Monday, December 2, 2019

Lolly Willowes: A Great Book for Witches

I recently discovered Laura aka Lolly Willowes and if you like witches or being an independent woman I suggest reading about her! Lolly Willowes is a character from the book Lolly Willowes or The Loving Huntsmen written in 1926 by Sylvia Townsend Warner, but the story takes place at the turn of the century and follows her discovering the witch life.

A little background is that Lolly's in her mid twenties, unmarried and living with her father. Her hobbies include studying herbs and plants. When he dies, her world is pushed in an unexpected direction. She goes to live with her brothers family, as was the norm of a spinster. In her new abode the family is religious, conservative, and quite boring. Always trying to set her up with various suitors, she has obligations, and duties to be "Aunt Lolly", but she couldn't be less interested. Lolly finds the daily monotony draining and one day while out on a walk decides to move to the country by herself to escape the drudgery. (The book was written by a woman and her characters feelings still resonate today with many women ~ myself included.)

Page one. The type is small, the book is small and short at 250 pages, and it doesn't have chapters, so you can really stop and start anywhere when taking a break from reading. This makes it great for travel.

Lolly moves in with another woman, truly enjoys her solitude and the countryside. She makes friends with the towns folk and feels like this is where she belongs. Meanwhile her family visits and can't relate to her and how she could ever be happy there. I think they secretly resent her for doing what she wants to do with her life and not being confined to societal norms.

One day while out on a walk she thinks she may have summoned a force ~ possibly the Devil ~ and she makes a pact with him. When she gets back to her room there's a kitten waiting for her. She has no idea how it got in, but it scratches her and now it's official she made a blood pact with the Devil. She names him Vinegar and he sounds like the cutest thing in the world.

Her housemate takes her out for a walk when neither of them can sleep and they end up in a field where the other towns folk are dancing and carousing. They are celebrating the Sabbath. Lolly is put off and uncomfortable. This was all so unexpected. Her inner witch has been awakened but she's scared by it.

Her nephew marries a girl from her countryside town, Lolly sees them off via taxi and ends up waiting for a late train to get home. While taking a walk to find a place to rest while the train comes, she stumbles upon a grassy area with a groundskeeper. He introduces himself as the Devil and he knows her. He tells her "women are sticks of dynamite" and "all women are witches even if they never do anything with their witchcraft". I feel that this is an empowering statement that women need to hear more often. Lolly finally has her freedom, but the cost is forever tied to Vinegar and the Devil.

I know that not all witches make pacts with the devil, but as of late that seems to be a common theme with the popularity of witchcraft and witch style. Take for example Sabrina. This book doesn't portray the devil as "bad", but just an alternative option for your lifestyle, after all he IS the "Loving Huntsmen". I like that. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dr. Sleep (2019)

Lately Stephen King has had a resurrection (pun intended) of sorts, with movie remakes of his classic horror novels like Pet Sematary and It, but I was interested to see the sequel to The Shining, Dr. Sleep. Did I mention this sequel was released almost 20 years after the original Stanley Kubrick Shining movie? I think they wanted to take their time and get it just right, and I have to say this Shining Pinup wasn't disappointed!

Before you attack me, I did read the book Dr. Sleep before watching the movie and even if the movie didn't include everything, it did hit the mark for all the important events of the book!


There's really three separate stories that mesh together at the end. Here's the movie in a nutshell.

Story ONE
The movie picks up with Danny Torrance ~ the little boy from The Shining ~  and his flashbacks of seeing the ghost of the dead lady in the bathtub from the Overlook Hotel in his house and how Dick Hallorann ~ his friend from the Overlook Hotel ~ taught him to trap the ghosts in boxes he created in his mind. This is a key plot point.

The actors that play Danny, Wendy (his mom), Jack (his dad), and Halloran resemble the original actors. They aren't exact, and I know this bothers some people, but you get the jist of who they are.

You get the jist. This is from Dr. Sleep, not The Shining.

Danny as an adult is an alcoholic like his father. I like that they addressed this. In The Shining movie you are given clues that Jack was an alcoholic, but it's never specific that that's what's causing his temper. Danny drinks to stop the hallucinations, but unlike his father is really trying his best to stop. He packs up what little he has after a wild night out and heads further east to New Hampshire to start over. He befriends a man named Billy that helps him find a place to stay and is also a recovering alcoholic.

Danny gets a job as an orderly in a hospice facility. In the facility there's a cat named Azzie that can sense when a patient is going to die and Danny works with the cat to visit the dying patient and help ease them to the other side with his "shining" gift. Danny becomes known as Dr. Sleep. (I wish I could find a picture of the cat. It's white and fluffy in the movie.)

Story TWO
There's a little girl named Abra that also has the shining that lives near Danny. She's more powerful and can sense him. She communicates with him through a chalkboard on his wall for years. Neither of them meet in real life until one of the visions shows her a boy with a similar gift being kidnapped and killed by a gang that steals his "steam" or essence by brutally killing him. They "eat screams and drink pain". While Abra sees the vision, the head of the gang ~ Rose the Hat ~ sees her! Abra researches and finds out the boy is indeed missing and she has the clues to find out where he was buried. She tells Danny about it. He tells her to walk away.

Danny and his chalkboard.

If you haven't read the book, this part can get a little vague. There's a group of wanderers called the True Knot that also have gifts. They search out others like them to either eat their "steam" or convert them into immortal beings like they are. Rose the Hat sees Abra in her vision and wants to find her to take her steam.

Rose taking steam.

The closure for me was at the very end when Danny and Abra do fight the gang and lure Rose to the Overlook Hotel. The ghosts that haunt the Overlook ~ that Danny saw as a child ~ are similar creatures to the True Knot and feed off live people to take their essence. The hotel itself is a character in this movie and in the grand finale Danny opens the boxes in his mind and lets those ghosts kill Rose, but in the end he ends up dying too.

That being said, it doesn't end on a sad note! It's hinted that their are others out there with the shining, and now the spirit of Danny visits Abra. He becomes her Halloran. So with others out there it's hinted that there could be a sequel but I think they should just box the story up for now, like the ghosts in Danny's mind.

There are lots of nods to the original movie especially in the overhead outdoor shots, the music, and simply revisiting the Overlook. We see the door that Jack axed through, the "REDRUM" door, the ballroom and bar, the bloody elevators, the wintry hedge maze, and even inside room 237. It was satisfying to watch. I give it 4.5 doses of medicine out of 5.

The Overlook is a character all on it's own.

Here's the trailer...

p.s. My Shining photoshoot was included in the most recent issue of Rocket Magazine. The Autumn October 2019 Vol. 2! I got a two page spread!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Fall 2019 Pusheen Box

Here's the latest Pusheen Box, it is awesome! The last two fall boxes were autumn themed or spa day themed, and this one is Halloween!!!! (In the video I'm wearing the Pusheen sweatshirt from the Fall 2017 box) You can watch me try to figure out the pouch situation. Lol.

Batty Pusheen Sticky Notepad...and it's huge!

Mini Dustpan and Brush...and the print is on the other side!

Adorable Plush Candy Corn Pusheen...and it's sparkly!


Zombie Vinyl Figure.

Candy Corn Pusheen Storage Container.

Witchy Pusheen Mug...that changes color!

Drawstring Pouch....that you can open up flat to completely see what you have inside!

Pusheen Hoodie...with ears and bat wings! I love that it's longer too!

You can see my past boxes too:
Fall 2017 Pusheen Box
Winter 2017 Pusheen Box and
Spring 2018 Pusheen Box
Summer 2018 Pusheen Box
Fall 2018 Pusheen Box
Winter Pusheen Box 2018
Spring Pusheen Box with Jodee Bowie,
Fall 2019 Pusheen Box

Thanks for reading & watching, until next time! Have you hugged your cat today?

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Movie: Rabid (1977)

As a kid I remember seeing Rabid on Up All Night on the USA Network and the thing that stuck with me all these years was the girl in the freezer and it being a bad movie. I'm sure it was heavily edited for TV because Marilyn Chambers ~ the porn star ~ was in it...which means boobs.

With the Soska Sisters putting together a remake of Rabid and the original playing at my favorite haunt The Screening Room, I decided to revisit this David Cronenberg "classic" to see if there was something I missed the first time around. On reflection, it does have a solid story, but I can do without all the boobs and close up nipples. I feel like they are just filler. (Pun intended?) Needs more butts and wieners.


The basic premise is that a couple ~ Rose and Hart ~ get into a motorcycle accident in the country and the closest medical facility to help them is a plastic surgery clinic. There they do some radical skin grafting on Rose to save her. A month later the grafts are going well and Rose wakes up out of a coma only to stab a patient that's trying to calm her down. I should clarify ~ she stabs him with a phallic stinger that protrudes from her vaginal-looking armpit. No I'm not making this up.

Phallic stinger.

She ends up leaving the ward, going on a rampage, killing people and eating them. Rose doesn't know what's going on, all she knows is that she craves people, the city thinks it's a rabies outbreak, and we find out she's leaving a trail of rabid zombies. Rose doesn't realize she's the carrier of the infection because she doesn't have the same symptoms. In an experiment she just takes a little blood from a victim and stays with them to see what happens. He ends up attacking her and she dies, ending the movie.

My conclusion, her victims are easy to find because she's pretty and men can be creeps. The story is solid, needs more explaining though, special effects good, the music is foreboding, and the acting is mediocre. It's an early Cronenberg and I can see where he's going with it. I give it three phallic stingers out of five.

Creeper and her side eyes.

Here's the trailer, it doesn't really give you much to go on and it's not accurate. Lol.