up morning drinking.  (I’m kidding, of course.  I will ALWAYS take up morning drinking!)  I think this means I need to visit the farmer’s market and pumpkin farms.  The weather is starting to get really cool, so I think that might be making me antsy.

This post will be short, because I have a lot to do today, unfortunately (getting the flu shot is one of those things – yikes!).  I’m going to get some fabric to make curtains, and I will try my best not to make a mockery out of sewing.  I’ve never done it before, not even a button, so I’m glad that I’ve decided to take on the task of doing something for the first time that will be prominently on display in our main living area.

I hope everyone is having a great beginning to their October, because we’re just getting started!

Until next time.

My Halloween Throw-Together Post!

Sorry, apparently I didn’t want to take the extra 30-60 seconds to try and come up with a more creative title.  But here it is!  My non-extensive list of all my favorite Halloween things!  Decor, recipes, movies… ALL THE THINGS.

Let’s start with food since I’m currently shoving my face full of it.  I will not overwhelm you with long lists, just a few things to try (despite my “all the things” claim).

RECIPES!

Breakfast:
Why not try this lovely gluten free pumpkin waffle?  I’m gluten free, so all my recipes will reflect such, but if you happen to love gluten, have no fear!  Add pumpkin (or sweet potato puree) to your favorite waffle recipe.  I’m currently eating leftovers for lunch of this waffle.  I threw it in the toaster and gobbled it up.  It’s delicious and filling.  It goes great with chicken and maple sausage.

Lunch:
It’s my own warm salad recipe.  Sorry, I unfortunately haven’t made it yet this year, so I don’t have any pictures yet, but as soon as I make it again, I’ll re-post my recipe.
Ingredients:
Salad
2 cups quinoa
Couple handfuls of baby spinach
1 can garbanzo beans, toasted in olive oil and salt in the oven – 20 mins (toss halfway through)
1 cup pecan halves, toasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, brown sugar (sprinkle over), and cumin – 20 mins (toss halfway through)
Dressing
4 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP Pure maple syrup
3 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
Directions
Cook up quinoa. Shake up the dressing in a small jar, or mix well in a bowl.  Toss all ingredients together with dressing, adding the spinach last.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Dinner:
Another easy favorite of mine.  Easy Crock Pot chili (I’ll add a recipe page for this later too).
Ingredients:
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
2 small cans of jalapenos
1 1/2 tsp chili
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 can water
1/4 cup stout beer (optional)
Directions:
Add all ingredients together in a slow cooker, using only the juice of the cans of the jalapenos.  Mix well and set for 6 or 8 hours.  Serve with your favorite corn bread (mine is Pamela’s gluten free mix).

MOVIES!

My all-time favorite thing to do during October – watch spooky movies!  So grab some hot cocoa, or something pumpkin flavored, your favorite snuggly blanket, and try one of these:

Scared Shrekless: This is seriously my favorite Halloween “movie.”  I know, it’s for kids, but I think it’s hilarious, and I really adore the Shrek world.  It’s not very scary, so it’s perfect for little kids, or if you want a silly laugh after your terrifying slasher, pull this one out.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!: This isn’t exactly my FAVORITE, but I feel obligated to watch in on Halloween every year.  Somehow, I just don’t feel complete without it.  And it’s depressing!

The Nightmare Before Christmas:  We are watching this one tonight to officially ring in the Halloween season.  Not only is this movie fun, but it’s beautiful and the music is magical.  I’m jealous I don’t live in Halloweentown!

Sleepy Hollow: We’ve actually already watched this one for the year, we couldn’t wait.  It’s fun, spooky (maybe a little too much for little ones!) and even a bit of a murder mystery is involved!

The Frighteners: I watched this for the first time last year, and I must say, I loved it.  It’s on Netflix, if you haven’t seen it.  It’s a tad dated, but it’s actually not too bad after the beginning sequence.  It’s rated R, but there isn’t anything too over the top in it (I think the rating is mostly language, to be honest).

A Tale of Two Sisters:  This one doesn’t have a rating, but it’s spooky as hell.  It’s an Asian horror flick, and my all-time favorite.  There’s a mystery and twist ending.  It’s not overly violent, and there’s just enough scare in it to keep you white knuckling it the whole movie.  The acting and writing is great, and so are the special effects (they don’t show too much!).

The Happiness of the Katakuris:  If you want a zombie musical, here you go.  It’s campy, weird, a little morbid, and not too scary.  If you don’t know Japanese, you’ll wish you did, because the songs are incredibly catchy.

White: The Melody of the Curse:  Sorry, this is the last of my Asian recommendations (for this year, muahahahaha!).  This is a great Korean movie with the whole “rage ghost” theme (think The Ring and The Grudge).  But in my opinion, they did it best with this movie.  I thought it was going to be a little dumb, because it’s about a Kpop group that sings a haunted song, but it’s really scary and fun.  The song is catchy too, you’ll be humming it all night.

Psycho:  I don’t watch this every year, but I love it.  Despite being made over 50 years ago, this movie still scares audiences.  I got the pleasure of showing it to Zach for the first time a few years ago, and he actually didn’t know the ending AND WAS SURPRISED!  That’s rare, and amazing!

American Werewolf in London:  I’m not really big on “monster” movies, but this is one of my favorites.  It holds up well, the wolf makeup is great, and I’d fit it into the “dark comedy” category.

 

DECORATIONS!

OK, so I don’t have a lot to put here right now (I’ll have some DIY projects up later), but I wanted to give some of my tips for doing up the spooky decor.  Since everyone has a different decorating style, I think these tips can be easily adapted for any needs.

1. Shop the thrift stores.  Especially in metropolitan areas, or high-end neighborhoods.  I’ve found some really beautiful pieces at thrift stores, including a cookie jar that I got for $5 that is gorgeous and the #1 thing people ask me about.

2. Shop after the holiday.  If you really need something new or want to build your collection faster, shop the Halloween stores after Halloween.  After a week, you’re going to get thrift store prices for new stuff.  Michael’s also does AMAZING sales after the season.  Stock up your carts!

3. DIY when you can.  What pisses me off more than anything are wreaths.  Seriously, THAT wreath is $50???  It looks like a 1st grade art project.  Wreaths are easy to make, and make them affordable.  So go to a craft shop, buy a plain wreath for $5, and decorate it yourself.  I promise, even if you’re not crafty, yours will look better than the ones I’ve been seeing in stores.  You just need a hot glue gun to make your life easier.

 

Well, I think that’s it for now!  I’ll be spattering Halloween tips and updates the entire month, so if you’re not really into Halloween, you should have left this blog long ago.  Share your favorite tips, recipes and movies with me!  I love finding new things for my favorite holiday.

Until next time.