Enter your email address to follow this blog via email.

Join 3,537 other followers

Welcome to my Nightmare

1alice4

Around this time of year people often pose the question: what’s your worst nightmare? For me, something horrible happening to my son, and the rest of my family and friends.

My nightmares, when I actually sleep, are few, but they all start the same, running. Not jogging, all comfy shoes and music, but frantic, desperate, trying-to-get-away-from-something-running. I’m not scared of the running, but of what I’m running from. Maybe that’s why I love to walk, little chance I’m leisurely strolling away from a zombie, vampire, alien, mass murderer, serial killer, etc., right?
Luckily in the nightmares my son is usually running ahead of me; he’s fast, so he makes it.

I know what you’re doing right now…hopefully reading this:

1. The origins of Halloween are ancient and include: sacrifices, celebrating Harvest, fairies, demons, feasts, Druids, Celts, scaring away spirits, appeasing spirits, passion, death, and so much more…and this is for children now, hmmm.

2. In Medieval England hearing an owl’s call meant someone was about to die, well, duh, it was Medieval England, of course someone was about to die.

3. Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween so why does no one drink green beer on October 31st?

4. Harry Houdini died on Halloween 1926…coincidence?

5. We have carved: beets, turnips, potatoes, and pumpkins for Halloween, weird amount of veggies for a candy holiday.

6. Safety first, sadly, children are twice as likely to be killed in or by a car on Halloween.

7. Some animals shelters have stopped adoptions of black cats near Halloween, because people sacrifice them. What is wrong with…sigh, I have no words.1alice18. Orange symbolizes: Harvest, Fall, and strength. Black implies darkness and death, including the death of summer…I just like wearing it.

9.Witch comes from wicce which means wise woman. I know a lot of witches.

10. Halloween can cause poor behaviour and deindividualization. In costume, together, people care less about consequences of individual actions; doing things they normally wouldn’t do alone.

1alice311. The Michael Myers mask in 1978’s Halloween was actually a William Shatner mask. And now he has a renovation show, William Shatner, not Michael Myers although it’s reality TV so who knows?

12. Some suggestions for definitely too-soon Halloween costumes: Sexy Hazmat suits, zombie Robin Williams, terrorist, Ray Rice dragging a doll…just don’t.

13. Halloween has had many names: All Hallows Evening, All Hallows Eve, Samhain, Witches Night, Lambswool, Haunting Night, Summer’s End, Snap-Apple Night, wait, doesn’t that last one just sound like Snapple Night? Mmmm, Snapple.

And if you inadvertently find yourself in a horror movie this Halloween, here’s some help: http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/


Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

 
1bella5
 It’s that time of year again, when a young girls’ fancy turns to thoughts of witchcraft. Oh, you may never be Hermione or Endora, Regina, Melisandre, Ursula, Circe, The Weird Sisters, The Bell Witch, Freya, Griselda, the Halliwell sisters, Morgan Le Fay, Maleficent, Willow, Princess Fire Witch, The Blair Witch, Marnie, The White Witch, Sabrina, The Wicked Witch of the West, Tabitha Lenox, or Bellatrix Lestrange, but don’t get discouraged, I’m sure Samantha didn’t twitch her nose the first time and have the world at her feet.

1. Hang out with toads, not frogs – the only thing you’ll get from them is a Prince.

2. Practice cackling, not some weak little chortle, full on cackling. You need to represent.

3. Dancing naked under a full moon takes some working up to. Start small, dancing around your room naked under a full moon, no need to jump into anything.

4. To coven or not to coven. Don’t even get me started, am I right?

5. Depending on the kind of witch you wish to be, you’ll either step away from the hair products, or spend too much time with them. 

6. Familiars? Is that even still a thing? Yet you can never go wrong with a little black cat and heels.

7. Spells. It’s all about the supplier, keep asking around, wholesale eye of newt, you can never have enough.1bella68. Follow instructions. You want to be remembered for all time, not cast out for a spell gone wrong.

9. Keep a book of spells, you never know when you’ll get offered a TV show.

10. Like black? You’re way ahead for witch fashion. Experiment, be wild, you may only live a couple thousand years – enjoy!

11. Think higher, brooms aren’t just for sweeping nowadays.

12. Where are you going with this? Not just North, South, East, West, but do you want to be a good witch or bad? Don’t let past life memories confuse you, be yourself, don’t let anyone or anything confuse which witch you wish to be.

13. Set goals. Where do you see yourself in 5 centuries?

1bella2Halloween only comes once a year for humans, but some contracts last even longer than a cell phone contract, so choose wisely.


Supernatural Calgon Take Me Away!

1bane10The supernatural has intrigued humans for all long as anyone can remember, but does anyone think of their side of the story? Do supernatural creatures ever get a chance to just kick back and enjoy life?
They seem too busy conjuring, hunting, and doing evil to just enjoy the little things. Maybe they should visit a supernatural spa, take a long supernatural walk, enjoy a stunning supernatural sunset, or read a supernatural book, give themselves a supernatural break.
Instead they enrage already angry mobs, dodge bullets, arrows, demon hunters! Avoiding being burned at the stake or getting a stake through the heart! Avoiding the sun, salt, garlic, silver, conflict with others in various realms – there’s a lot of avoidance behaviour there.
Just seems exhausting.
They must feel like saying, Supernatural Calgon take me away!
They just don’t seem like they get a lot of time to themselves.
So they’re creepy but are they happy?

1bane15

None of that explains why we like the supernatural, superstition, mysticism, religion, etc. so much.
Does scaring ourselves let us come to terms with our fears in a sort of safe mode?
Can we sense the supernatural in the natural world and we’re trying to make sense of it?
Perhaps it’s the illusion of control? To believe in supernatural causality, that somehow one thing causes another to happen without any natural process between them, perhaps it’s comforting.1bane8

In the spirit of Halloween I’ve been reading creepy and kooky and sometimes even spooky books, including The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson (Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster), a sort of spin-off from The Mortal Instruments series where Bane (not one of my top characters at least in this series, but these historical follies were amusing), an immortal warlock goes on a supernatural bar hop scavenger hunt through time.  I got a chuckle from the inference that he’s the reason we have the idiom, Bane of my existence…hmmm, I suppose that could refer to Batman’s Bane as well. But I digress…

Of course, reading this made me wonder even more why we can’t get enough of stories of: warlocks, witches, zombies, aliens, demons, demon hunters, ghosts, angels, monsters, fallen angels, werewolves, vampires and other supernatural beings?
Do we need to put a face and a name on the things that go bump in the night?
Try to calm the inner turmoil caused by our fight or flight response?
Or is dressing up at Halloween and scaring ourselves with movies, books, TV now merely entertainment?

This Halloween think of our supernatural friends…I know they’ll be thinking of you!


Canada – Still The True North Strong and Free

1canada5There are days you remember vividly, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes because they are heart-wrenching. The news is full of doom and gloom: Ebola, Chikungunya virus, D-68, violence, invasion, rape, torture, murder, corruption, and apparently news and social media think it’s extremely important to know Renee Zellweger’s face has changed, although I have no idea why I would care, it’s not my face.  Here in Canada members of our Armed Forces were attacked, two senselessly murdered on Canadian soil and Parliament Hill breached. While I’m not surprised or shocked, I am saddened.

Terror has controlled us and our actions for many years now. The moment governments stopped serving and caring for the best interests’ of their citizens, we were lost. Attack ads, partisanship – politicians, the media, social media, and people spend so much time in ‘gotcha’ moments instead of honesty and respect.

We can’t overcome hate with hate. We can’t win by fighting or piling up flowers, candles, teddy bears, and flags while ignoring that our politicians care more about corporations, millionaires, promoting their own ideology, and catching their opponents gaffes than they do about the well-being of their citizens. We simply can’t wring our hands, post platitudes, complain, argue, not vote, and accept this is the new normal. Canada is better than that. I hope there are still Canadians who are better than that. We need to find out why some youths are susceptible to brainwashing. Maybe they see the extreme inequality and the future is bleak for so many. Perhaps they’ve been groomed by corporations marketing to them with brainwashing methods from such a young age. Maybe they’re ill. But calling them terrorists and monsters or pretending it’s not happening isn’t going to change it; until we find out the why, we have to brace ourselves for more of the same or worse.

Terror has been on all our shores for a long time, worming it’s way in with weapons of: rudeness, abuse, fear, drama, partisanship, machinations, lying, scandal, rumours, corruption, manipulation, dogma, bullying, inequality, blame, disrespect, and all those ‘gotcha’ moments. We can change. Do not ever, ever let them tell you it can’t be done or that’s just the way it is. Expect more from our leaders and ourselves.

 We shouldn’t focus just on those who do harm, but always remember those who help, who protect, and those who do good in this world. They deserve our focus.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who have died; and to anyone suffering.

“My friends, love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.”~Jack Layton1canada6


My Fair Munster

1addams1Married in 1865 Herman and Lily Munster had a love that was timeless.

With Universal Studios as producer, The Munsters were able to use classic monster images to which they added running gags, including the central theme that they considered themselves just an average, middle-class family to make a typical sitcom into a brilliantly campy classic.

Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster, Frankenstein’s monster/joke-cracking suburban Dad was electric. Yvonne De Carlo as a blood-sucking Donna Reedesque PTA Mom was inspired. Add cool cars, pets, a young werewolf, older vampire and of course, the family oddball, the ‘plain’ niece, Marilyn, and they had a runaway hit.

1addams22

What I could piece together about The Munsters:

1313 Mockingbird Lane has been used in many TV series and movies in various forms including Desperate Housewives.

Spot was alleged to be a fire-breathing T Rex, not a dragon.

The Munsters and The Addams Family ran concurrently, 1964-1966. The Munsters had higher ratings, but was knocked out by Batman, in colour. Kapow!

Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis were in Car 54, Where Are You? together before The Munsters. Gwynne says “Car 54, Where Are You?” in the Munster Go Home! film.

Herman worked at Gateman, Goodbury & Grave Funeral Parlor. The spooky John Carradine played Mr. Gateman.

Fred Gwynne continued acting, including Jud Crandall in Stephen King’s Pet Semetary (I guess you could say Gage was his Achilles’ Heel) and who could forget his conversation with Joe Pecsi about the ‘yutes’ in My Cousin Vinny.

Pat Priest replaced Beverley Owen as Marilyn Munster after episode 13; the two were so similar most people didn’t even notice.

Butch Patrick played himself, dressed as Eddie Munster in The Simpsons in 1999.

1addams3Fred Gwynne’s costume weighed about 50lbs and filming in black & white they had to use violet face paint to catch the light.

The Munsters did have a certain built-in charm.


Hide and Shriek with The Addams Family

1addams6Those famous finger snaps, and like Pavlov’s pups so many of us are transported into The Addams Family mansion.

Growing up I always thought maybe I’d been switched at birth with The Addams Family; I don’t believe I was the only person in my family who felt the same.

For me,  John Astin brought the Charles Addams cartoons to life with his irresistible paranormal charm.

Though wealthy, The Addams Family macabre eccentricity caused them to live as outcasts; it was a role they seemed to relish. They were also portrayed as close-knit, respectful, and loving. This satirical translation of an ideal American family may not have lasted long, but their influence refuses to give up the ghost, including: movies (the best with Raul Julia, Anjelica Houston, Christina Ricci, Carol Kane, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack, etc.), cartoons, books, games, musicals – they simply refuse to pass on.

1addams14

Creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky Addams Family bits and pieces:

The Addams Family motto: Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. In Addams Latin, simply: We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.

Their mansion at 0001 Cemetary Lane was inspired by Edward Hopper’s 1925 painting about the alienation of modern life, House by the Railroad. Looks like Charles Addams’ friend, Alfred Hitchcock may have liked the painting too, think Psycho.1addamsCharles Addams had no names for the family in his one-panel cartoons, for the TV series he helped pick some out. The nursery rhyme line, Wednesday’s child is full of woe was inspiring.

Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of Wizard of Oz fame  played Morticia’s Mom.

1addams15The Addams Family loved pets, including but not limited to: a vulture, piranha, an octopus, a giant squid, a man-eating plant, a jaguar, spiders, and who could forget Kitty Kat?

 Ted Cassidy as Lurch gave himself a speaking role by ad-libbing, “You rang?” and also played Thing T. Thing (guess what the T stands for).

 And I’m listening to the CD of original music from The Addams Family, composed by incomparable Vic Mizzy right now, cara mia.

Joyeux Halloween!

 


Religion, Politics, and The Great Pumpkin

Halloween19Halloween crawls inexorably toward us, a wild beast about to attack with treats, costumes, and decorations, horror movies and specials.

As I re-watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for like the millionth time (sadly, this may not be as much of an exaggeration as it should be), this time I’m trying to see it through the eyes of a child, today. So with that in mind, I’m putting aside the symbolic struggle represented for those whose beliefs are in the minority, as with certain religions, theories, or Linus and his Great Pumpkin; also, everything I’ve learned from this, including parts that, at times, seem a bit weird. Here are a few older posts that look into that.

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/stuff-i-learned-from-its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/27/its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/

Do children now really like these older classics or are we transferring our fond memories to them, assuming they’ll like them as much as we did? Are they humouring us?
Lucy getting dog germs from Snoopy, is that still a thing?
How about the sucker getting leaves stuck on it?
Does anyone even remember what a Sopwith Camel is?
Do they think Schroeder should just use an app to make music?Halloween21Do they think the homemade costumes are bizarre?
That old-school animation is boring?
Do they need more sophisticated animation?
Bigger musical numbers? Action? Adventure?
Is this show just too slow and too old-fashioned for modern audiences?
1halloween1I guess I’m hoping in this frenzied, mixed-up world there’s still a place for the simple joy of Charlie Brown and friends…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,537 other followers