Monday, March 31, 2014

Oh the Horror // March


It's been months since I've done a recap post of my favorite horror films from throughout the month for a few reasons. My schedule no longer allows time for endless amounts of movie watching, which sucks, but honestly it's mostly because I've been on a major TV show kick lately. Like really major. When I do find the time to stream some mindless entertainment, I've been taking advantage of the great shows Netflix has to offer rather than movies (The Office, The X Files and Lost, mostly). Plus there's been current seasons of The Walking Dead and The Following to keep up with, and you know, priorities.

However, that doesn't mean my love of guts and gore is gone by any stretch of the imagination, and for the past few weeks I've really tried to squeeze in at least one new (to me) horror movie per week. My hiatus from horror land has played out pretty perfectly, as I was actually able to find tons of movies I haven't seen for the first time in years. Zing! So yeah. Here's this month's favorites, you creeps.

We Are What We Are (2013)


I'm a sucker for movies about cannibalistic clans, so We Are What We Are naturally caught my attention when I browsing through the horror tag on Netflix. A remake of Mexico's Somos lo que hay, We Are What We Are is a beautiful and creepy (though at times slow paced) story about a crazy patriarch who will go to any extreme to preserve and protect his family's ancient cannibalistic customs. His two daughters are forced to play along while a raging rainstorm starts washing up all the evidence of their family crimes, and a pesky town coroner starts digging a little too deep to solve the mystery of his daughter's disappearance. 

The acting in this movie was pretty top notch, though most of the film played out more like a drama than a traditional horror film. The build up is a little slow, but it's well worth the wait when the story finally reaches its climax at the end. If you have an evening to kill and are a fan of dark, independent flicks, I highly recommend giving this one a try. 

Contracted (2013)


Contracted made me imagine feeling lots of terrible things (maggots, mostly) in places I never, ever want to feel them. After a one night stand being roofied and raped at a party (sorry IMDB, your synopsis is inaccurate and sucks), Sam (Najarra Townsend) develops a strange ailment that at first appears to be a strange STD, but turns out to be something much more sinister. This movie was disgusting and uncomfortable, the makeup and special effects were incredible and it was mildly entertaining to watch a pretty girl rot away until she looked like a walking anti meth billboard over the course of a few hours while I was house sitting this week. 

That said, the ick factor was really the only thing this movie had going for it, as the writing was pretty terrible and I swear Eric England went out of his way to create some of the most idiotic characters in the history of the body horror subgenre. SPOILER ALERT: Seriously, if you watch this you'll spend half the movie yelling at the screen and trying to figure out why everyone seems so fucking nonchalant about their friend/girlfriend/daughter's face rotting off while her fingernails are falling out. You'll question how a gynecologist manages to stay in practice whilst never performing a pelvic examination, and you'll wonder what kind of weird alternate reality this film takes place in where the CDC and quarantines apparently don't exist. Most of all though, you'll probably hate the ending. I did. 

Alyce Kills (2011)


Of all the films I watched this month, Alyce Kills was easily my favorite. Honestly, I'm not sure how this tale of fatal friendship and drug-driven insanity flew under my radar for so long. After accidentally pushing her best friend off a roof, Alyce flies into a rampage of sex and murder, sleeping with skeevy drug dealers and killing seemingly anyone who gets in her path.

The cinematography was probably my favorite aspect of Alyce Kills, and the visuals helped keep the story interesting during some of the duller parts. This review of the film on Blood Sprayer really sums things up better than I can, so I'll just leave you with that.

Devil's Pass (2013)


The Dyatlov Pass Incident is quite possibly the creepiest mysterious accident to occur in modern history. It's a stranger than fiction story that quite literally sounds like it was ripped straight from a horror movie (don't believe me? Click that link) so I suppose it was only a mater of time until it was used as source material for, you know, a horror movie. That horror movie is Devil's Pass, a found footage style film that follows a group of college students as they retrace the steps of the ill fated skiers while making a documentary on the infamous "Mountain of the Dead."

This movie made the list because I loved it! And by "loved it," I of course mean "loved to hate it." I'm confused about how a film with such excellent source material could suck so badly. I spent most of the movie reblogging GIFS of Giuseppe Andrews on Tumblr because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get into it. And then SPOILER ALERT teleporting mutants suddenly showed up and the already shit film somehow fell to even further shit, and that's pretty much when I gave up and turned it off. Bummer.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Favorites 3.28.14


I wish Z and I could move in together like yesterday so I'd have a home to decorate with macabre wall art like this nifty skull piece. Seriously, other than the actual living together part, I think I'm most excited about having four walls to cover in creepy odds and ends. Thankfully, we share similar taste so I highly doubt he'll complain. 


After seeing this beautiful tarantula fang necklace, I think I'd love to make something similar once my LunaTone moults.


My niece is growing up fast. Like super fast. Like so fast she's 6 months old and 12 month sized pants are too short for her. My sister has been going crazy trying to keep up with her growth spurts and keep her baby in clothes that fit, so I'm pretty stoked to try making a pair of these DIY baby leggings so my niece can finally have warm ankles and Brynn can finally rest easy at night. 


I have no idea what I'd do with a novelty telescope, but it sure looks cool.

This gorgeous journal makes me wish I was able to travel more so I'd have a reason to use it. Who know though, I'm sure I could find a nifty way to repurpose it


Grilled cheese is pretty much my favorite easy comfort food, and I'm always trying to think of new ingredients to mix it up a bit when I get sick of you know, just cheese on bread. I usually take the easy way out and throw in a few slices of avocado or tomato, but holy wow this pear and sharp cheddar concoction looks like something I need to try ASAP -- though I think it might be better with gouda.

Side note: My boss recently commented that she only sees me eat "kid food," which I suppose from her perspective seems totally true since she really only sees me eat Poptarts, macaroni and cheese pizza without any toppings while I'm sitting at my desk. I promise I (sometimes) eat healthy, "grown up" food, but I guess it's true that my most of favorites haven't changed much since I was 10, and that includes grilled cheese. End side note. I'm lame.


And here's an adorable GIF of a baby bat to start your weekend off right!

Watched This:
Game of Thrones in 1 Take in 9 Minutes // The Fine Brothers -- This video perfectly recaps everything from the first three seasons just in time for the show's return in one short (but extremely long feeling) week.
Read This:
'I'd Rather Be Dissected': Why Would I Donate My Body to Science // Aeon
Dissecting the Living: Vivisection in Early Modern England // The Chirugeon's Apprentice
(Okay...apparently my bedtime reading this week heavily involved stories of human dissection. Not intentional. I promise I'm not a serial killer).
Listened to This:
It's a Hit // We Are Scientists -- We are Scientists has been one of my favorite bands since I was 16, and I'm *finally* seeing them live in one month.
The Mariner's Revenge Song // The Decemberists

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wishlist // Stitch & Bitch

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

After a long day of dealing with cranky school secretaries and crazy, hyperactive kiddos, nothing helps me unwind better than a ball of yarn and a pair of needles (though a bottle or two of Angry Orchard certainly doesn't hurt). Since teaching myself to knit at the beginning of the year, it's become my new favorite hobby and I've found I actually prefer it miles above crochet, which I've been doing since I was a kid. Knitting just seems to be more versatile and fitting for the types of projects I enjoy making. I have a million works in progress hanging out in my yarn bag at the moment, and I'll eventually get around to sharing some of them here, I'm sure.

Since I quit smoking, the majority of the money I used to spend on cigarettes has been spent on yarn instead. I ordered an ungodly amount of yarn in February, and my Knitpicks wishlist is officially giving my Amazon wishlist a run for it's money in terms of size. While I now have enough wool to clothe a small army in granny squares and cabled sweaters, I'm desperately hurting for quality supplies and accessories that will keep my boyfriend's shedding Huskita's fur far, far away from my beloved knits. The above are some of the things I'm eyeballing currently, because for real, $2.50 Hobby Lobby brand needles and a plastic grocery sack just aren't cutting it anymore.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

26


This handsome dude turned 26 today! We celebrated with all-you-can-eat sushi and I officially ate my weight in vegetable gyoza and avocado rolls. Zack is a pretty introverted and mellow person, so a low-key birthday lunch with close friends and family was the perfect way to spend the day. His gift still hasn't arrived, so I can't tell you what I got him, but suffice it to say, it's just as odd as he is ;)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Postcard & Keys


Antiquing is something I don't feel like I get to do nearly enough because it tends to be expensive -- and this is especially true when you're on the hunt for vintage prosthetic limbs, articulated skeletons and teeth, it would seem. In case you didn't know, being a weirdo is hard, you guys. Antique shops are the one place I feel like an asshole window shopping in thanks to a local shop owner who once told me (rather bluntly) that I should go to the museum if I just want to look at stuff, so I've essentially stopped visiting unless I know I have extra cash to spare. A few weeks ago was such an occasion, and I got to spend the day with my favorite guy at one my favorite antique malls for the first time in ages.

Admittedly, it was far from the best day I've ever had antiquing because I acquired very little despite a day of rummaging through dust covered shelves and tattered boxes, but I'm still extremely pleased with my finds. I spent well over an hour sorting through vintage photographs looking for odd ones to add to my collection before I finally stumbled across this gem.


Titled "The Burial," it was sent on May 19, 1913 by a woman named Maggie to another woman addressed only as "Miss Hay" in Berkshire, England. The front features a photograph of a little girl clutching what appears to be a dead bird while a shovel rests on the ground beside her. Despite the rather somber photograph on the front, the beautiful scrawling handwriting on the back details some pretty mundane details from Maggie's daily life. She tells Miss Hay she feels bad for not visiting more often and asks for a man named Cyril's address because apparently he's been feeling down. I have no idea how this century old postcard managed to make it from a small village in Berkshire to a suburb in Colorado, or how it managed to remain in impeccable condition for all this time, but I'm glad it's found a new, loving home in my collection.

My other purchases aren't nearly as exciting -- or old, for that matter. After the antique mall, Zack and I drove downtown to visit Flossy McGrew's, a local oddity shop that we were sad to find is temporarily out of business because the owner passed away. The trip wasn't for nothing, though. We stopped into an antique hardware store next door and it turns out the son of the former Flossy's owner is currently running it. We spent the afternoon chatting with him about his plans to relocate and eventually reopen Flossy's, and he showed us tons of amazing vintage taxidermy that was part of his mother's collection. Before we left, I purchased these replica keys because you know, no window shopping and all that. I'm not entirely sure what I plan to do with them since they were more of an impulse/guilt purchase than anything else, but I'm sure they'll look nice on a necklace or something.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kiss Off


This past Saturday I finally got the chance to celebrate my birthday with some of my closest friends and favorite coworkers. I got properly wasted on $3 Long Island Ice Teas and free Kamikaze shots before proceeding to belt out some Violent Femmes at a Czech karaoke bar. While I was initially bummed about having to reschedule, it was well worth the wait and was by far one of the best nights I've had in years.

Since I knew I would likely spend the majority of the evening slurring my speech and squinting my eyes, I had Meg take a few photos of my outfit before we left the house. We normally have a tradition of dressing up for our birthday outings, but this year I just wasn't feeling it and wore one of my favorite everyday outfits instead. I scored this crop top on Black Friday for a mere $1.25 and the skirt for $5. Not pictured are combat boots I essentially live in and a pair of tights I'm fairly certain I've owned since I was 14 or 15.

Top: Charlotte Russe // Skirt: Forever 21 // Hat: Thrifted 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Favorites 3.7.14


Who else is insanely excited for the premiere/return of Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey this Sunday? Anyone, anyone? I'm super digging these prints by Juxtified on Etsy. You can find the Carl Sagan one here and the Neil deGrasse Tyson one here. Bonus! If you buy them both, you get a third print free! Personally, I'd go for this one.


These baby doll head planters are so creepy... and of course I mean that in the best way possible.



I can't wait for the weather to warm up enough to bust out my summer dresses. I'm currently eyeballing this one and this one.


You know one of my biggest ambitions in life is to live in a haunted (or at least haunted looking) house, right? Well I would totally settle for a spooky little cottage like this one instead.


Nothing on the Etsy homepage ever catches my eye. Well... almost never. These stunning stone necklaces definitely grabbed my attention when they were featured earlier this week. I'm honestly not much of an accessory person, but I'm really trying to incorporate more jewelry and other odds and ends into my outfits these days.


Hey! I'll trade you my first born child for this antique embalming aspirating kit. Deal?

Watched This:
"Godzilla" Official Trailer // Youtube -- I grew up watching the originals while building model airplanes with my best friend and I had the biggest baby crush on Matthew Broderick in the 1998 remake. So yeah. It's only natural for me to be jazzed about another reboot of this monster classic, yeah?
Read This:
Why Is Supernatural Horror So Hard to Get Right? // Bloody Disgusting
The Six Most Disturbing Books I Have Ever Read // Unreality Mag
Listened to This:
"Untitled" // Interpol
"I Summon You" // Spoon
"This Charming Man" // The Smiths

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

LunaTone


Last Friday, I stopped by one of my favorite reptile shops to pick up some crickets for my mourning geckos on my way home from work. I wasn't feeling very well and almost decided to pass on the shopping excursion to go straight home, but I felt guilty making the lizards wait another day to eat so I sucked it up and went. As I was pulling out my wallet to pay for a handful of pinheads, a small container in the display case caught my eye. In a flash of orange, black and white, I had to blink a few times to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was, and I had to read the label twice to make sure my imagination wasn't playing tricks on me. Alas, I was definitely seeing things correctly -- I was looking directly at a sub-adult female Brachypelma smithi, you know, the tarantula I've spent months looking for.

Since I started seriously looking into getting another tarantula about six months ago, I've been extremely firm in what I wanted as well as extremely unlucky in finding it. I've stumbled across a total of three Mexican Redknees in the last six months -- two were unsexed spiderlings and the other was a fully grown female selling for close to $400 I didn't have to spare. But right there in the display case was a female juvie priced rather modestly at $150 -- and it just so happened that I had received exactly $150 in birthday money just two days before. Score!

Needless to say, the decision to purchase this little lady took all of 0.002 seconds, though I did ask for permission to hold her before handing over the cash. She was a little skittish coming out of her container, but sat nicely in my hands and didn't try to kick hairs or rear up at me. In the past few days, I've gotten to know her pretty well and have successfully transferred her into a temporary setup until I can order a nice acrylic enclosure from Jamie's Tarantulas. She's extremely docile -- though she gets spooked rather easily -- and I've named her LunaTone. Yes, I'm aware this is the name of a rather unfortunate looking Pokemon, but it's also the name of one of my favorite Tiger Army songs, which happens to be her actual namesake. 

I can't wait to share more photos of this sweet spider as she gets bigger! She looks deceptively large in photos. In reality, she's only about 1/3 of her adult size right now, and will get much, much bigger in the years to come. Those pretty bands of coloring on her legs will also get brighter and more pronounced with age.


I know many people aren't exactly fans of spiders, but if you're following along with my blog I hope you can at least appreciate how much I already love this little arachnid and how excited I am that she's mine. I've had acquaintances make some fairly crude comments about her and past spiders I've owned on Facebook and in person, and while I can respect that everyone is entitled to their own opinion I find it rather inappropriate when people refer to my pets as "gross" or threaten them with bodily harm. In other words, if you don't have anything nice to say, go read a different, tarantula-free post :) Thanks!

Monday, March 3, 2014

24 Before 25


I've spent the first few days of my 24th year of life hiding in bed with peppermint tea, tofu noodle soup and Netflix thanks to a nasty stomach bug that's forced me to ditch out on work -- and cancel my own birthday party. Gross. While I may feel like complete and utter crap right now, I'm determined to make this year awesome. Inspired by similar birthday goal lists I've seen floating around the Internet, I decided to come up with my own little list of things I'd like to do and accomplish before my next birthday to really help me make the most of the next 365 days. As it stands now, I have a job I love, my finances are stable, I'm surrounded by incredible people and for the first time since becoming an adult, I have the means and the time to pursue my passions and try new hobbies on for size. My goal list definitely reflects this change in pace from years past -- with a few major, life changing aspirations thrown in for good measure, and I'm excited to share a little bit of what I have planned for this year with you today.

Go back to school -- for real this time // Call me the queen of excuses, seriously. Semester after semester, I've failed to register for classes because of the commute, the time commitment, the fear of failure, whatever. No mas. I'll be enrolling for the summer semester and will finally be on my way toward becoming a funeral director by the time June rolls around.

Find and move into a house with Zack // After nearly eight years of friendship and three years of dating, we both feel it's finally time to commit and live together full-time. We're casually looking at houses in and around Denver now, but within the next few months the search will be thrown into high gear and we're hoping to have a little house of our own by late summertime.

Stay smoke free and develop healthier habits // As I'm writing this, it's been 20 days since I've had a cigarette. I had a go at quitting last year that failed, but this time I'm determined that cancer sticks and I will never, ever, ever be getting back together. While I'm at it, I'm also trying to cut back on caffeine and focus on being more physically active. It's amazing how cutting out one vice seems to make the whole task of getting healthier seem a million times easier.

Get a memorial tattoo for my Nana -- and visit her grave // My Nana was one of my best friends and was easily one of the most important people in my life. When she passed away in 2010, a huge void was left behind for me that I still haven't really come to terms with. This year, I'm planning to get an epic memorial tattoo to give me a visual reminder of the impact this incredible woman had on me, and I will be taking a day trip out to visit her grave in Fort Morgan.

Read 52 books // A book a week? Challenge accepted.

Sew 10 skirts or dresses -- and learn how to use my sewing machine // Despite being an avid sewer since I was a teenager, I've never had access to a sewing machine so I've always had to do everything by hand. Last year, I inherited a machine that belonged to my Nana, and I plan to put it to good use by making myself some nice new skirts and dresses for when the weather warms up.

Volunteer at a farm animal sanctuary // One of my ultimate pipe dreams is to open my own sanctuary for abandoned, abused or neglected farm animals.  Seriously, I don't think anything in the world could possibly make me happier. In the meantime, I want to start regularly committing some of my free time to helping out at one of the existing sanctuaries here in Colorado.

Hike 100 50 Miles // When I wrote my list on paper, 100 seemed like a realistic goal based on the amount of hiking I've done in years past. After thinking it over, however, and realizing I no longer have weekday availability for hikes, I'm thinking 50 miles is much more attainable.

Knit or crochet a blanket // I've been knitting like crazy since teaching myself last month, but so far I've only tackled small projects like scarves and dishcloths. In all my years of crocheting, I've pretty much stuck to the same kind of stuff. This year, it's go big or go home, and I'd love to make an enormous, bedspread style blanket. Here's a few of the patterns I'm thinking about tackling 1 // 2 // 3

Go on at least one road trip with Meg // We've been best friends for 12 years and have never gone on a real road trip together. We were supposed to drive out to Arizona to see Tiger Army together in April, but the tour got canceled so a Plan B is in the works.

Start a flower and vegetable garden // A garden is one of my top priorities once we find a house, and I can't wait to fill it with lovely flowers and start growing some fresh food.

Write a submit a short story for publication in an anthology // I've had the rough draft of a short story idea gathering virtual dust on my desktop for over a year. I will finish it this year, and I'm hoping to submit it to an anthology publication around Halloween.

Start learning a second language // Zack and I have been talking about learning Japanese together, but I'm also considering giving Russian a go.

Grow and tend a Bonsai tree without killing it // I've always been fascinated with the beauty of Bonsai trees but far too intimidated to try growing and caring for one myself. I'm planning to take a Bonsai class at the Botanic Gardens so I can finally get into this hobby after dreaming about it for years.

Collect, copy, print and organize family photos // There are literally thousands of photos going back five generations sitting in my Poppa's basement right now, and it makes me sad that they're cooped up in the dark instead of being out in the light and enjoyed by my family. I'm really hoping to at least start on making copies of them for everyone or organizing them digitally to preserve my family's history forever.

Expand my collections -- oddities, tarantulas, books, etc // Those who follow me on Instagram know I've already managed to acquire an absolutely amazing new addition to one of these collections ;) For those who don't, I'll be sharing photos of my new baby on the blog in the next few days.

Spend a day as a tourist in my own city // I never realize how incredible Denver is until I start talking about it to people who've never been here. One day this year, I want to go full-on tourist in my own town and check out local attractions that I've failed to visit.

Attend at least three expos, festivals or conventions // I've currently got my heart set on Frozen Dead Guy Days, Repticon and the Mile High Horror Film Festival, but who knows where the year will take me.

Start, keep and complete an art journal // Art journals are beautiful and inspiring. I want one of my own.

Visit seven new cemeteries or abandoned places // Colorado is filled with beautiful ghost towns and Georgia is filled with stunning cemeteries. Between living in one of these states and frequently visiting the other, I;m sure I'll find no shortage of places to get my creep on.

Learn, perfect and record 10 new ukulele covers // It's been awhile since I've shared a ukulele cover on the blog, but I'd love to make this a regular feature in the future.

Improve and strengthen relationships with everyone I love // Ask my boyfriend, my parents, my best friend or my sister. I'm at times a difficult person to get along with, and I can be a serious pain in the ass. But life is short and you only get one shot at making shit count, so this year I really want to work on improving my relationships and being a better daughter/sister/girlfriend/aunt/friend to everyone.

Make a legitimate effort to blog more // Despite regularly neglecting this site, I really do love it. I feel like I constantly have a million ideas and plans for posts that never materialize, and that makes me rather sad. Even if I'm only able to commit to one post per week, that's more than I've been posting.

Continue improving my mental health and live a happier, more productive and fulfilling life that I can be proud of // I don't really talk about it on the blog because mental health stuff sucks, but I've struggled with major depression for nearly half my life and I've been participating in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for BPD since last July. It's been slow going pulling myself out of repetitive negative thinking patterns that feel hardwired into my brain and learning to break terrible habits that are essentially second nature at this point, but I'm finally in a place where recovery feels possible and I'm content with the progress I've made. I want to continue with therapy, keep up with my homework, better implement the coping techniques I've learned and just be a happier, more productive and more emotionally stable person overall. 
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