Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fall 2017 Pusheen Box

Now for something different...you've seen me unbox lots of horror themed boxes, and I decided it was time to switch it up. With the Horror Block Box now defunct, I've replaced it with the Pusheen Cat Box. (You can read about the demise of Horror Block here.) It's a seasonal subscription for $50, which includes shipping. I started with the Fall box thinking it would be the best one, and after I'll just cancel my subscription. To my surprise I really love this box even though the kitties are more fall than Halloween.

Not sure who Pusheen Cat is? Here's her Wikipedia page!


Here's the packing list:


1. Tiny Pusheen Pancake Pan that I can use when I'm making my Apple Brandy Pancakes!


2. Pusheen Pillow Cover with Pom-Poms.


3. Fall Pusheen Sweatshirt. It's not fuzzy inside like a sweatshirt, but it's thicker than a T shirt. The sizing is unisex. I ordered a small and it runs like a men's small. This is the only beige thing I own, but the print is just too cute not to wear it!


4. Fall Pusheen Notepad & Pen.


5. Pusheen Bath Mat.


6. Plush Pusheen. It's super squishy.


7. Pusheen Shower Curtain. I am unable to use this because I have sliding doors in my 1950s bathroom. *Sad face.*


8. Toadstool Vinyl Pusheen.


This box makes me happy. I'm going to stick with the Pusheen Box subscription and I look forward to the winter one!

(Necklace is from Murderous Jewels. Details here.)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Movie: 1922 (2017)

It's a rainy yucky afternoon, so I decided to watch some TV with my cats. Last night Andrew and I finished Stranger Things Season 2 on Netflix, and I have to say I really liked it. A little disappointed that a cat dies, but the (mostly) uplifting ending is nice. So what other great things does Netflix have to offer? Today I checked out 1922, a Netflix Original based on the Stephen King story of the same name.


***Warning LOTS OF SPOILERS ahead...

1922 is more of a parable, than a horror movie, unless you want to talk about how people can be horrible. It's about a husband and wife, Wilfred and Arlette, with a teenage son, Henry, that live on a 100 acre farm in Nebraska in 1922. The husband recounts in a letter why he kills his wife and the tragic consequences that followed.

Arlette inherited the farm land and wanted to sell both the house and the land to a company for lots of money, get a divorce, take Henry and move to Omaha to open a dress shop. (She really should open a dress shop because the few outfits we see her in are pretty great.) She DID give Wilfred some options, but really she just wanted out of the marriage. His southern stiff-jawed accent is a little difficult to understand, so his sweet talking can't be the reason they got married. It's hinted that they only got married because she was pregnant.


Check out the print on this dress! If I had to guess, I'd say it's vintage fabric.


The red piping on this dress!!!

The beginning of the movie is shot with a focus on things around the farm ~ hinted at ways Wilfred might kill her. There's a close up of an axe, a stone well in the backyard, and lots of cornfields. I was really hoping for a Children of the Corn vibe, but nothing exciting takes place in the fields.

Knowing that Arlette plans to sell the land with or without his consent, Wilfred manipulates his son into taking his side in the matter. Reminding Henry that he wouldn't see his sweetheart ~ Shannon ~ that lives next door and he'd have to conform to city life if his mother drags him away. Planting these ideas in Henry's head convinces him that the only way to deal with his mother is to kill her.

Wilfred ~ in another conniving move ~ tells Arlette that he will sell the land and move with her. She calls for a celebration and gets drunk and falls asleep. Everything is going as planned. Henry holds her down while Wilfred slits her throat to make her death quick. This is the part of the story where Wilfred begins to regret killing her and involving his son. He even says, "Murder is work." (I laughed at this because, duh, yeah it is.) The story is a slow-burn spiral-out-of-control from here. Her body gets tossed in the well along with the bloody mattress and that's all we see of her until...Wilfred checks on her body and it's rat infested. This creeps him out.


A lawyer comes by from the company that wants to buy the land looking for Arlette, the sheriff comes by too. Husband and son lie to both of them, stating that they don't know where she is.

The part that I really didn't get at all...they move a cow to the wood lid of the well, the lid collapses and they kill the cow and bury it inside. They completely fill the well with dirt. That doesn't stop the rats though. Wilfred is awoken by cows mooing in the middle of the night. The cows are having their utters chewed off by rats! At this point he really should be calling an exterminator! The rats are coming in from a well pipe to the barn. He cements the pipe up, in the meantime...

Henry gets Shannon pregnant. He starts to stand up to his father and he runs away with her. Wilfred is upset because who will inherit the land now? All alone in the farm house he begins to have visions of his dead wife and her swarm of rats. She tells him that their son is robbing stores and banks for money, which is true. Shannon ends up getting shot and Henry kills himself. Wilfred is distraught. He keeps repeating, "Please just kill me." Only the ghost of Arlette doesn't kill him. One of her rats bites Wilfred's hand and it gets infected and has to be amputated. Does this mean that the rats are real and not a figment of his imagination?


Both kids bodies are returned to their parents. Wilfred offers his house and land to the father of Shannon, but at this point, his daughter is dead, his wife left him, Wilfred's house has a leaking roof and is in shambles. Why would he want it? He wants nothing to do with the family that ruined his swell life. Wilfred suffers from mental anguish. He ends up selling the house and moving to Omaha. (What his wife wanted to do to begin with!) The rats are still following him around. By 1930 Wilfred dies in a hotel room after he finishes the story of his life from 1922.

There's several moral lessons here:

1. Your wife knows best. (lol. Just kidding.) Please don't kill her if you disagree.

2. There's always another way.

3. In the end everyone gets caught.

Trailer makes it look much creepier than it really is.








Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Hunger Strike Cat: Another Update

Now for "What-the-Hell-is-Going-on-With-My-Ginger Kitty: The Third Installment." (You can read part 1 and part 2.)

Last week, Friday the 13th, was an insane day for me. I had a lot of appointments to keep. It started at 8am when I had to meet with a vendor for our shop Cats Like Us. After that meeting, I opened the storefront at 11am. We had some of our friends from the Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en come and shoot a video inside the shop in the early afternoon. (You can watch it here and read about it here.) Then I had to take Ginger back to the vet for a weigh in to make sure she's on track. Here's the comical part...

Ginger is suspicious when I come home in the middle of the day. I had to wrangle her into the cat carrier. Once outside holding my purse and cat carrier with the door propped open, Vicktor ran outside. Ugh. It was like a scene from a movie. I set Ginger down and grabbed Vicktor before he got lost in the fields behind our house, plopped him back inside and off to the vet we went. Once there, they brought Ginger in for her check up pretty quick. Ginger ended up peeing all over the vet tech and up my arm. How embarrassing. I guess she's done with all of this vet office b.s. End result is good news ~ she hasn't lost any weight. They prescribed an appetite stimulant that we're supposed to administer every 72 hours. We gave her one the following Saturday night, and she was supposed to get one this past Tues, but she's been eating on her own. It seems she'll only eat newly opened cans of food, no leftovers. She has become a food snob. Basically she wants you to pet her and tell her she's a pretty girl while eating. I don't blame her. I want the same thing. Hopefully this hunger strike is over.






Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Movie: Get Out (2017)



***Minor spoilers ahead, but not really....

I've been meaning to watch the movie Get Out, the directorial debut from Jordan Peele who also wrote and produced Keanu. I really wasn't sure what to expect, I kept hearing it's a "horror/ comedy" with social commentary. After watching it, I don't think it's a comedy at all because racism isn't funny. I think the main character's best friend in the movie is meant to be funny, but honestly he is just saying what I would be thinking if it was happening to my friend. This is an intelligent horror movie for this day and age, with dialogue that's made to make you feel uncomfortable, but also think about why people in the movie act a certain way. To me it had a Stepford Wives (the book) vibe. Just like the main character in the book, the main character in Get Out is a photographer, the suburbanites act robotic and out of character ~ too over-the-top nice, AND no one validates the protagonist's concern that things seem "off". That being said, I predicted the storyline in the first 20 minutes. The acting is great, and the movie maintains an unsettling feeling throughout. In the end, there is very little gore shown, because this isn't really a slasher film, but more of psychological horror. Get Out has praise for certain African-Americans having gifts superior to some Caucasian people, but in the end those black people are still being prejudiced against to the point of being enslaved for it. The movie finishes on a high note, and I look forward to seeing what else Jordan Peele has up his sleeve.

This trailer pretty much has the whole movie in it...







Saturday, October 14, 2017

Overabundance of Black Cats

With Friday the 13th over, let's talk about black cats for a moment ~ they aren't just a Halloween prop! I love our black Bombay kitty Vicktor Frankenstein. There are over 20 breeds of black cat, but Bombay cats are the most common. They are known for having a solid black coat, black toes and noses, with yellow eyes and a loud distinctive purr. Vicktor is playful, attention seeking, and curious, which is why I don't understand the overabundance of  black cats at animal shelters?! They have the worst adoption rates compared to all the other cats. To say I'm angry about this is putting it mildly.

Black cats spend 40% more time in shelters than other cats each year! As a result black cats have the highest euthanasia rate of any other color kitty. Do they get overlooked because they don't photograph well? Yes...in a way. People prefer white cats or cats with identifiable markings to black cats. Black kitties stand out much less comparatively. Some don't show up well in adoption photographs online and tend to blend into the shadows, BUT I can assure you their personalities stand out more! My Vicktor is a lover, especially after being fed. His fur is soft as silk and he takes an interest in everything I do, honestly he's better than some people I know. Lol. Thank goodness for professional photographers that have taken a liking to black cats and choose to photograph them in a way to capture their personalities. (For example.) Homeless black cats are so much of a problem, that there's the Black Cat Rescue dedicated to black cats.


Vicktor photographs as an angel.


Vicktor is very interested in what you are doing and wants to help.

Do black cats have bad reputations? Kind of. There's an unconscious belief lingering that black cats are bad luck. Well they are unlucky at shelters that's for sure! If a black cat crosses your path, is that bad? I don't think so! They are on a mission to get somewhere just like you are. If it stops, go over and pet it... if it lets you. Black cats are just like any other cat!

As for them being associated with witchcraft ~ that only happened because some "witches" used to care for cats. They were crazy cat ladies before the trend of crazy cat ladies. Cats are nocturnal and roam at night and witches were thought to consort with the devil at night, so of course black cats are evil. What a dumb claim! Cats were thought to be a witch's familiar, but any animal could have been a familiar. Some witches were even thought to be shapeshifters and turn into cats. Now that's just lunacy!

Remember to keep your cat inside for Halloween, especially if it's black. Black cats can't be seen at night and often get hit by cars or abused/ mutilated/ sacrificed at Halloween. Some shelters won't even adopt out black cats during the month of October! It's too dangerous.


Keep those puffballs inside!

Don't forget Black Cat Appreciation Day on Aug 17. Often shelters will discount adoption rates for them on this day and call it "Adopt a Black Cat Day", sometimes animal shelters even have discounts on black cats throughout the year. You just have to contact your local shelter to find out. I can assure you Vicktor gets extra treats on his special day.

Black cats make wonderful friends. They are just as loveable, as any other cat, please consider a black cat when looking to adopt.


I love my Vicktor Frankenstein.

Monday, October 9, 2017

I'm Not Afraid Of Commitment (The Supernatural Chronicles): Part 4

You thought I forgot, nope, it's just been a busy few months! This is a post on Supernatural Seasons 7 & 8. You can read my random thoughts on seasons 1 & 2 here, 3 &4 here, and 5 & 6 here. Warning: Lots of confusing spoilers! Lol.


In Season 7 we basically loose Castiel and Bobby. Castiel comes back as Emmanuel and they leave him in a mental hospital after he risks his life to remove Lucifer from Sam's head, then he's an angel again and gets sent to purgatory with Dean, he gets pulled out of purgatory and is an angel, then a human with angel radio. Bobby is a ghost for a hot minute and ends up in purgatory in season 8, then heaven. Ugh.


One of the main underlying storylines...Basically there are two tablets, one is a demon tablet to close hell and one is an angel tablet to close the gates of heaven. Kevin Tran is the prophet that can translate them, along with Megatron...... er I mean Metatron that actually wrote the tablets. They both list three trials that one must endure to close either. Sam ~ of course ~ is the one who begins the trials to close hell. First he must soak in the blood of an invisible hellhound, send an innocent to heaven (which ends up being Bobby), and cure a demon (which ~ in a plot twist ~ could have been the King of Hell Himself Crowley).

This time I'll start with the pluses.

Can I just say there really needs to be a Supernatural drinking game? When you should drink...

1. When Sam or Dean "dies".
2. When they actually drink on the show.
3. When Bobby says, "Balls."
4. When they show blood splatter.
5. When they say "ganked". (I kind of cringe when they say it, it's an ugly word.)

SO MUCH BLOOD SPLATTER. Yeah, I get that it's cheaper than special effects, but they must go through gallons and gallons! Oh by the way, this would be under my PLUS column.

PLUS- There's a Sam as a teenager episode that's refreshing, because you don't see too many flashbacks when they are young on this show, and I LOVE a good flashback. It's Season 7, episode 3 "The Girl Next Door". You see Sam as a young hunter and Amy as a young monster. She's referred to a lot in the beginning of this season even though she's only in one episode. Bonus: Amy is played by Jewel Staite from Firefly. Yes, I'm a Firefly fan, but more of a Whedon one. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the best. Shhhh, don't argue.


PLUS- SPEAKING OF BUFFY- James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter, both actors on Buffy, are in an episode where they play married witches. Outstanding. I love them all together. It's Season 7, episode 5 "Shut up, Dr. Phil".


Mayor Richard Wilkins III from Buffy, the actor  Harry Groener also makes an appearance in Season 7, episode 13 "The Slice Girls" as a professor. It's a parallel to an Angel episode, Season 1, episode 12, where Cordelia gets pregnant and comes to full term in a day.


PLUS- Jo is back! Unfortunately it's only for one episode where she is a ghost that tries to kill Dean. (insert sad face here). Season 7, episode 4 "Defending your Life".

PLUS- There's a Lilydale, NY episode!!! I should mention that Lilydale looks nothing like it's pictured. Lol. Season 7, episode 7 "The Mentalists".

PLUS- In Season 7, episode 10 "Death's Door" Bobby gets shot and the whole episode takes place in his head, where he's trying to avoid the reaper, but you get to see flashbacks of his traumatic childhood and how it shaped his future as a father. This is a great episode. By the end he's still in a coma though, so it leaves you hanging...again. So good. So sad.

PLUS- I'm still enjoying the opening sequences and recap especially when they are themed to the episode like Season 7, episode 8 "Season Seven, Time for a Wedding".


PLUS- Time travel with Chronos and Elliott Ness, Season 7, episode 12 "Time After Time". I kinda love the time travel episodes. Dean in vintage styling works perfectly.


PLUS- Garth ~ another hunter ~ has wonderful 1990s theme songs and one is Bel Biv DeVoe's "Poison". He kills the tooth fairy at one point. He replaces Bobby...in his own way. He's the comic relief hunter, but he still does his job. Oh and he's a hugger.


PLUS- The new villian in Season 7 is Dick Roman. Everytime he says his own name he smirks and it makes me laugh out loud. It's WAY over the top.


PLUS- Charlie played by Felicia Day is the perfect hacker that the show needs. She appeals to the girl audience and she's perfect for the fan boy cult followers of the show because she has a nerd fan base of her own. It's hinted at that she has a back story we'll probably find out about in the future. Season 7, episode 20 "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo".

Charlie is back in the Season 8, episode 11 "LARP and the Real Girl". She part of a LARPing group that really speaks to the nerds that watch the show.

"Pac Man Fever" Season 8, episode 20 is outstanding. Charlie contacts the Winchesters because she's in town visiting her hospitalized mother and she has a case for them. Charlie has been in trouble with the law since she was 12, she's been on the run and paying hospital bills since then. The storyline and acting is truly well done. There's even an alternate reality to 1951. This episode really shows that the Winchesters are Charlie's only family and that's she's a strong female character. Finally! It only took 8 seasons for them to realize women watch the show, not just for the hot main actors.  


PLUS- Ms. Tran the mom of the newly introduced prophet Kevin Tran. She's kick ass. She's smart and sassy and can hold her own, sadly she dies at the hands of Crowley.

PLUS- Cas is removed from purgatory by angels and in Season 8, episode 8"Hunteri Heroici" it's adorable when he interrogates the cat in the nursing home.


PLUS- Sam and Dean find out they are part of the Men of Letters, and ancient organization that fights monsters. They also find out where the abandoned lair for the Men of Letters is located and start living there. It's a pretty sweet art deco Batcave!


MINUS- Dean has a very soft spot for kids, as a result of living a normal life for a year a couple of seasons ago. He was living with his girlfriend and her little boy. This makes some episodes very predictable i.e. Season 7, episode 3 "The Girl Next Door" he let's Amy's son go even though he's a monster or Season 7, episode 11 "Adventures in Babysitting" or Season 7, episode 14 "Plucky Pennywhistles Magical Menagerie" or Season 7 Episode 22 "There Will Be Blood" when they take a little boy away from the Alpha vamp. This is pointless to the story.

MINUS- I miss the black Impala. They are going incognito and using a bunch of different cars in Season 7. In season 8 it comes back ...FINALLY!

MINUS- Annie ~ another hunter ~ is a great character, but she dies the first time we meet her. Gah. Season 7, episode 19 "Of Grave Importance".



MINUS- SO MANY FLASHBACKS in Season 8 and not just in the opening. The show is trying to recap a year between season 7 and 8 where Sam had a normal life with a girlfriend named Amelia, while Dean was in purgatory constantly fighting monsters with his vampire friend Benny. You know when a flashback is coming when they begin to stare off into space.

MINUS- Season 8 episode 16, "Remember the Titans" is a terrible story line, the writing is bad, and it's not worth watching.

PLUS/ MINUS- You know I like the funny episodes and in Season 7, episode 8 "Season Seven, Time for a Wedding" I think it was meant to be funny, but I found it sad. We get to see Becky aka the biggest Sam Winchester fan ever from Season 5. (She's the one that tricked the boys into attending a Supernatural convention.) Well in this episode she's attending a high school reunion and everyone makes fun of her. I thought she was cute, and for the show she's comic relief, but they make fun of her a lot. I guess I relate too much to her. She feels like a looser and just wants people to like her.


I really don't like season 8 and care nothing for the Crowley/ Castiel story line. However it ended with angels falling from the sky, Sam almost dead, Castiel without angel powers, and Crowley almost cured from being a demon. This has peaked my interest. On to Season 9.




Saturday, October 7, 2017

My Hunger Strike Cat: Update

My cat Ginger Rogers is not doing so well. You can read about the beginning of her illness here.


Wednesday (10/4)- She had lost an ounce since her vet visit on Friday. She ate Fri because of the appetite stimulant they gave her, then she ate less and less until now she's down to a couple of cat treats a day. So back to the vet we go for another appetite stimulant and hydration injection, but this time with blood work. Then we wait.

Thursday (10/5)- Ginger's blood work looks ok, but with a slight abnormality in her kidneys. She's getting another liquid injection today AND tomorrow to flush out whatever is in her kidneys. The blood work showed a slight inflammation too, but it's not enough of a problem to put her on meds. It's so frustrating.

Friday (10/6)- Another liquid injection, then we wait to see of she eats over the weekend. If she slows her eating down again I have to call Monday morning and bring her in.

I've been telling her to get better. It's not working.




Friday, October 6, 2017

Guillermo del Toro in Toronto?!

I was excited to hear electronic music pioneers Front 242 were coming to Toronto. I've never seen them live and the last time they came was 10 years ago, so I HAD TO get tickets. When I told a friend about getting tickets in Toronto, they said that the Guillermo del Toro exhibit is making a stop at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It's only one of 3 stops ~ I thought, how exciting! I planned a day ~ exhibition first, lunch, then concert.


The exhibition is so HUGE it takes up almost half of their second floor! It has timed tickets for every half hour, and we went early on a Sunday. It seemed crowded for timed tickets, and just when you think you can get up close to see a piece of artwork there's a person behind you breathing down your neck. That being said, there was SO MUCH mixed media to take in, that you could go back three or four times and not see everything. Just when you think the exhibit is over, there's another room to immerse yourself in!


Stairway going up to the exhibit.


Entrance to the exhibit and wall photo of what one of his libraries looks like.


People everywhere!

All the eclectic ephemera, props, books, writings, and artwork are borrowed from del Toro's home which he calls Bleak House, taken from his favorite Charles Dickens story. This display is just a small part of his 13 libraries that he houses at Bleak House. I can't even begin to imagine all the things he has collected if this is just part of it. The exhibit is loosely grouped by theme and really it's like stepping into his mind. These are the things that make him happy ~ the oddities ~ and as a fellow weirdo, I understand why they bring him joy and inspiration. Since there is so much to take in, I'll just include a tiny part of what I thought were the highlights....


When you step into the exhibition and round the corner you see The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth. What an entrance! It's probably one of his most well known monsters. The placement of this is in the exhibit it perfect. This piece is life size and this picture doesn't do it justice. (Someday I'll be The Pale Man for Halloween.) Here's the film sequence for reference...




"Look with your eyes not with your hands". Witty.


I thought it was interesting that del Toro collects artwork from artists that are inspired by his films. An artist collecting other artists work about him, you can really see his scope of influence. Here is a piece inspired by Pan's Labyrinth. (The other artwork in the room is reflected in the glass of this painting.)





He collects animation cells from the darker side of Disney. You can see the stylized 1950s aesthetic in these concept art stills.




He has some original Edward Gorey drawings. You can read about my love of Gorey and visit to The Edward Gorey House Museum here.


There was a smaller separate room off in a corner of the exhibit called the Rain Room, it's a recreation of where del Toro has made his study to look like it's thundering outside complete with sound and window lighting...and Edgar Allen Poe?! This just makes sense since he used to work in special effects. He said he finds the sound of rain and thunder relaxing. The Poe life size figure is beautifully made by Thomas Kuebler and there's more of his figures throughout the exhibition.


Stunning costumes from Crimson Peak. They really show how he plays with color and makes the garments period correct.


Giant Angel of Death from Hellboy II: The Golden Army.


Haha. Man, Myth and Magic book series from 1970 are in his library and were the first books he bought to research the occult.


And here I thought the music in the exhibition was being piped in! Nope, they had a real piano player in the middle. Really this exhibit is installation art, where you are completely taken to another place. (Sorry the video doesn't seem to be working.)


There was lots of movie props including this helmet from The Phantom of the Paradise. (Not a movie he made, but a good one nonetheless.)


There was a room with comic books and horror magazines from floor to ceiling. They are real, this isn't wallpaper! I was impressed he had some Buffy comics. You can read about my love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show here.



More very impressive life size statues.


"Friend".


Wall of Frankenstein covers.

This is just a tip of the iceberg of what was on display, it doesn't include his sketchbooks, artifacts, vintage toys, books, and curiosities. You can see where his creative process gets a jump start for his films. The only collection that was included in the show that terrified me was the insects. I know they always play a large part in his movies and there is a room of taxidermied insects in the exhibition. The scariest thing in the exhibit was an Owl Moth the size of my hand. If I encountered this in real life, I think I would die. I probably fear butterflies and moths more than anything. Which leaves a couple questions...What doesn't he collect? And who dusts everything?!

A couple pet peeves about the exhibit. (I feel I can say these things because I used to work in an Art Gallery and minored in Museum Studies.) The glass over the artwork in the Rain Room was really dirty and there was a couple cronoslogical er... I mean chronological errors on the name plates. (Like my del Toro pun?)

Overall, it's a huge display of collectables that makes me feel like less of a hoarder. Del Toro's varied inspiration makes me embrace his work even more. Now I want to revisit all of his movies since I know some of the background behind them. I can't rave enough about it. On to more museum!




I can't stop at the AGO without visiting the Henri Moore room. It's like seeing old friends. I always loved how bright the room is and how you can walk around his giant sculptures.

Next we wandered around and had lunch at Sin & Redemption across the street. They are known for having lots of beer on tap.



Me & Andrew. (I'm wearing the T shirt from The Risky Rabbit.)




Until next time Toronto! (p.s. I had my hat first.)