Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey was on my TBR list for a while. Childhood abuse and a haunted house? Count me in! (I'm s sicko like th...

Just Like Home


Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey was on my TBR list for a while. Childhood abuse and a haunted house? Count me in! (I'm s sicko like that.) This book has taken me a few days to process. It shows you that monsters come in many forms, but overall it's a love story. Yes, you heard that right. Let me explain...

It follows Vera, the daughter of a dead serial killer. She has a troubled relationship with her dying mother, but comes back to her childhood home to care for her. The story is a slow burn that's told by jumping back and forth between present day and when she discovers her dad was a killer. It's a bit coming of age story, combined with drama, and the supernatural.

Without giving too much away, it's well written, although a bit repetitive at points. The toxic mother daughter relationship is accurate. (Ask me how I know?) It sets an overall mood of being claustrophobic, stifling, and repressive. About the last 1/4 of the book it picks up and because it's so abstract, it's absurd....and this is the part I love. You come to find out that Vera and the house have always loved each other. That said, there are so many plot holes and loose ends...spoilers below...sort of...

What did happen to her father's journal? Did her mother always know about the monster in the house? Did Vera have the grease in her? Was Vera really naive at 13 to think there was grease in people and not blood because her father said so? Was there also sexual abuse? Did her father leave the peep hole for her to learn from? Did her father manifest the house monster when her built it? Is the monster her father? Why was the mother so emotionally abusive to Vera? Was it only caused by jealousy? Does Vera have a sexual attraction to the artist? So Vera tried to unlearn about the grease inside people, but never seeks help to understand what it meant? She loved her father so much, but never wanted to repair their relationship by visiting him in jail or reading his messages? Was the house leaving pieces of his journal around? Why does her mother want her father to kill, where does that come from? How did the blanket get into the shed? 

It was an interesting story. Amazing? Nah, but interesting.


Andrea and I are back at it! We went to see the Cat Video Fest for 2023 at the North Park Theater . Don't know what the Cat Video Fest ...

A Night of Cats & Bats

Andrea and I are back at it! We went to see the Cat Video Fest for 2023 at the North Park Theater. Don't know what the Cat Video Fest is? It's a compilation of viral cat videos, tik toks, and gifs from the past few years all in one place! If you like cats it's def worth seeing, and as a bonus a percentage of the proceeds goes towards local animal shelters and animal welfare organizations!

I like that you can submit pictures and videos to the North Park of your cat, and they will show them before the movie. I submitted a pic of my little Ginger. She had the whole big screen to herself! I didn't have time to pull out my phone to take a picture, but this was the one I sent in. The time she had a blep.

Cat Video Fest 2023 was divided up, as before, with CATegories like "Drama", "Action", "Documentary", and "Musical". Some of the highlights for me included the movie opening with songs from the Cats soundtrack (I love musicals), there's a Shining reference, you see the life of Fred the boat cat, Cat Man Chris the owner of Marmalade, Simon's Cat with the cutest cartoons, Cute Aggression metal song (which I just learned about and LOVE!), and the catchy Hold On to My Fur song from thekiffness. Not to mention, there are clips of kitties sleeping on books, wearing raincoats, the first ever cat video, and lots of one-brain-cell orange kitties! It's delightful.

The compilation was slightly different from last year. There were more musical clips and the clips seemed longer. They feature hirokisan79 and his piano cat duets more than once. I wish they sold the soundtrack to Cat Video Fest 2023! 

You can read about the other years I attended too 2019, 2020, 2022.

After getting our cat fix, we were hungry, so we went down the street to The Merry Shelley. I'm embarrassed to say, it took me way too long to blog about The Merry Shelley, a local goth hang out. It's a small bar that has it all, spooky decor, goth music, fun events, good drinks, food, and... books. Yes, books! It's a little free library too! We popped over, I donated some books, and picked up some that were on my tbr list from eons ago.

This particular night, there were tarot card readings being done by Liz from Divination Station. She's a sweetheart, and manages Rising Goddess a local metaphysical shop that I recommend, not only because they have a "house cat" named Trixie, but because it's a great store with good vibes. Naturally, Andrea and I had to get our readings done. 

Trixie & her blep. (Pic taken from the Rising Goddess Facebook page.)

During the course of our evening we saw old friends, and made some new ones. I don't get out much because I work a lot, but when I do, I like it to be a quality night like this! A night of cats & bats!


I reviewed Cronenberg' s original Rabid a few years back, you can read about my thoughts here . The story is solid and original, and I ...

Movie: The Rabid Remake (2019)

I reviewed Cronenberg's original Rabid a few years back, you can read about my thoughts here. The story is solid and original, and I could see where he was going with it... the Soska Sisters saw the potential too, and made it even better in their 2019 remake! It's nice that they kept it directed by Canadians.

Side note: remakes don't really excite me, but this one was intriguing. I'm always interested to see a woman's perspective. There were a lot of boobs in the 1977 one, and it did nothing for me.

***Spoilers Ahead***

The plot somewhat follows the old one, Rose gets into a motorcycle accident and has experimental reconstructive surgery that causes her to crave blood. The gore is excellent, and her story line is fleshed out in the new movie. (See what I did there?) Rose is a lowly fashion designer that works for a design house where she is publicly ridiculed and ignored. She has one model friend, Chelsea, that looks like Krysten Ritter. This movie peels back the curtain of how design houses work. It gives off In Fabric vibes too. Quick background, Rose is a vegetarian and has scarring on her face from a car accident when she was a child that killed her parents. (So very Disney. Heaven forbid she's not an orphan!)

Krysten Ritter is that you?

The story moves quick, and she gets hood winked into attending a nightclub party by a friendly male co-worker named Brad. He truly seems sincere and likes her. Rose finds out that Chelsea asked him to ask her to go, and she leaves upset, getting into the motorcycle accident.

All the horrible things about an accident happen if you work in the modeling industry. Part of her face is ripped off and her jaw is wired shut, so she can't talk, her intestines are punctured, and her face is pretty gnarly. Chelsea takes Rose in once she's released, since this cost her the design job. She finds an experimental treatment facility that ~ if she qualifies ~ will take care of her reconstructive surgery for free. (Brings up the idea of the problems with healthcare and how it should be accessible to all regardless if you can afford it or not.) Surprise, she qualifies!

Frankenstein face.

They graft a gooey clear jello looking piece of prosthesis to her face that bonds to her skin and makes her look like a model (she kind of already looked like a model before the accident), but now she's a supermodel. It clears up her childhood car accident scars and eyesight. The only problem is that she has to take medication that can cause "hallucinations", and she has to drink "protein" when she can't stomach anything else. Calls into question, what are you willing to do to be beautiful? And the doctor claims they are hallucinations, but are they?

Don't get me wrong, the red is striking, religious vestment style, but how do they see where the blood is when doing surgery? Isn't that why doctors wear white or green? Bonus: I bet they are easy to clean!

Now that Rose is a gorgeous party girl, she gets noticed by her old design house. Pretty people are rewarded. She gets her design job back, and then some. The difficulty is that she can't tell what's a hallucination or not, and she spreads her illness to others by sharing drink glasses etc. It transmits through saliva and blood. I like how they highlighted this is the movie, so the viewer can catch how it spreads. She creates dead people and zombies in her wake. Hospitals think it’s a contagion and kill the infected. Feels a little COVID-y. There's a slow motion nurse scene that looks like Silent Hill ~ the music video ~ and it's great.

She feels like a monster, and tells the doctor what's happening, and he's not listening to her. We've all been there, huh, ladies? Instead of getting annoyed at the doctor, check out the wonderful, surreal artwork on the walls in his office!

Painting behind the doctor of a person without a face. Turning a "blind-eye" ~ if you will ~ to what's happening at this facility or giving off the feeling that Rose one of the many faceless victims to his whims.

Rose gets contained in the treatment facility, along with her friend Brad, who's been in on what's happening to her. But it doesn't feel malicious, he cares about her and was just told to keep an eye on her. It's a body horror ending that will remind you of The Thing, and Society, combined with a little Slither. Reminder: don't just stab, but ALWAYS chop off the head. It ends on a stark, depressing note, but did you expect anything else from the makers of American Mary

"Being human is limited, Rose is so much more." The actress that plays Rose conveys all the concerns you would have in this situation. This is the perfect homage with respect to the original, and you won't be disappointed there's still an armpit dick and lots of red doctors uniforms. Highly recommend. I give it 4.5 protein shakes out of 5.

Here's the trailer



Even though I am catless (don't get me started, I'm really depressed about it, and just want Ginger and Vicktor back ~ no other ca...

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Even though I am catless (don't get me started, I'm really depressed about it, and just want Ginger and Vicktor back ~ no other cats...yet) I belong to a bunch of cat groups on Facebook. One of the common questions people ask is about FIV+ cats, aka cats that are positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. 

FIV+ affects the cat's immune system, and may be dormant for many years. It may make the cat susceptible to other infections, but as long as they are taken care of by their owner, the vet visits are the same as any other cats. They can live long happy and healthy lives. It's only transmitted to other cats through a bite, not shared grooming or sharing bowls. So logically, keep your FIV+ cat indoors.

FIV+ cats aren't as troubled and deathly sick as people seem to think they are. When we had Hans, he was FIV+. As far as I know, he didn't pass it to Vicktor or Ginger. 

Our Christmas card 2007. Hans, Ginger, & Vicktor. As you can see, Hans was a handsome fellow.

So please don't let a cat being FIV+ deter you from adopting them.

Click here for a good website on FIV+. 


  The Oddities and Curiosities Expo  came back to Buffalo, this year for two days , and again I dragged Jodee Bowie with me.   (You can rea...

Buffalo Oddities & Curiosities Expo 2023

 The Oddities and Curiosities Expo came back to Buffalo, this year for two days, and again I dragged Jodee Bowie with me. (You can read about my experience last year here.)

This year it seemed like there were fewer booths compared to last year, and fewer attendees, but that could be because it was broken into two days instead of just one. I went on Sunday. There was a ton of taxidermy and wet specimens ~ if you're into that sort of thing. I mainly went looking for "Evil Eye" jewelry. After reading The Evil Eye: The History, Mystery, and Magic of the Quiet Curse by Pagliarulo, I've become obsessed. (You can read my full review of the book in the upcoming Auxiliary Magazine issue for Fall/ Winter 2023.) 

I'm surprised they didn't have much in the way of Evil Eyes, but I did find a necklace I fell in love with! This is from Misty Bondy, who I remember being at the Oddities show last year, but her booth was so crowded I think I just walked on by. I'm so glad I stopped. She not only designs her jewelry, but makes original art work too! 

I had to visit Smell of Fear candles. She's a local gal that has worked with Grady Hendrix (he wrote a few books that I have reviewed) and she's also a customer at my shop Cats Like Us! I picked up this candle because I love the smell of old lady....I mean lavender. 

Next, I stumbled into the booth of lynne&lucille where I couldn't resist the simplicity of these modern looking earrings made from autopsy needles. She has jewelry made from bones and drum cymbals too. Even cool skull choker necklaces.  A truly unique addition to the Oddities show!

I was excited to see that Morose & Macabre were back! They have some of my favorite loose tea, so I grabbed more of the Amityville, and I liked the smell of Widow Black (even though I'm still trying to quit caffeine.)

Overall, it was a good show again and I saw a bunch of friends. Here's a picture that someone took for Jodee and I. I'm wearing these wonderfully comfortable swishy cargo/ harem pants that everyone hates except me. lol. And it's super off kilter, just like we are. 

Thanks again for reading!


Carnivals and amusement parks have always fascinated me, and it's because of their duality . A carnival during the day is bright and ch...

The Getaway

Carnivals and amusement parks have always fascinated me, and it's because of their duality. A carnival during the day is bright and cheerful, filled with kids, but at night it's lit up for the adults, and can often be dark and seedy with beer tents, and in the olden days - "cooch shows". Freaks, geeks, and fortune tellers were just a small part of the sordid goings-on. I've watched Carnivale, Freaks, Nightmare Alley, and read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (btw it is super f*cked up. It's one of the few books I own, AND have read at least twice. What can I say? I like f'ed up stories.)

There are giant amusement park rides filled with life - people, sights, sounds, and smells in their heyday, compared to empty amusement parks left to rot. i.e. one of the many is Chernobyl's Pripyat Amusement Park. I can watch urban explorer footage and pictures of abandoned amusement parks for hours. 

I've been to Cedar Point, Six Flags, the Erie County Fair, Universal Studios, but the king is Walt Disney World. It's a place created to be "the happiest place on earth" and it truly is a world in itself, with a huge amount of staff scrambling to make every visitor's experience perfect. They work in underground tunnels, running everything as smoothly as possible, like the "haves" above ground and "have-nots" below. This brings me to my book review of The Getaway by Lamar Giles. He's known for kids and young adult books but has written some thrillers too, and I'd categorize The Getaway under horror.

***Mostly spoiler free review***

It's the story of a place in the not too distant future similar to Disney called Karloff Country. Although it's even more excessive with its own energy grid, food production, and community. It's located in Virginia, since global warming has destroyed the coastlines. The book follows four high school students that live on the premises. Their lifestyle feels safe for a few years until it's not. Outside the walls of their sheltered commune, are food shortages causing riots, capital uprisings and more. Karloff Country goes into lockdown. The elite trustees are the ones trying to make Karloff their perfect refuge to hide from the chaos in the outside world. They move in to their mansions on the grounds, furthering the great divide of the rich people with abundance, and those living without food outside. The creator of the amusement park wanted the apocalypse to happen, so he could start fresh and make everything "better" only it devolves into chaos and spins out of control.

I couldn't put this book down. Just when you think the most horrific thing happens, there's more! It's written perfectly with short chapters, and some are titled after the characters indicating that they are the voice of those chapters to give you a well-rounded and clear perspective of the narrative. The characters are relatable and likeable. Giles writes black teenagers with expertise. Between chapters are snippets of marketing and ads for Karloff Country to give the story context and history. This book is timely, jarring, and there's even a reference to The Lost Boys, how could I not love this book? 

If you like Jordan Peele and his movie Get Out, you'll like this. It has a similar vibe and I can't recommend it enough.


Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez has mixed reviews, but I recommend it. It's a true gory horror novel, and covers a lot of gr...

Our Share of Night

Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez has mixed reviews, but I recommend it. It's a true gory horror novel, and covers a lot of ground while weaving together an epic story that spans generations. It's about a family that's part of a maniacal, sadistic supernatural order in Argentina in the 1960s through 1990s. Members want to reform the hierarchy of the cult and make it less abusive. The cult part of the story is almost a backdrop to the characters because the members are still trying to learn about what the dark god they worship wants, and how to get it to grant eternal life. 

The political aspect can't be ignored, or the social divide. The rich cult members are the embodiment of evil. There are elements of folk horror, haunted houses, human sacrifices, ghosts, but also harsh disturbing real things that people do to maintain power. Trigger warning there's rape and suicide mentioned, amputations, and A LOT of child abuse.

I wasn't sure how this book would read since it was translated, but you can't even tell! It's a thick book at almost 600pgs but the sections are short, and each chapter is the voice of a different character, which I love. You can see how they start out and why they develop into who they become. 

p.s. I miss all of you, I just haven't had time to blog, but this book had to be shared! My business takes a lot out of me. Thank you for understanding, and you can always follow my fb page, where I post stupid memes. lol. Fluffy the Vampire Slayer


 I was recommended Mary: An Awakening of Terror by Nat Cassidy because I loved Bunny . I can say it does not disappoint! Deeper review bel...

Mary: An Awakening of Terror

 I was recommended Mary: An Awakening of Terror by Nat Cassidy because I loved Bunny. I can say it does not disappoint! Deeper review below without spoilers...

Good books tend to cover themes relevant to society, and Mary is a true horror in every sense. It covers menopause..dun. dun. dun. No really, it's about a woman named Mary who is quiet, keeps to herself, has forgotten much of her childhood, and is experiencing the symptoms of menopause...mixed with other strange signs. So if you have ever been to a doctor, and they brush off your concerns as just part of menopause, you know the rage Mary feels. She's ignored and dismissed, but is she really? Maybe I just really connect with this book because I can relate. 

BUT that's not all! There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the book written by Cassidy to let us know what we are in for. There's a little something for everyone... animal mutilation, implied sexual abuse, verbal abuse, mental illness, misogyny, bullying, reincarnation, ghosts, a cult, and lots and lots of blood. I should mention that this book was written by a man. I know! Furthermore, I was shocked! He wrote an Afterword explaining why he wrote it, and I'm glad he created Mary. I finally feel acknowledged as an older woman. (Yes, I'm old, believe it or not.) It's his debut novel and was voted one of the best horror books of 2022. There's a movie in development too.

Mary's internal dialog is intense, realistic, funny, and a bit American Psycho. There's some Wicker Man vibes too. I loved it, and it's easily one of my favorite books now. Each chapter ends with an "Oh shit!" moment, and will have you going through a roller coaster of emotions, or ....maybe that's just my menopause talking. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!


I'm one of the few people that still gets the DVDs from my Netflix subscription. (We have a VHS player too.) "Why?" You ask? ...

Movie: The Black Cat (1981)

I'm one of the few people that still gets the DVDs from my Netflix subscription. (We have a VHS player too.) "Why?" You ask? Because they offer different movies than the ones that are streaming, like the Fulci gem The Black Cat from 1981, not to be confused with the more well known The Black Cat from 1934 with Karloff and Lugosi, or The Black Cat from 1966, or all the movies named The Black Cat from 1941, 1968, 1989, 1991. Many are loosely based on the Poe story we know and love. While the 1981 version is not a "good" movie, I will say it's an amazing CAT-centric movie!

*spoilers ahead*

We get the point of view camera angle from the level of a cat, and he seems to be everywhere that people are ending up dead. The cat belong to Mr. Miles, an eccentric man that records spirits of the recently deceased. He has a wonderful old mansion house too! Lots of woodwork, giant staircases, candelabras...you get the idea. In the beginning, we are led to believe that cat is being forced to kill people as an act of revenge, but with the help of an American photographer, we learn that there's more to it. Both the cat and Miles are “bound by hatred” and by the end of the film the cat is the more powerful one, controlling Miles to kill!

I'll admit, not much happens in the movie, but it's a remarkable watch because they use a real black cat throughout. At only one point when the cat attacks can you tell it's a fake cat. It's rather impressive. I'm sure there was more than one cat actor used in the movie, and I loved all the close-ups of the cats and the purring sounds. There's also no dialog for about the first 15 minutes, which is fine as long as I'm watching a cat.

There wasn't just close-ups of the cats, but the eyes of the actors too....a little too much close-up. The lighting was interesting and at one point there were floating glowing eyes. The eyes have it! The town they are in looks quaint, sometimes overly foggy. The acting is ok, and there's your typical boobs, and several awkward make out sessions from the 1980s horror movie genre. (That's saying a lot since the movie's run time is only 1hr 32min.) The soundtrack has a folk horror sound that sets the tone.

Some special effects are well executed (see what I did there?), a highlight is the scene where a woman catches fire and her face melts. Some effects are not so great, like the scene with the fake bats, or bright white skeletons covered in cobwebs.

*trigger warnings*

Miles does try to kill the cat a couple of times, when he feels the cat is getting stronger than him. He tries to kill it by hanging it. While they never show it, they do show it in shadow, and the cat ends up living. (Yay, evil kitty!)  Another time he tries to poison and bury it alive, it's mentioned but not shown.

The first awkward make out session shows a young couple, and it gets a little rape-y, when she says no, and he tries to convince her to have sex. Not cool.

As a whole I give it a 1.5 out of 5 drinks at the pub (yes, yes, I know Fulci has a cult following, but I'm not in that cult), but I give it a 6 out of 5 for use of real cats!

Here's the trailer...


Cult Classic   was recommended to me, and after reading the plot I was excited to dig in, because cults am I right?! But I'm afraid it ...

Cult Classic: A Novel

Cult Classic was recommended to me, and after reading the plot I was excited to dig in, because cults am I right?! But I'm afraid it was just ok. Or maybe I'm too old to read it? It's Sloane Crosley's first novel and the quality of writing is wonderful, with dry wit and real poignant observations about relationships, BUT Lola, the main character, is annoying and unlikable. She has a string of ex-boyfriends that she keeps running into on the streets of New York City. Oddly, she finds out it's not fate, but that she's the key experiment in her friend's new cult. It makes sense since she seems to think the world revolves around her. Well, it's sort of a cult? But more like a new age organization that thinks they can "will" encounters to happen? It's sort of unclear.

Since Lola is now engaged, she is told by the cult she's seeking closure with her exes. It makes her question her relationship with her fiancé. Is he just convenient? Her inner dialog goes on for sometimes three pages, and as a reader I found myself drifting off into my own thoughts. I was unable to sympathize with her. She doesn't really like her friends, and everyone seems emotionally distant and superficial. Honestly, there's no one in the book I would root for. (Pro tip: Life is too short to be friends with people you don't like.)

In the end, we find out that all of her lovers reappearing is a ploy by her fiancé ~ with the help of the cult ~ to see if she really loves him. He tested her instead of asking her about her exes. I once had a teacher say the key to a good relationship is communication. What do the youngins say? This could have been an email? Well, this could have been a simple conversation between two adults instead of a book about boring ex-boyfriends. Lol.


  Knock at the Cabin wasn't terrible, it just wasn't good.  *Spoiler Alert* Directed by M. Night Shamalamadingdong a.k.a. M. Night ...

Movie: Knock At the Cabin (2023)

 Knock at the Cabin wasn't terrible, it just wasn't good. 

*Spoiler Alert*

Directed by M. Night Shamalamadingdong a.k.a. M. Night Shyamalan, Knock At the Cabin had potential with an interesting story based on Paul Tremblay's book The Cabin at the End of the World. (We know how I feel about his writing.) 

A gay couple and their young daughter are vacationing at a remote cabin in the woods, and four armed strangers knock at the cabin and tell them they have to make a decision to avoid an apocalypse. They have to sacrifice one of themselves to save the world. Note: They can't commit suicide, it has to be an agreed on choice. The four strangers know this because even though they lead very different lifestyles, they all had the same vision of the world ending.

Of course, initially, the dads don't make a choice which results in the first signs of the end of the world...AND of the four strangers, one of them has to die by the hand of the other three... and so on until the last stranger kills himself because the family won't decide, and a rain of fire touches the earth. Not until that happens, do the dads come to a decision. The dad with the temper kills the other dad. Since the other dad sees the future with his daughter living happily, he knows she will be fine and chooses death. Plot twist, THERE IS NO PLOT TWIST. Honestly it would have been better with a twist.

They describe the four strangers as the four horsemen, and they are the aspects of humanity: malice, healing, nurturing, and guidance. I knew them as war, famine, pestilence, and death, so this threw me.

A big first chunk of the movie is a slow burn to explain the premise, only it wasn't really explained. Why did the horsemen come with homemade weapons? Why did the horsemen have to kill one of themselves? Why were they chosen? Why wasn't the president notified of the upcoming tragedies? Why didn't the horsemen get therapy, and why didn't the therapists contact the police? Does this happen all over the world, because the plagues etc. happened all over the world? How often is a family picked to decide the world's demise? So many questions, not enough answers. Oh, and one of the plagues looks like Covid 19. It builds to nothing and remains anticlimactic.

I was waiting for something to happen. There is only hinted at gore and some camera angles are odd. Rupert Grint and Dave Bautista are excellent in it, but not enough to save humanity...er I mean the movie. I give it 2 grasshoppers out of 5.

Trailer below...


Witch history throughout countries and cities, how can this book be bad? Well I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time reading it and alm...

Witch Hunt (The Book)

Witch history throughout countries and cities, how can this book be bad? Well I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time reading it and almost didn't finish it, and it's not because of the subject matter...

I was excited to dig into Witch Hunt A Traveler's Guide to the Power & Persecution of the Witch by Kristen J Sollee, after all it was recommended by Pam Grossman, who I love. I've reviewed Sollee's books before, and again the same problem cropped up in this one...SHE NEEDS PICTURES, or at the very least a map! 

Each chapter of the book is named after the cities she visited, all of them with a history of witch persecutions, most of them European. It comes off as more of her personal travel diary, filled in with quotes from scholarly books on witch history or feminism. She constantly reminds the reader of the juxtaposition of contemporary life she's surrounded by vs. what a sacred place she's in. Let's not forget how many times she tells the reader she's already been to Europe. We get it, you're a second generation witch and educator, you have experience with witches, no need to remind us in almost every chapter. I found it pretentious. To the uninitiated, her witch history would get lost, not enough explanations of the persecution of witches, who they were, the power they held, and the consequences. Did I mention it's also filled in with overly descriptive romantic narration and descriptions of "visions" she has of the past? I rolled my eyes. It's hard to read when you're rolling your eyes. 

It would have been better with a map to highlight the locations she traveled to. She writes about snapping photos, it would have been nice to see them, or even pictures of what she's talking about. There is a reference at the back of the book of places to note, museums, shops, and memorials etc. and a bibliography of all the books she references. It stills feels like it's lacking. I'd say stick to her other books and pass on this one unless you are planning a trip to Europe and want to find witchy locations, then use the Travel Resource section at the back.


Based on the 2012 book A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman , A Man Called Otto is a sweet drama that needs a trigger warning for suicide!...

Movie: A Man Called Otto (2022)

Based on the 2012 book A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, A Man Called Otto is a sweet drama that needs a trigger warning for suicide! Based on what I heard, I was really hoping there was more cat in it, but it was still a decent watch.

I saw it at my favorite movie theater in town, The North Park Theatre, a historical landmark in Buffalo, NY. And if you didn't know, this movie is supposed to take place in Pennsylvania, but it was filmed in Niagara Falls, NY! A hop skip and a jump from where I live. (If you've ever been to Buffalo, we'll tell you everything is 20 minutes away by car, and it's true!)


Tom Hanks is Otto, an octogenarian curmudgeon, the total opposite of his portrayal of Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019). Otto has recently lost his wheelchair bound wife to cancer and feels he has no reason to live anymore. He decides to take his life, but his plan gets upended by new neighbors moving in across the street... and a stray cat. While the new family is a charming distraction, the cat isn't really part of the movie. He's in the background and there's a tiny bit of story surrounding him ~ Otto protects him from the bitchy neighbor with a dog ~ but you don't even find out if he's given the cat a name! I was hoping the story would be more of the cat giving him something to live for, and, while that's true, the family, and friends were more of the impetuous for him to keep going. Miserable Otto continues to try to kill himself throughout the movie in various ways, but always ends up failing because of the humanity from the people around him or his own kindness. When he makes these attempts, you see his life in flashbacks and begin to understand his reasoning. In his last attempt, he has a vision from his wife, and she tells him to keep living, so he does. Without being prompted he steps up and helps one of her old students, his long time neighbor, and of course the family across the street in truly thoughtful ways. He has a purpose beyond his wife now, and he continues to live and find his place without her in it. When the time comes, he dies peacefully from a chronic heart condition.

I enjoyed this movie. While I'm used to watching period dramas, bloody horror, and musicals, it was a nice change. The acting is superb, especially the contrast of Otto's character and everyone surrounding him. The story, although sad, has some funny and feel good parts that they show in the trailer, I just really wanted more cat. There's a part where he attacks a clown, that is valid, and very comical. I give this movie four tuna cans out of five.

p.s. If you or anyone you know is in distress and has thoughts of suicide, you can call 988. It will route you to the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. It's 24/7 and confidential.

Here's the trailer...


Thank you for continuing to follow me, so far it's been 6 years 💗 I don't write as much as when I started, but that doesn't mea...

Fluffy's 6th Birthday Giveaway!

Thank you for continuing to follow me, so far it's been 6 years 💗 I don't write as much as when I started, but that doesn't mean I'm not still passionate about cats and horror! Enter to win my 6 year prize pack, description and rules below...

Prizes include:

1. Vincent Price Art Print by Little Shop of Gore, framed.

2. Acrylic Bat Necklace by Murderous Jewels.

3. The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay, hardcover.

4. Bat Bag by GoreJess Laboratory.

5. Silver Cat Earrings.

6. Bookmark to go with all your books from Little Black Bats.

7. An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman.

8. 25th Anniversary Edition of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.

9. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

~ Like the Fluffy the Vampire Slayer Facebook Page.

~ Comment on the Giveaway post pinned to the top, why you follow Fluffy the Vampire Slayer.

~ Share the Fluffy the Vampire Slayer Facebook page.

Good luck, and I'll be picking a winner at random on 

Wednesday, February 15 and they'll be contacted via Facebook. *Sorry only US residents.


If you've followed my blog, you know I'm a fan of Grady Hendrix's writing. I reviewed The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying V...

The Final Girl Support Group

If you've followed my blog, you know I'm a fan of Grady Hendrix's writing. I reviewed The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel and My Best Friends Exorcism (now a movie, that I heard was terrible, but I'll probably watch it anyway), now it's time to review The Final Girl Support Group: A Novel. Of the three novels, I liked this one the best!


The book tells the story of six "final girls", or women who live to tell the tale of confronting their slasher, that meet once a month in a support group. They've been together longer than ten years and each one has a different traumatizing experience. If you know horror movies, you'll relate their killers to 1970s and 1980s classic horror movies that we all know and love. The support group meets with a therapist, and in turn the therapist has used their sessions to author best-selling books. They each have processed their past differently, from one lady that has moved on and feels they are living in the past, to one that feels like the group is her only connection to people and the outside world. In any case, the final girls have a bond that no one else does, and without them realizing it, they have become a family.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I'm impressed at how Hendrix writes female characters. Their personalities greatly vary, but their interactions are wholly realistic and relatable.

The book is told from the voice of one of the final girls, Lynette. We see her living as a victim, paranoid and scared. One day, a member of the support group doesn't show up because she's been murdered. Now Lynette needs to find out who the killer is, and so does the reader! In gathering information, you peel away Lynette's story, and watch it slowly unravel. The heroines are flawed survivors, which makes the reader sympathetic to their experiences and eager to find out more. 

I won't tell you who did it, but it's a surprise, and just when you think you know, you don't! It's a thriller and as a reader you will feel like you have inside knowledge of a horror and gore slasher movie. Again, this book is also a reflection of society's obsession with serial killers and slasher movies and how much some people idolize them. That's a whole different kind of horror.

While I've never thought of myself as a “final girl”, there are days when I feel like it's me alone against the world, and I'm ready to do battle! The ladies in this book have a fighting spirit that makes them go on fighting when others would give up. They inspire me not to give up. They have battled, and won more than once. This book wraps up nicely, and I wanted to read it before next week, when Hendrix's next book How to Sell a Haunted House is released.


I went to a large book sale and came across a couple " The Cat Who... " mystery novels by Lillian Jackson Braun , and I just had t...

The Cat Who Books!

I went to a large book sale and came across a couple "The Cat Who..." mystery novels by Lillian Jackson Braun, and I just had to have them! (This may sound familiar because I mentioned them years ago in a blog Cat About Town: A Cat Cafe Mystery.) Right at that moment, a childhood memory had been unlocked! The books are mysteries about small town life, with characters you come to know and love. Yes, there are two reoccurring Siamese cats in them too ~ Koko and Yum Yum. There are 29 books in the series, but don't fret, they don't need to be read in order. Even though there's people dying and things blowing up, the books end on a happy, upbeat note. Honestly, they are always a feel-good read!

Andrew saw how much I was enjoying reading the few I picked up, so he went on a hunt for them. He gave me a bunch for Christmas to add to my ever-growing stash. "The Cat Who..." series have become my go-tos when I want "comfortable" books. They are like wearing a warm blanket with two cats purring on you. I highly recommend them.


Me in front of gram's house. Halloween about 1986ish.  (Note: Her melted wax scarecrow on the door. I'm happy to say I inherited all...

My Life is Chaos Part 4: Gram's House & Sjogrens Syndrome

Me in front of gram's house. Halloween about 1986ish. 

(Note: Her melted wax scarecrow on the door. I'm happy to say I inherited all of her holiday melted wax decorations.)

My parents got divorced when I was 5 years old. At that point, my mom and I moved in with my gram. I lived with gram until my mom got remarried, but that didn't happen until I was 14. My gram's house played a big role in my life. I grew up living there. It was a small house in the city of Buffalo ~ the Kaisertown area ~ where a bunch of Polish people migrated, it was off a main street across from a park. The house had been added on to several times, and I think it was built at the turn of the century. I was told it originally had an outhouse. The bedrooms could only fit a bed and one dresser, there was no basement, and the attic was an attic, filled with boxes and mainly used for storage. The house was heated by a furnace in the center of the dining room. I grew up thinking anyone that had a finished attic or basement was rich. When I dream of a house, it's usually gram's. 

Attic stairs with trap door.

Attic, now mostly empty.

I loved her oven, and if I could have taken it with me, I would have.

My gram lived there until the end. She died 14 years ago and the house went to my mom. My mom didn't want it, but she also didn't sell it. She couldn't bring herself to clean it out. Everything about it had sentimental value. I tried to help her move things out, but she'd end up crying, and I'd end up getting mad because we didn't make any progress. 

This past year, the roof on my gram's vacant house started leaking. I reiterated to my mom, “You NEED to sell this house.” She sold it and closed on it last month. All through November and December I was helping her clean it out. That took up a ton of my time, but I'm glad the burden of the house is gone for her.

Thank you for sticking with me through my tough times and following along. In addition to My Life is Chaos Parts 1, 2, and 3, I was exhausted like never before, and went to the doctor to get a bunch of tests done. I tested positive for Sjogrens Syndrome in December. It makes sense because a couple years ago my elbow swelled up to the point I couldn't bend it. Remember that fun time?! I was given Rheumatoid Arthritis meds, and the swelling went away. Sjogrens is an autoimmune disease. The most famous person to have it is Venus Willams. Mainly my symptoms are severe dry eye, fatigue, and arthritis. I know what you're thinking, “Julie Ann, you're a young babe, how can this be?!” I'm really 86, don't I look good? But seriously, let me give you some advice....don't get old.