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Hunting in the deep dark woods and further creative ventures


Art Dolls

I'm finally putting my art dolls in my Etsy shop! Hurray! If you're interested, you can click this link, and go to my Etsy shop. You can check out the dolls in detail! 

At this point, I'll be posting new things weekly. Ultimately, not a bad goal. Especially since I have so much to do before the Comic Expo as it is. Here's a brief run down of what I'm planning to make over the next four months (for sale on Etsy and at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo).

~ 10 to 20 new hoods (new collections, including Supernatural, and Galaxy)
~ basic gauntlets (faux fur, leather, and Steampunk) and hand pieces (Steampunk and Fantasy)
~ 2 to 3 capelets
~ 2 to 3 cloaks
~ 2 to 3 corsets and/or waist cinchers
~ jewelry (necklace, headpieces)
~ chain mail and scale mail pieces
~ ears (basic cat/wolf ears, fox ears, and "Wolf Shaman" ears)

I'm going to busy! Fortunately, I'm warming up to just saying "I'M MAKING THESE THINGS SO DEAL WITH IT! I'M A NERD AND I'M TIRED OF BEING AN 'ARTISTE'! I JUST WANT TO BE FREE!" It will make me so much happier. Yet, I'm a coward. I can kill dragons and draugrs and monsters in Skyrim, but I can't even man up to do what I want in my real life. Soon. Especially because I have so much to do...


A Day Out

Whenever my husband and I go out and about, this is how I picture us.

But that's because I romanticize everything. I can't help it. The world is much more exciting when you live in it with a sense of wonder and romance. 

Any who. We went to a few places, and did some shopping. My husband needed new jeans, and we wanted to use some gift cards, and I wanted to get some things to update my wardrobe a little bit. 

What a lovely little haul. I didn't even spend that much to get everything. I'm looking forward to putting these things to use!

Everything in a nutshell. Bluenotes: Black "jeggings" (they fit more like pants than leggings. I needed new black pants for work, and just life in general. They're more like skinning dress pants than anything), flowy black top, and soft galaxy infinity scarf. Goodwill: Striped past-the-knee length skirt, two neckties (for the fabric. The pattern in both ties was just too perfect). Forever 21: Nice cozy cardigan, black rose earrings, and two necklaces (one is for a friend of mine). Lush: "Quietly Motivated" liquid eyeliner (it's so pretty and glittery!). HMV: Five Blu-Rays (both my husband and I picked out a few. They were on sale, and we had a gift card). Crossroads Market: Bone china decanter label.

In detail (the neat things).

You'll recognize a few of these titles from my Top Ten Movies of 2013 blog post. The other two are movies that my husband adores (Dredd and Lawless). All of these movies are ones that both of us adore. I'm going to re-watch the life out of The Great Gatsby. It'll probably be one of my go-to background noise movies, like Shutter Island

I'm so excited to try out my Lush "Quietly Motivated" eyeliner. It blends out really well, and it's kind of a dark coppery colour. I did a swatch of it on my hand (Lush is so good for letting you try things in store. One of the reasons I buy so much from them), and it's so glittery, and both builds up and blends out really well. Recently my Revlon eyeliner has been horrible to me (not dense or dark enough... Just a grey mess that burns my eyes). Unfortunately, I couldn't get any black eyeliner from Lush, because they're reformulating or something. Hopefully in the New Year! Lush is a little bit more expensive, but it's mostly natural (if it is synthetic,  it comes from ethical sources), and they don't test on animals. Which is good (I used to not care, but recently I have, because so many animals that I like are ones that get tested on). And man. The products they make. I like them. My skin likes them. 

This is my lovely antique store find. We went to Crossroads Market, and stumbled upon an antique store that had all kind of weird things. I jumped on this, because I have a weird thing for old decanter labels. I have one for bourbon or gin... I can't remember. I still need to clean it. I got that one for free. This one was marked as $10, but the woman gave it to me for $7. It's bone china, made in England. I looked up the type and the maker, and found the same one as part of a set of three selling for $95. I got mine for a good price. Regardless, I'm still planning to make it into jewelry. Or just hang it on my inspiration board. It's so bizarrely pretty. Something that looks like it belongs with a tea set, yet instead is used to label a decanter. Fascinating!

So many nice fabrics! Galaxies, silhouettes of Victorian ladies (makes me think of Cinderella), and elephants. Lots of my favourite things. I'm fairly certain that all of the fabrics are synthetic, but whatever the case... Inspiring, and I'm planning to make something clever out of the ties. 

I almost bought these earrings a little while ago, but decided against it. Luckily, they were still there. They're big chunky black roses, with gold-coloured backing. They hang from fish hook style earrings (or whatever they're called...). I want to start wearing more earrings again, and I'm toying with the idea of re-stretching my lobes. We'll see, though. I just miss having big posts in my ears, just as I miss my snakebites. Only difference is that stretching out my lobes again is a bit less noticeable than facial piercings. Also less work. 

The necklaces are simple little pendants with resin and gold-coloured insects. I bought one for myself and one for a friend of mine (as mentioned). She's planning to do a steampunk entomologist character (which I think would be so cool. It's actually inspiring me to think about doing a botanist character), and thought of her when I saw it. I wanted one also (because what's not to love about a necklace with what appears to be a gold queen ant or wasp), so I bought one in mint-green-blue, and one in black. She'll be getting the black one. Forever 21 also has big lockets with beetles on them, but the chains were so chunky. Potential for them, but not today.

So much coziness! I like the sweater that I got. It's a size large, so it's nice and cozy and comfortable and just everything that a sweater ought to be. I'm a fan.

That's all for now kids!


My Top Ten Films of 2013

I decided to review all of the movies that I saw in the past year, and list my favourites. Now, this is limited to movies that I have seen in theaters (because that's a bit easier to figure out). Looking back at it, my husband and I went to a lot of movies this past year. Most of it is because of Scene points, but also, my husband likes movies, and likes going to theaters. If it wasn't for him, I would probably just wait and watch them at home. Now, this list may be incomplete, or a little bit off, depending on whether or not the list I used was complete. It looks fairly spot on, and at very least, and the movies that I definitely loved are on here. 

I'm just going to run through all of the movies that I saw in theater. Star Trek: Into Darkness; World War Z; Man of Steel; Iron Man 3; Dark Skies; Mama; Gangster Squad; The Last Exorcism: Part 2; Oz the Great and Powerful; The ABCs of Death; Evil Dead; The Great Gatsby; The Lone Ranger; The Conjuring; You're Next; The World's End; Insidious: Chapter 2; Prisoners; The Wizard of Oz (3D/Imax 75th Anniversary Release); Carrie; The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug; American Hustle

Now, I will say that of all the movies we saw, there's only a few that I didn't really like, or wasn't crazy about. They're all good, but a few were less than spectacular. Overall, though, I generally enjoyed all of the movies that I saw. And then there were a few that just blew me away, and that I saw at least twice, or wanted to see more than once.

Without further ado.... (as close to the right order as I can get).

10. Iron Man 3
There have been a lot of good superhero movies. Man of Steel was really good, and I liked it, but even if I like a superhero movie, they're generally the same. The characters are fairly one dimensional, and there's not a lot of depth. However, I didn't get that sense with Iron Man 3. I think the difference is the fact that it was written by Shane Black, and he is a brilliant writer. It turned a superhero into a relate-able character; one who is just as messed up as the rest of us. I like Robert Downey Jr. quite a bit, but I think this is the first time in an Iron Man movie where I liked him the way that I do in his other movies.

9. Prisoners
What a terrifying film. I never want to watch it again, but I think that it should receive awards. It was so well done, and beautifully shot. However, it's tragic, dramatic, horrifying, fear-inducing. And it made me come to the conclusion that if I was in the Apocalypse, I would not want to be anywhere near Hugh Jackman's character's house. I recommend it. I just don't necessarily want to watch it again.

8. You're Next
You might notice quite quickly that a lot of movies on this list are horror movies. May as well admit that first, and get it out of the way. My husband and I are horror movie fans, and we saw almost all of the horror movie releases of this year, with the exception of just a few. Because of that... Yes! A lot of the movies on this list are horror. Naturally, though, they had to be good to get on this list. And boy. 2013 was a good year for horror. I chose to put You're Next on here because it completely blew me out of the water. We went for the heck of it, and I dragged my feet to the theater. I was expecting another run of the mill home invasion movie. Not my favourite type of horror. I don't know why I was expecting that. It was directed by the guy who directed the short Q is for Quack in the The ABCs of Death. That is a weird one, and Adam Wingard definitely has a style. Man, that movie was good. I left speechless, and in awe. Kind of like after I watched Cabin in the Woods. When you've seen so many horror movies (both good and bad), everything starts to look like the same movie. It follows a precise formula. So when someone breaks that formula, it's a breath of fresh air. 

7. Oz The Great and Powerful
I'm not fully sure where this movie belongs on this list, because it's impossible to compare to other movies. It was so dazzling, so mesmerizing, and just wonderful. It was almost as good as seeing The Wizard of Oz in Imax 3D. I loved the movie because it incorporated both the universes of The Wizard of Oz book and movie. It stitched them perfectly, and it just made for something so wonderfully whimsical. I'd like to own it in time, and watch it on dreary sad days.

6. Carrie
I was excited. I came. I saw. I loved the movie. It was almost better than the original. Who expected that? Not I. But goodness. I was so pleasantly surprised. Carrie is one of my favourite stories, and one of my favourite books. I've always related to the character of Carrie, and seeing an updated version was great. It also filled a couple of gaps that the original had. Chloe Grace Moretz is an amazing horror actress. I hope that she makes more and more horror films.

5. American Hustle
Great story. Great period piece. Good movie full of horrible people. I liked it. It definitely represented all of the good and the bad that made up the late 1970s. Whoever did the costuming should be applauded. It's difficult to get the 1970s perfect without being cheesy, or poorly choosing which fashions to focus on, but they did it. The movie felt like something lifted from a 1970s magazine, and the movie was well written. I think it's one of my favourite con films that I've seen.

4. Evil Dead
As far as a reboot/sequel/thing, Evil Dead was phenomenal. It was gory, brutal, disgusting, and everything that I could hope for from Evil Dead. It actually made me like the Evil Dead franchise. I enjoyed it, but the new one made me really appreciate it. That sounds odd, and a lot of people might chew my head off for saying that. But at least I do like the movies more now. This remake/reboot is just really, really, good.

3. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

2. The Conjuring
Best horror movie. Best biopic. Watch it. And scream. I did. Twice.

1. The Great Gatsby
I heard that a lot of people didn't like this movie. But I like Baz Luhrmann. I like dazzling spectacles. I like watching a movie, and feeling mesmerized. I want to live in the parties thrown at Gatsby's. I loved the costumes, the stories, the set, the music. It felt like I saw seeing everything through the eyes of someone in the 1920s who was going to the big city or a rich person's house for the first time. I enjoy spectacles. I enjoy glitter and dancing and shining wealth. I love the 1920s. I could watch this movie over and over again, and continue to love it. Let me bask in its splendor. In other news, I continue to be amazed that Leonardo Di Caprio hasn't won an Oscar. 

That's all folks! I think this list is all that it could be. I continue to be baffled that I saw enough movies in theater to make a list like this. Thank you, husband. 


Clever Negativity

Every time I scroll through my news feed on Facebook, I keep seeing these clever memes and posts that are just so stupendously negative. I get tired of this spiteful negativity. It's an attempt at cleverness, bringing negative things to light, but continuing to do nothing about it. It's full of contempt, and I don't know what the point is. Is it a desire to guilt people? Is there a belief that posting silly images is going to solve the world's problems? Does anyone actually think about the true meaning, and the true implications of posting something like that? Does it make that person feel justified, or like they are making a difference? Do they simply get joy from feeling like they hold the secrets of the universe? That secret being that there are negative and painful realities, and that we don't live in a perfect world.

I just don't get the point. If you don't like something, change it. Posting images doesn't accomplish anything. Yes, it would be great if it was that simple, but it doesn't accomplish anything. You just leave people feeling guilty, unsure, and not sure what to think about you. 


The Hobbit: A Long Expected Review

This evening we saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I just saw the first Hobbit movie (An Unexpected Journey) last week or so. That being said, both are fresh in my mind, and I'm rather glad to have seen the films so close together. That being said, I'm not clear on why everyone is hating on the movies so much.

I have heard so much negativity about the first movie. It's to the point that even in positive reviews of the second movie, they will bring up how much they didn't like the first movie. It puzzles me. Now, having seen both films, and having adored them (#gandalf4life), I have decided to address everything that people are picking on, and everything that I loved.

Let's begin with what people are picking on. 

The fact it's in three movies. Sure, we have to wait longer to get the whole story. At the same time, when it's back to back, or even closer together, it feels like such a complete story. I don't feel like anything is missing. I think that if people were to marathon all three movies after they were out, they wouldn't complain. As for things being added in, all of the "extra" stuff is stuff that Tolkien did write (it was just written in the other books that aren't the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings trilogy). I mean, I would rather get more, and feel like I'm witnessing everything than have something cut out. It's really no different than having Game of Thrones made into a TV series. Peter Jackson just opted for movies, which befits the story of the Hobbit a lot better. It's just another way to make sure that nothing gets left out. After all, look how much people complained when a lot was cut out of Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King.

How Smaug looks. I heard someone complain about the appearance of Smaug. I don't want to give anything away, but to be fair, Smaug is biologically and anatomically accurate and realistic. Something with wings tacked on cannot fly, and it can't move properly. Why do people think bats look the way they do?

Pretty dwarfs. There is some dispute over how Fili and Kili (the young dwarfs) look pretty. Aidan Turner plays Kili, and he does look prettier in comparison to how dwarfs normally look. I don't mind it. He's a younger dwarf, and I don't think it's literally written anywhere that all dwarfs have to look insanely rugged and what is considered to be brutish and manly on a stereotypical level. There are female dwarfs, and they are pretty. In the human race, we have effeminate men, who are more lightly built, a bit fairer, and so on. If humans can have that relationship, why can't dwarfs? It's not like they have one sex or one age group. 

Lack of female characters. I heard someone say this in the theater, and it must have been in relation to the film. Even if it's not, I know it's going to come up. 1) What were they watching when they saw the Lord of the Rings trilogy? 2) It's based on books from the 1940s, so strong female lead wasn't in the vocabulary. 3) Most fantasy movies don't have many female characters. 4) What about Tauriel? I'd consider her to be a strong female character (even if I don't like Evangeline Lilly. But that's kind of irrelevant). 

PEOPLE HAVE GOT TO STOP VIEWING EACH MOVIE AS ITS OWN ENTITY. All of the movies are part of one story. It seems like a main criticism is how each movie seems to have little story, or just stop, or not have a full story, or anything that you would expect from a single part of a full story. It's kind of like taking a novel, or even a single movie for that matter, only watching a third, and then deciding with absolute certainty that you hate it. It's a part of a whole, and the whole is going to be amazing. Again with the marathon-ing the movies, and watching them in one giant go. I want to do that. 

Now, on to what I like, and what I was left swooning over.

The costume and set details. Oh my Lord. The details. I'm a detail oriented person. I'm also a tactile person. So, when I can physically feel things with my eyes because of the textures shown... My soul. There are so many parts where someone is wearing something, and the textures just shine through, or the details beg the attention of wandering eyes. It's such a treat. Even without looking into the work done on the costuming and props (and a lot was done), you can just feel that work was done. The details. Oh, the details in everythiiiing.

The characters, and the people who played them. I think that the films are well cast, and everyone fits their roles impeccably. Everything. Everyone. And again, with the costumes, I enjoy how unique the costumes are to each character. Did you know that every character's costume is so unique that some armor has phrases etched on the inside, where only the actor can see it?

Everything is done by WETA Workshops, and they are lovely, talented, people. WETA was at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo last year, and we met them. They're really nice folks (Kiwis, I tell ya), and you wouldn't believe the skill and detail that goes into the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies. They even handcraft all replicas that they sell, and put as much authenticity as they possibly can. Does this have anything to do with the movie? Not necessarily. But it does play a part. As much as it goes unnoticed, these kinds of detail, and this degree of work does matter. No one necessarily notices, but if it was any different, it would feel like something was missing. And then people would have reason to complain. I think that these details are important, and they probably play into how people perform as actors. It's unbelievable. 

It's divided into three films. I was hesitant at first. But the movies don't feel long, and they don't feel rushed. Three hours just flies by. I honestly can't wait to marathon all three. For the first time when watching a film adaptation of a book, I don't feel like anything could possibly be missing. In terms of hours, it's actually less hours than it would be as a TV series. Just food for thought (and not suggesting that the Hobbit should be a TV series. Because it shouldn't). 

I love Lord of the Rings, but so far I'm enjoying the Hobbit more. That is saying a lot. The Hobbit movies are fun, entertaining, action-filled, and everything I could want from a fantasy action movie. I've been invested in a lot of fantasy recently (reading Game of Thrones, playing Skyrim, watching The Hobbit, watching Xena, so on), and The Hobbit movies combine all of the things that I enjoy about fantasy. Not to mention what is absolutely fantastic about playing Dungeons and Dragons. 

I think that's about it for now. At least, it's 1:33 AM and I should go to bed. 

In conclusion, I don't think that people should be so hasty to disown the movies. I think that if you're hesitant to watch The Hobbit movies, just watch them in marathon style. If you can. I just think that it removes the dispute of not feeling complete. Just keep remembering that it's part one, part two, and part three. The beginning, the dramatic climax, and the end. You can't judge a story based on one of those things. And come on. There's Gandalf. And a giant dragon. And... Everything. Just watch them.

#Gandalf4Life (Who am I kidding. Octothorps have no power here.)


Nasty Gal

Don't you hate it when footwear by your favourite shoe designer goes insanely on sale, and you have absolutely no money? Pain. I get email updates from Nasty Gal, a women's clothing website. In general, I don't like their clothes, but I do like the shoes. Mostly because it is one of the only websites where Jeffrey Campbell is regularly on sale. Which, for a shoe and fashion fiend like me... is awesome. I just like eccentric and over the top killer shoes. I always have. I'm kind of sad that it's winter, because it means that I can't wear my Litas or my Minnies or any of my crazy cool shoes. I just don't want to wreck them with the snow. Still, it's always fun to look online. Just... GRR! When the ones I absolutely desire are on sale for more than 50% off, it makes me go a little bit crazy. For the record, Jeffrey Campbell shoes are generally upwards of $150.00. So when there's a pair costing only $60... *clutches heart*. Thus, I'm writing about this, just to satisfy myself, and make me accept that I don't really need them. The good news is, I have a really common foot size, so my size is often sold out immediately. Kind of a bummer.

I'm also writing this because I don't feel like getting dressed, and I feel crummy. I'm now fighting something, and I'm not happy about it. I guess that my body is now letting everything in. To make matters worse, I have to leave for work in just under an hour. It's going to be a long three or four hours. Afterwards my husband and I are having date night (we're going to see the second Hobbit movie), which will be fun, but I don't want to be sick or feeling lousy through all of it. I'm determined to not get sick, because there's too much to do, and we're busy every day, then we leave for Saskatchewan, and Lord knows that I don't want to be sick during that time. Battle through. I'm a mage barbarian wood elf. I have to be well!


My Favourite Things

There I was, my face still chilled from a walk outside, lighting candles and incense. I decided to burn some of my Palo Santo, and this led me to think about these things I have that are some of my favourites, but not many people really know that they are. (Did that sentence make any sense?) Any ways, I am going to describe a few of my favourite things, some of my most beloved possessions, activities, and so on. But I think what I'm going to do is try to narrow my favourites down to the five senses. I just got that idea, and I think it's rather clever. Or is it... Now, can you guess which sense belongs to which?

Side note: I'm trying this thing where I'm trying to be more honest, and more open. At least on my blog. Or at least starting with my blog? I'll discuss that more later. Moving on.

Palo Santo incense- This is my favourite incense. It comes in the form of pieces of wood, that smell spicy and warm. When you light it, it smells like the most perfect camp fire. In general, my favourite scents are what would be considered "masculine". Woodsy, musky. My favourite smells are earthy wood (y'know. Wood that has been buried for a while, and is on the verge of rotting, but doesn't smell like rotting? It's rather specific), leather, campfire smoke, Old Spice (yes, the men's deodorant. The classic kind), trees, unlit tobacco, smoky black tea, and those kinds of things. I've never been one to like fruity smells. There are some flowers or fruits that I like the smell of, but it's very specific. It has to be a high note with very earthy low and medium notes. Also, fake smells. I don't like those. (For the record, my least favourite smell in the world is faux blueberry. I think it's wretched. All other fruits are a close second).

 Talbot, and my other pelts and tails- Yes, I have furs. They are dead animals that hang around our home. Please don't chop my head off if you're an anti-fur person. I like furs because I feel connected to the animal on an elemental level. I find something very comfortable about it. I like feeling connected to more primal and ancestral roots, and pelts and the tails that I always wear allow me to feel that way. And yes, I named by fox pelt. Its name is Talbot. I named it because it fit, and as a road-kill pelt, I feel that gives it respect. I can understand that not all of this would make sense to other people, and that's okay. It's just how I relate to things. 

Gin and chocolate and tea- I can't really choose one favourite taste. Chocolate and tea are definitely at the top. I also like gin. Or rather, I like the taste of juniper berries (apparently). My favourite chocolate is dark, and my favourite teas are black. I'm quite fond of Ceylon, and Canadian Breakfast. Also, Russian Caravan. Hmm... maybe we should have some of that tonight... 

Indie Winter playlists on 8tracks.com- Whenever I bake, I listen to playlists on 8tracks. It's a website where people can upload playlists. It's quite good. You just type in tags that relate to what you want to listen to, and away you go. My favourite playlists usually have the words 'indie', 'folk', 'winter', 'chill', and things like that. Some songs I like more than others, but for the most part, it makes for a cozy feeling, and it makes me think of last winter when I went to my friend's studio for an afternoon, and we listened to her music, worked on art, and drank tea. It was lovely.

The night sky and barren prairie- I've been feeling homesick recently. Homesick for the prairie. I can't wait to be home in 10 days or so. I miss walking to the end of the earth, bundled in winter gear, the sound of dogs running through the snow. I love winter in the prairie. Especially at night. In general, night time is my favourite time to be outside. I just like walking, staring up at the sky. In the prairie, you can see the milky way, stretching into oblivion. Glittering constellations on rich velvet. Last winter, I would go out with the dogs, go out in the middle of the field, and lay on the frozen ground. Sinking into the snow just a little bit. I would stare at the sky, wishing to fall asleep. Our dog Cap would run over, wondering what on earth was wrong. Nothing feels more like love than a snowy dog face touching yours. I miss that dog. I miss all of it. My soul needs to go back. I know that I would never be able to live in the city forever. There's always a million eyes, and a million lights. Barriers made of lawns and stucco. I want to wander, without hesitation of what directions I can't go. Give me scratches of barbed wire, and coyote yips. I want to lean my head back and howl, and have the world howl back. The truest form of comfort is the kiss of ice, and feeling like such a small part of an infinite universe. I hate winter in the city, but in the prairie it puts my soul at rest.

The Prince House, and other paranormal experiences- I don't know if I believe in clairvoyance, or the supernatural, or the paranormal, or whatever. In my bones I know that there is something else. I've had psychic readings, and it left me questioning everything. Mostly because of what it meant. I've had experiences that could be described as other worldly or something of that sort... The weirdest was when I was in the Prince House in Heritage Park, and I didn't want to be on the second floor. Particularly near the nursery. I had the worst feelings, anxiety, my heart thudding, feeling electric and frightened and nervous. I left, and waited on the main floor. I went back up a few minutes later, in case I was nervous because of the amount of people. Same nervous feelings in that spot. Later I learned that the Prince House is allegedly haunted, and many people have had experiences in the same spot that I did. What frightened me the most about this was the fact that I hadn't known about its haunted status previously. A bit weird. And yet, somehow, I'm still highly skeptical. Curious, and paranormal obsessed. But very, very, skeptical.

That's all folks. And yes, I threw in a bonus "sixth sense". Because why not.



This year is my first Christmas away from home, as it is my first Christmas with my husband. We will still be going home to see both of our parents, but we will be spending Christmas eve, day, and most of the holiday in Calgary. I'm really looking forward to it. I am excited to see my parents, my husband's parents, and I am excited for cozy days watching movies, reading books, and baking up a storm. I've been thinking about Christmas. Mostly in terms of looking outwards to other people. Christmas gets a lot of flack, and I don't understand. I've never been able to understand. People say such negative things, and focus on the bad, on the "consumerism", the Christian-ness, and so on. It's almost as if most people have this idea that Christmas shouldn't be anything that it is, or ever has been. I'm not sure what they think it should be, really. I've decided to discuss my beliefs, thoughts, and responses to all of these "issues" that people bring up.

Now, before I get started, I'm going to say that I am writing this only to collect my own thoughts, and maybe give people something to think about. I am not trying to convince anyone to see things my way, or believe what I believe. That would be ridiculous. But maybe, just maybe, I'll encourage people to think about why people do enjoy Christmas, and why it can hurt or be upsetting when people try to destroy it.

1. Christmas is a Christian holiday
Yes, yes, yes. I know that Jesus wasn't born in the winter. I know the early Christians chose to place the celebration of it around the same time of the year as the Yule, to encourage Pagans to become Christian. Now, this was a long, long, long time ago. The same people who criticize Christmas for being at a different time than when Jesus would have been born are the same people who don't think that Jesus was even a real person. If He never existed, then why does it matter when the holiday is? Not to mention the fact that it's interesting that early Christians adopted Pagan traditions in the hope to create unity. Sure, it's to try to convert people, but the sharing and adopting of traditions is something to be appreciated. Now, while the holiday is around the same time as Yule, and the Winter Solstice, Christmas has been celebrated at this time for thousands of years. At this point, what does anyone expect to happen by saying that Christmas isn't at the time of year that it "should be"? I mean, in the Spring when Jesus would have been born, we have Easter, and it seems odd for a religion to celebrate their Messiah's birth and observe the Messiah's death within the same month or so.

2. Replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays".
This one has always simultaneously made me laugh, and made me angry. Whenever people try to tell people not to say Merry Christmas, it's like saying that no religious person should wish someone specific blessings. At the same time, people generally want to replace Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays to make it non-denominational, and make it non-religious. Yet, the word 'holiday' comes from 'holy day'. If that's not religious, I don't know what is. 
I just don't think that anyone should try to tell people what to say and what not to say. If someone wants to wish you a Merry Christmas, let them. They are sharing their joy with you, and are wishing that you have a happy time of this year. Why would you reject that? How many other times of the year do people wish blessings upon you, or genuinely wish joy upon you? That shouldn't be shunned, that should be embraced.

3. Declaring how consumerist the season is.
I can't disagree, but I don't think it's much more consumerist than any other time of the year. We always buy stuff that we don't need. I think the difference is that we buy for other people, to try to bring joy. At least, that's the dream. For anyone who is so annoyed at how consumerist the season is, just focus on something else. Instead of buying gifts, just make, create, offer something else. It doesn't have to be about stuff. It isn't about stuff. For me, personally, Christmas is my favourite time of year, because I like giving, and I like making. Nothing makes me feel happier than giving to other people. Material things aren't for everyone, but it shouldn't be trod on. Christmas is the craziest, but a lot of people buy $5 coffee every day of the year. 

4. Guilt-provoking adverts on T.V.
This is a pet peeve of mine, and a lot of people share my thoughts. You know all of those ads on TV for giving money to third world countries? I don't like them. Part of this comes from the fact that they are only shown around Christmas time, and they are designed to guilt. It is not charity if you are doing it out of guilt, and you only give once a year. This is completely separate from the other topics I've been covering, but it bothers me. 

5. Changing lyrics in Christmas songs to be non-denominational and non-religious.
I am part of a steampunk group, and they were organizing to do Christmas caroling while in Victorian garb. I wanted to do it, but I couldn't do it, because some people wanted to change the words, and only have Yule and non-religious based songs. Fine. Whatever. But in Victorian clothing, guess what makes the most sense? Singing Victorian Christmas carols. Those carols are the ones that you can find in Church hymnals. Victorians would have been singing about Jesus and the Virgin Mary, and good King Wenceslas. I think it's a bit insensitive and flat out pointless to change the words of hymns. Especially when the hymns carry far more meaning than any other songs. 

6. Keeping Christ in Christmas
There is always the whole thing with the true meaning of Christmas, and all that jazz. I think that it is most articulately put at the end of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. "That is the Christmas star. It means something different to everyone. And now I know what it means for me" (paraphrased). While Christmas is a Christian holiday, that doesn't mean that other people can't find their own meaning in it. For some, that is Christ. For others, it is spreading joy and good will. Whatever Christmas means to you, celebrate it. Don't give it a different name. Don't try to change it. Christ taught of good will, treating others well, and bringing peace. It doesn't matter who tells you to believe in those things. Hold on to it. That is what Christmas is about. Don't get caught up in being negative about imperfection, bad memories, or consumerism. Move past it. Christmas is what you make it. Even if it is not celebrating Christmas at all. Christmas can be the most important date on the calendar, or just another day to check off. If you don't celebrate Christmas, don't try to stop other people from celebrating it. You never know what it means to someone. Just remember that every time someone wishes you Merry Christmas, they are trying to share joy. It does go beyond all the packages and sparkling decorations. In writing this last paragraph, I am rendering some of my previous statements obsolete. I realize that. Like I said, I'm mostly writing this to think through some things, and get it out into the world. Maybe other people are having the same questions as I am. I guess to boil everything down... Christmas is a beautiful time of year. If you don't like it, don't stop other people from loving it. Let's all share the fact that people of so many cultures, faiths, and beliefs can share in celebration during the Winter, particularly December. This was a ramble. I think I've lost sight of what I was aiming to do in this writing. Whatever the case... I know what matters to me. I am excited for Christmas. For sharing with my loved ones, with my friends. I hope that you are too.


Get. It. Done.

(Please note that this might be a bit counter productive, because I am writing this while in bed. But to be fair, I just finished the last of my final papers. Writing in bed is a system that works for me.)

Yesterday in English class, my instructor showed us something called the "Done Manifesto". It is a manifesto focused on getting things done. As the end of the semester draws closer, this is what I need to do. Get it done. Not Larry The Cable Guy Done. Just done. The manifesto is as follows.

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action, and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more. 

And then there's this nifty infograph that sums up the above (with the help of Rubik cubes). 

Get it done. Whatever it takes, just get it done.

The Done Manifesto has become my mantra. And man. Does it help get things done. 


Back on the horse?

Here's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking that I might start up with daily creative blog. Restarting 12monthsofAlice. Probably will. Soon.


What Would I Say VERSUS I Write Like

Today, I caught wind of a new online Facebook thing called 'What Would I Say'. It is a status generator that utilizes your past statuses to make a new status. It's pretty funny. Now, being me, I've decided to take the statuses it makes (that make a little bit of sense) and put them into another online app called 'I Write Like'. This website takes your writing and matches it to a well known author.

Now, to use 'I Write Like', you have to supply at least a couple of paragraphs. To do this, I kept generating statuses and stringing them together, to create a longer piece of writing. 

The writing: 
"This is going to EVERYTHING. Why be lethargic when I'm about 20 episodes from being caught up with Death Calgary magicians! Winchester was going completely ape----. In this situation, that's worse than protesting, Jeffrey. Volkswagen mountain adventuring. They're just so that I tried to get up listening to Tiga, Jack White, Rob Zombie, King Charles, Relient K covering Eminem, Marilyn Manson, and ideal for your protest, it's trying to start a museum. The animal of Mary Toft and her dead person to rent.

What about prostitutes in the Old character. The animal skulls. And pair them with a printed face, until the evening I had completely failed. I am going to follow instructions. Secondly, I think what happened to be a NWMP diet. 

And start smoking a wolf. It pays well, you should have at least one thing which is handy. But seriously, Jason.

I'd like someone desperate to be getting sick. Drawing balloon animals and dozens of the best get on what I'm doing. Or I might have a dress to eat in a hole between 7th and pair of them. 

May the Fourth be with you Kate.

Mild insomnia, but a museum. Has a 19th century treadleoperated lathe. ---- is getting tired of it. Do the dancing maidens sleep, or borrow them again!!"

(For the record, there were mild curse words. Which... I have no idea where those came from. I never swear in Facebook statuses.)

The result is... I write like Cory Doctorow 
"Cory Efram Doctorow is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the weblog Boing Boing."

Well, that was interesting. Apparently EmmeliaBot could be a science fiction writer? This is the point where I admit that I have no idea what the point of this was. The end.



This, dear reader, is what happens when I experiment. Sometimes, I enjoy taking apart objects, just to see what happens. In this case, I took apart a kaleidoscope, and observed the effects of photographing through the kaleidoscope lens. Some would refer to this as "being creative". I prefer to think of it as being vaguely pernicious.

While posting this, I also considered the fact that I appear to have far less bones and skulls than I previously thought. At least I cherish the dead things that I do have. 

Collective nouns

A congregation of alligators. A shrewdness of apes. A cloud of bats. A sleuth of bears. An erst of bees. A piteousness of doves. A leash or skulk of foxes. A richness of martens. A superfluity of nuns. An unkindness of ravens. A parcel of sheep. A lamentation of swans. A cohort of zebras. 

Who knew that collective nouns could be so much fun? Isn't the English language deliriously fascinating sometimes? 

In other news, I recently started flipping through 'The Woman's Dictionary and Encyclopedia', illustrated, and published in 1909. I'm not particularly certain that it can be defined as a dictionary. The book is quite selective in what information it offers. Then again, it was pre-Suffragette. Whatever the case, an interesting piece of history, and has been a welcome addition to my collection of etiquette and home-makers books (pre-1950s). 


A little bit batty

Who loves bats? This gal loves bats. Bats are adorable, freaky little beasts. I have nothing but fond memories surrounding bats. If I could support any endangered animals, I would happily give money to bats, bat conservation, bat house building, and research to stop white mold in bat caves. The works. Bats are fuzzy little beauties, and I love them. Bats and foxes. Foxes and bats. My favourite beasts. I keep thinking that it would be really cool to have a tattoo of bats flying. Or a big flying fox with its wings outspread (for the record, flying foxes are a type of bat that lives in the Philippines and a few other places around there. They have a six foot wing span, and they're so adorable).

That being said, here are my favourite Etsy creations inspired by bats! There are some beauties. As always, links to the items are located below the images, and be sure to check them out!

Bat Hoodie Jacket by veraseyecandy
Bat cluster necklace by CherrylocoJewellery
Twinkle Twinkle Bat Sweatshirt (Mint) by hellocavities
Hand painted tea cup by  BurkeHareCo
Black bat wing scarf by CuteCandyClouds
Beautiful, batty, things!

Ending the day with cinnamon buns

Today was one of those days. I stayed home (knowing that I wouldn't miss anything), and worked on  my grad work. I got a lot of beading done, as well got some more work done on my grad paper. All the while feeling lousy. The day was finished off with watching Modern Family, drinking tea, and  eating cinnamon buns. The cinnamon buns are from Safeway, but I made butter icing to go on top. Delicious. Now, another long night of darkness. Is anyone else as bummed out about the time change as I am? Seriously, not excited about it being dark earlier. It's only seven o'clock. Depressing.


Jeffrey Campbell and Salem Witch Trials

Happy day! My new Jeffrey Campbell boots arrived in the mail. They are Jeffrey Campbell 'Mattie' ankle boots, and like all Jeffrey Campbells, they are really comfortable. A fashion website that I really like (but never buy from because it's so expensive) was having a sale for select styles of shoes. Some of the styles included... Jeffrey Campbell! Jeffrey Campbell is my favourite shoe designer. The styles are so clunky and weird, and inspired by things that are quite inspiring to me. Along with that, as mentioned, his shoes are among the most comfortable. It would be amazing to be a shoe designer. Shoes are fascinating glimpses into a person's personality, and it would be interesting to be someone who helps decide that.

The shoes that I would really like to own are the Jeffrey Campbell Siglins. They're inspired by Wednesday Addams, and they're described as being a love child between the height of a creeper and the shape of a Doc Marten. Good combination, in my opinion.

They also come in a houndstooth design. I'm most fond of the velvet and the patent leather. They're quite something, aren't they? Seriously, Jeffrey Campbell is amazing. I'm a huge fan of my Litas, and my new Mattie boots are going to be a happy contribution to my shoe collection.

In other news, check out my makeup/photo project from today.

It is inspired by the Salem witch trials. I've been really inspired by historical conceptions of witch craft, and how it plays into classical art. It's so fascinating... so violent. I'd like to do more art work surrounding the hysteria surrounding witch craft, ad hysteria in general. And thus, I do make up and photograph pairings that look like this. 


The words etched by insanity

I wrote a bit about this piece for the Fibre Blog at ACAD. You can find it here. I just don't want to re-write things. However, I did want to record some of the thoughts that I've been having in terms of reflecting upon what imagery I've been choosing to embroider. Re-reading some history of old mental asylums, it takes a toll on me. It's horrific, a form of psychological massacre. Social rejection turned into social genocide. I place myself in the time and place where someone would be cast out because of something as small as migraines or anxiety; lobotomized for something like schizophrenia or manic depression. There is such darkness that we gloss over, pretending that it never happened. If we can't pretend, we hide. Swallowing lies. Making scars magically disappear, attempting to silence those who disagree. 

The graffiti on the walls of asylums is thought-provoking, disturbing, repulsing. It's a dream of horror and macabre, not realizing how mad it makes the artist look. It becomes difficult to determine which graffiti was created by the lunatics, and which was created by those who claim to be sane. It blurs the line between sanity and insanity. It makes us question whether or not there is a divide to begin with. Perhaps we are always mad, and there is just a single push that makes us accept the fact that we never knew a reality.


Thrift Store Adventures

Found some neat things at the thrift store! Check out the cool choker I found! (scissors are a separate necklace that I've been wearing). It is metal mesh, with drape-y hanging chains and beads. Struck me as nice and Gothic and Victorian. Pretty nice find for $2.

I found a Wednesday Addams dress (knee length, long sleeves, Peter Pan collar, velvet buttons), a Catpocalypse t-shirt (by which I mean a t-shirt with a skull made of kittens and cats), a book of Victorian and Edwardian ghost stories, and a Charles Dickens-inspired notebook.

I also found a bunch of small trinkets. A large brooch with a 1920s design, I think it might be from the 1920s, as it is painted and is made of an old-feeling plastic; A Frida Kahlo pendant, which is double sided, with two miniature versions of her self-portraits; a vintage locket; metal tips for collars, which attach to fabric with the help of tiny little screws. 

So far, we have found some neat things at the Value Village near our house. Lots of treasures!


My Studio

Welcome to my studio space at school. This is my bulletin board. Isn't it interesting? We've got rolls of fabric (they were free, and I took the whole rolls because I knew that they would be useful to me), some dead Baby's Breath, my corset from my first silkscreen project, an apron (with gloves and eye protection), holographic Virgin Mary, fabric samples, a print of a drawing of a wolf spewing rainbow colours, and some finished prints (no longer there. They are about to be cut up to be made into a corset panel). Little bits are constantly being added. Inspiration abound.


Your thoughts about me, and how that will be transformed into a portrait

My most recent drawing project is to do a surrogate portrait. That isn't the exact title, but basically, we have to take a symbol or an image or an object or something that represents us. Not us, but the artist. In this case, me. For me, this means that I am going to do one of my garment portraits (or portrait garments?)... Only of myself. Which is going to be interesting! However, to make things really interesting, I'm going to diverge away from myself. I'm going to concede that people have opinions or thoughts about me, and I can't possibly encapsulate those ideas (which are far more interesting [to me] than my opinions and thoughts about myself) without asking. So here we are! I am shaking, nervous, and extremely apprehensive. I am wondering if this is a good idea, and if it will create something interesting. I am afraid of the end result, but curious... Then again... Curiousity killed the cat, didn't it? Or in this case... the fox?

All of this being said, if you would like to help me with my piece, please give me a word, image, or short phrase, indicating who you think I am. Does that make sense? Preferably, give a word. But if you want to see me embroider something really complicated... Well, we can't be friends, but I'll still do it. Begrudgingly. Feel free to comment as yourself, or anonymously, or what have you. I just think that this will make for a much more interesting portrait. I mean, let's face it. Otherwise I'll just make a garment that likens myself to some kind of historical character... And I'm not sure that I want to do that.


Fascinating Discoveries in the Pages of Books

I collect old books. The majority of my books are from the 1920s, but a few are newer, one or two are from the 1910s, and one from the 1840s. I absolutely adore old books. The paper feels different, the pages carry the scent of ages, and the binding is beautiful. They carry such a history, both personal and universal. Thus, I buy all of the old books that I can find, particularly those that tell tales of medical remedies, fairy tales, and curious things. Last night I was flipping through a couple of my books. One in particular stood out to me on this evening. There was one time when my husband (well, fiancee, at the time) and I were at the MCC Thrift Store. He found a copy of 'The Home Physician and Guide To Health, Volume II' from 1935. The first chapter is about Insanity, so I snapped it up happily.

While flipping through it last night, I actually read the handwriting at the front. I had always glossed over it, because of the names and dates. I kind of assumed that they were the owners of the book, or who the book was given to. Instead...

It is a record of who was infected with what, and in what year. Originally, I assumed that it was a list of what shots were administered, and when. However, a friend of mine commented on the photo (above) and explained that those vaccines wouldn't have been invented or perfected yet, and that it was a record of what they were sick with. Fascinating, really. Especially in the way that you can see which was most infectious (measles, and all four children [I presume] got it in 1953, but not at the same time). It's so interesting! Though, I'm definitely glad that such medical advancements have been made, and these diseases are not as prominent as they once were. Thank goodness...

Old books tell so many tales. Especially if you read the handwritten notes. It similar to old photographs- it's amazing to capture a snapshot of life, and the very personal thoughts that haunt all of our minds.


Rape Culture and You: An Introduction

We are living in an interesting time. It is unfortunate, mind you, but it is an interesting time. We are at a moment where 'rape culture' is a concept, and a 'thing', and it is, in many groups, socially acceptable. Here are a few examples, pulled from Twitter (there are more on an article on feministing.com).

Now, why on earth is this acceptable? Has the internet just become a place for potential rapists and molesters? Is Twitter a place where we can place where dangerous individuals can openly admit that they are a threat, and this is what they will do if they find an attractive woman? (Or man, or child, for that matter. Maybe they're just not stating who their choice victim is) Or, rather than 'attractive woman'... vulnerable woman? 

Well... unfortunately this isn't the case.  That would be a very valuable and honest system, but that's what websites created by the government are for. You know, the websites created by offices like SORNA or NCJRS. Of course, these sites aren't as user friendly as something like Twitter, but they still offer some tools. But then again... The people who are posting these 'Tweets' are probably not sexual offenders. Though... maybe we should ask them. Would it be socially acceptable to respond to those tweets and ask if they're sexual offenders? 

Most people would probably get a bit uptight and offended as soon as you would ask. I mean, if you're not, that's kind of an offensive question. It's like flat-out asking someone if they cheat on their wife, if they've ever beaten their child, or if they've ever done anything of ghastly social disorder. Not generally questions you would ask. But still, when someone is practically admitting to something they would do, or consider to be okay, they are almost asking for such questions. 

Now, we are fairly aware that the people posting these probably aren't serious. Which, in most ways, makes it worse. It makes it exceedingly difficult to recognize the threats to society. It also masks the actual threats, because the people who are truly dangerous and psychotic are usually intelligent enough to keep their mouths shut. Still, these people on Twitter, in fraternities, and everywhere in our modern world, somehow think that it's acceptable to post such things. 

Personally, I find that it's not far from posting something that says 'I like being compared to serial killers.' But really... who would want to be compared to someone like this:

Not a terrible looking person, right? If we're purely surface based, that would be the case. However, a few of you might recognize this man as the notorious murderer Ted Bundy. 

In a nutshell, Ted Bundy was an American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper and necrophile. Shortly before his execution, he admitted to 30  homicides in seven states between 1974 and 1978. The true number of victims is actually unknown, and could actually be much higher. He would rape, desecrate the corpse through unspeakable means, take severed heads as momentos, and to make matters worse... He was described as charismatic and handsome, he was well-educated, and intelligent.

That last phrase doesn't sound far off from the frat members in universities, does it?

Ted Bundy is one of the most familiar serial killers, with the most victims. However, the list extends further, on an international level. Rodney Alcala, Benjamin Atkins, Lawrence Bittaker & Roy Norris, Terry Blair, Harvey Carignan, Alton Coleman, Dean Corll & Elmer Wayne Henley, Jeffrey Dahmer, Westley Allan Dodd, Ronald Dominique, Joseph E. Duncan III, Paul Durousseau, Mack Ray Edwards, Scott Erskine, Albert Fish, Joseph Paul Franklin, Gerald & Charlene Gallego, Billy Glaze, Paul John Knowles, Gordon Northcott, Carl Panzram, David Park Ray, Michael Bruce Ross, Altemio Sanchez, Edward Spreitzer, Abdul Latif Sharif, Paul Bernardo, Leopold Dion... These are the known serial killers who raped and molested women, men, and children, just from United States and Canada alone.

Now, let's review some interesting concepts. Approximately 76% of the world's serial killers are from the United States. The majority are white male. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the statistics are pretty similar to those of the people who find rape culture to be acceptable. 

Kind of scary.

Now, I'm not saying that every person who posts about rape culture is going to end up as a serial killer. But it's almost guaranteed that the amount of sexual violence will be affected. If it's acceptable among social groups, and it becomes a stud thing to take advantage of a woman, a lot of young men might take it upon themselves to commit an act of sexual violence, thus invoking a rite of passage. I don't know if this would happen, but to be honest, I would be afraid to be a young woman at a university fraternity party. 

Ultimately, I think that a lot of the people, who are posting these frightening and disturbing things on Twitter, are living in a very opaque bubble. A dangerous kind of bubble that desensitizes the reality of rape, sexual violence, sexual offenses, or the repercussions of committing such actions towards other person. If you type the words 'rape victim' into Google images, you do not see anything humourous. You see images of beaten women, covered in dark bruises, laying in hospital beds; women cradling themselves out of fear, disgust and anger; women protesting rape and admitting that they have been sexually abused. Men and women who find rape jokes funny need to look at these images and get out of their opaque bubbles. They need to realize that sexual violence is a reality, but that it doesn't need to be.

People need to be educated. That is the only way to rectify and steer away from this time we're in. Men shouldn't have (or be able) to be compared to notorious rapists and murderers. Women shouldn't have to be afraid or feel unsafe.  In writing this, I want to say that there are men who are honest, who understand that women are not objects to be taken advantage of. Women understand the same about men. Anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse, and it is our duty to educate everyone that this isn't the way the world should be. Talk to your children. Explain that men don't need to be monsters who pose as threats to women. It shouldn't be the women's responsibility to dress is loose fitting and obscuring clothing. Not to mention the fact that men should be insulted at the idea that they can't contain themselves and can't respect women. 

Respect others, and respect yourself. We don't need to live in a world where rape culture is a subject. Those words should not be together, and this is the time to educate individuals and make sure that they know why.


Longbeard Leathers

Today was the Red & White Comic and Toy Expo. It's a great expo to go to- lots of comics and toys, and a few other vendors. It's awesome because you can enjoy the different booths, and it's not as busy or insane as the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The CCEE is a lot less about comics now, and it's mostly a pop culture event. It's still cool, but not nearly as much.

One vendor that I met at the Red & White expo was the creator of Longbeard Leathers. She makes different leather pieces, all of which are inspired by nerdy and geeky things, and pop culture. I'm intending to get a custom piece made by her, as I love her bracelets. 

They're nice leather, with beautiful colours. The one that I bought is inspired by Supernatural (one of my absolute favourite television shows). 

Be sure to check out her shop. There's lots of great stuff, and a great way to show off your nerdy tendencies. Not to mention the fact that they're leather, and who can say no to that? You can find a link to her Etsy shop right here.


Terrible Movie Experiences

This evening was the first time that I have ever, ever, walked out of a theatre. We got refunds for our tickets, and an understanding nod towards the fact that our movie going experience was ruined for us. 

It's Friday the 13th, and the opening night for Insidious: Chapter 2. We were pretty excited, and prepared ourselves by watching the first chapter of Insidious. It's a great film by itself, but having a second part with a continuing ending just makes it better. We went to the 8 PM showing, ready to watch. 

The theatre was quite full, which is not uncommon. We've gone to quite a few horror movies on opening night (Sinister, Mama, Evil Dead), and all of the experiences have been good, and quite enjoyable. The theaters are packed, with lots of people ready to be scared silly. However, this was different. This film was rated 14A. Meaning that it was practically a theatre full of preschoolers. Not literally preschoolers, of course (though that almost happened to us, thanks to the invention of 'Stars and Strollers'. Which means taking your infants to see a movie that's otherwise for adults). But, really, the maturity levels are appalling. 

I consider myself a seasoned horror movie watcher. I tend to avoid going to horror movies in theaters because I enjoy watching scary movies alone or with a few friends, getting scared and sitting in the dark. However, my husband enjoys seeing them in the theatre, so I've learned to go with him. Still, I am ultimately the same horror movie watcher, sitting in the proverbial basement at midnight, watching old horror movies by myself. I watched my first horror movie when I was seven (scarred me for life), and started religiously watching movies at age ten. I watched scary movies at sleep overs with friends, itching to be scared by jumps and shouts, grossed out by breaking bone and spurting blood. I ate it up. I still do. I still remember the first movie when I realized that the films didn't scare me anymore, but I just enjoyed the tension and the disgusting parts. I enjoyed bad acting and bad writing. I loved the blood and gore, the calm killer, the panicking victims. Horror movies became my favourite thing to watch. Slowly, I became immune. Then, miraculously, the odd horror movie would truly disturb me, make me squeamish and give me nightmares, and still give me the sense of horror that the first few did. How great is that! Naturally, I kept watching horror movies, and re-watching horror movies, dissecting and adoring all different aspects of different films, determining my favourites and the most lovable 'bad' movies. 

As I said, I consider myself a seasoned horror movie watcher. Because of this, I can go to a horror movie and enjoy myself, and enjoying it even more when I jump or get scared. However... I don't scream. Or point out the obvious. Or make fun of a horror movie while in a theater.

As I mentioned, a lot of the viewers were quite young. They were obviously not horror movie lovers, and haven't watched a huge number of horror films. They were so loud, and so obnoxious, and wouldn't stop talking. Here is my list of do's and don't's when in theaters (particularly when watching a horror movie).

1. Don't laugh. It is not a comedy. There is a distinct difference between laughing out of horror and hysteria, and laughing because it's funny. Ultimately, nothing in movies is so terrifying that you'd laugh out of hysterics. So... don't laugh. It's an insult to the people who spent months and months working to make the movie enjoyable and frightening.
2. Fart jokes are not acceptable. They are not acceptable (or funny) in day to day life, and they are certainly not acceptable in theaters.
3. Pointing out the obvious isn't clever. It's obvious. You're just angering the people around you.
4. There's a great thing called whispering. It's a useful vocal tool when in public places, such as theater.
5. Don't be rude or crass. People have paid a lot of money to come to the theater to enjoy themselves. They do not want to listen to you. If they did, they'd pay you the $13. Movies aren't cheap, and it's supposed to be an enjoyable evening of entertainment to escape reality. 
6. If you're a minor, educate yourself with horror movies first. Then pay to go and watch them on opening night in theater.

It truly ruined our evening. Fortunately, the young woman at the till was very understanding and gave us passes to see the movie at a later time. She seemed to be very understanding that our movie viewing experience was not in the least enjoyable. At least we'll be able to go to the film at a time when young children shouldn't be there.

I'm really not sure what it is with teenagers and going to opening night of horror movies. They're extremely immature and rude, and the unfortunate thing is, they think that they're being clever, simply because their friends and others are amused. Sadly, it ruins the experience for people who actually care. It ruins the enjoyment of deriving inspiration from a favourite director. It removes the possibility of noticing fine details. It just spoils the film. I don't understand why horror movies are the things that people make fun of. Especially when you have to spend so much to go and watch it. I mean, it's thirteen plus dollars, and you're throwing it away to laugh at it. Have these teenagers not heard of streaming or movie rental? 

To make matters worse, the majority of the people had not seen the first Insidious movie. And thus, they had no idea what was going on.

This is a sad day in film viewing history. Most unfortunate, and leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.


Trooper and Redskin

The above image is from one of my favourite Google Books finds. The book is 'Trooper and Redskin in the Far North-West: Recollections of life in the North-West Mounted Police, Canada 1884-1888.' It was written by John G. Donkin, and published in 1889. It's a wonderful book, and his language is beautiful. I wish to learn to write like Donkin. Well, a cross between Dickens, Thompson, and Donkin. If you wish to read a wonderful account of being in the North-West Mounted Police, you can find the eBook for free on Google.