Halloween 2016


Happy Halloween!

Today is going to be a good day. The weather is perfect for Halloween- cloudy, slightly breezy and a bit cold. I love it. And for possibly the first time ever in my parent career all celebration is taking place on October 31st. My daughter’s class party is this afternoon and Trick-or-Treat is tonight as well. So much fun!

I am such a nerd.
(Oh well!)

I aslo have other plans to enhance my Halloween/ quintessential autumn experience today. I’m going to take a walk at the local university, enjoy the cooler air, listen to the crunch of the leaves as I stroll through the campus. Ahhh…. So peaceful, so lovely…
So cliche! But I don’t care if I’m unoriginal, I’m happy!

laughy face

After my walk I’m going to the grocery store to get hot dogs and crescent rolls to make Mummy Dogs for dinner. I might also do “witch/zombie fingers”. Those are just mozzarella cheese sticks with diced bell pepper pieces as the finger nails. Use a butter knife to slice little lines in the cheese stick to create more “finger-like detail”.
If I have time I’d also like to sit and watch some more Halloween themed TV and movies on Netflix and Hulu.
Just as I suspected, my Penny Dreadful phase came to an end, but it happened much sooner than I thought. I made it into season 2, just to the episode where it goes into Vanessa’s backstory and her finding out she’s a witch. And I think that may have been my favorite episode. Maybe that’s why I stopped there.
I’ve also watched a few episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Witches of East End, three of the Underworld movies, The Addams Family movie, and Jane Eyre. You might be thinking,  Jane Eyre?
Yes. Jane Eyre. I don’t know about the earlier film adaptations but the one from 2010 is a good Halloween choice. The book is even better for Halloween. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.
Today I’d like to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloweentown, Jane Eyre, and/or Corpse Bride. Last October I constantly had on Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride or Jane Eyre- even just as background while I went about my chores and stuff. But, sadly, this year Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t on Netflix so I haven’t got to watch it. ; (
However, I did get to at least listen to it via YouTube. That was pretty cool. Maybe I’ll do that again. That way I’ll actually get some things done- laundry, dishes, cooking, vacuum, dusting, etc. Corpse Bride and Jane Eyre are still good options too.

Whether I get to sit (with the cat on my lap, of course) and enjoy a movie this morning, or at lunch, or later tonight with the kids- it’s already a good day. I’m doing this blog post and feeling good about it, I helped my daughter do her hair for her class party- she’s a “zombie cheerleader”- so cute!  I walked her to the bus stop and we were actually on time. And I’m about to take my husband to work because we are currently down to one car. I kind of like that I get to take him to work right now because I feel needed and like I’m actually adding value. Sometimes that’s a feeling that’s hard to come by when you’re a stay-at-home parent.

Even though I’ve spent several paragraphs talking about Halloween, the truth is I’m very ready for Christmas! It’s crazy, I know. Oddly enough I think it’s because of the unseasonably warm weather- it sent me over the edge. I’m so tired of heat and sunshine! All it did was make me want clouds and cold even more.
For several days now I’ve had to fight the urge to turn on Christmas music! But tomorrow- it’s on. Christmas music all day!
I am going to hold off on the Christmas decorations though. Tomorrow I’ll take down the Halloween stuff but leave the fall things for the next few weeks. I’m going to try to make it until  November 21st before putting up the Christmas stuff, but I might end up doing it the week of the 14th. And I’ve already got some Christmas movies lined up on Netflix and Hulu. I’m so excited!
But for today I’m going to focus on staying in the present moment and season.

Happy Halloween
I sincerely hope you’re having as much fun as I am today.


Penny Dreadful

I’ve moved on from Touch and have discovered Penny Dreadful. I’ve much to say….

The Showtime series Penny Dreadful was one of the suggestions in my Netflix profile, and since I was wanting something to get me in the “Halloween spirit” I decided to give it a try.
Wow. This show is no joke.
I’m not usually in to horror shows or movies so I don’t know how long I’ll stick with Penny Dreadful, probably just through the month of October.
It’s a very interesting show. The characters are strong, the settings and costumes are excellent. If you like horror/fantasy you will probably like Penny Dreadful. Vampires, demons, witches, a werewolf, apparitions, curses, Dr. Frankenstein and his “creations”, The Egyptian Book of the Dead- all of these are part of Penny Dreadful. So too is Dorian Gray which I found very interesting. Dorian Gray as a character in a horror/fantasy story? Brilliant.
Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster I expected. But not Dorian Gray.
I’m only just barely familiar with the story of Dorian Gray. I know it’s by Oscar Wilde and I know that the character Dorian wants to remain young and beautiful forever so he somehow transfers part of himself to his own portrait. The portrait ages, Dorian does not.
But that’s all I know. I didn’t know that the story  apparently gets much darker and deeper than that.
Obviously I’m going to have to read that now. It was already on my list but now it’s been moved closer to the top of that list.
The Dorian Gray character on Penny Dreadful is, so far, pretty fascinating. He’s got a vampire-ish (Vampiresque?) thing going on. Pale skin, dark hair falling into his eyes, well dressed, often exposing a good portion of his pale chest, rings on several fingers, silver chain-like necklaces, bit of a preoccupation with blood….
You get the picture.

In addition to great characters and visual presentation Penny Dreadful also has great dialogue. For one thing, it’s set in Victorian London so by default the language would already be pretty rich- and it is. It’s also very quick, smart, and clever.
For example, you’ve got Dr. Frankenstein and his “monster” -characters created by Mary Shelley- quoting the poetry of her husbandPercy Bysshe Shelley.
Ah, I see what they did there, very clever.
And Dr. Frankenstein’s creation names himself after another poet, John Clare. (But I didn’t get that one on my own, I stumbled across it on Google while searching other things.)

There’s lots of dark romantic poetry quoted throughout the series, at least so far. I’m only up to season 2, episode 3. (“The Nightcomers”) However, based on the little I’ve read about the show it looks like poetry is a staple throughout the series.
I’m actually learning a lot watching this show. Poetry, history, vocabulary- I keep having to look up words! But I like doing that sort of thing. The dialogue in Penny Dreadful is so delicious that they don’t really need to add poetry to it, but it’s awesome that they do.

If this belief from heaven be sent, if such be nature’s holy plan
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream
The Earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light
The glory and the freshness of a dream..

More Quotes from Penny Dreadful 

You’re a man with a bloody knife like everyone else out there, so stop putting on airs.

Do you know anything about electrical currents? Your country is making such strides as we labor in the dark ages of coal and peat.
Have you any experience with the principles and applications of galvanism?

Sir, I have urgent need of a necropsy. Will you assist us?…

Lividity, null.
Rigor mortis, null.
Notable ocular hyperemia. 
Ocular reaction, null.
Dental malformation, not naturally occurring due to isotropy.

Nature’s rarely so neat, nature abhors symmetry.

Trauma and penetration of the chest cavity through the manubrium seems the likely cause of death,
but I expect you know that.

Well, it would appear you have an Egyptian man of no particular age, who, at some point in his indeterminate lifespan, decided to sharpen his teeth, cover himself in hieroglyphics and grow an exoskeleton. 
Or you have something else altogether.

Trust me, those Egyptians were a bit madcap when it came to specifics.

Isn’t that a delicious word?
Sounds like something eaten by little Persian boys, doesn’t it?

Life and death… The flicker that separates one from the other, fast as a bat’s wing, more beautiful than any sonnet. That is my river. That is my mountain. There I will plant my flag. 

You seem to be a freethinker who might imagine a world less constrained by what we think we know of as truth.

Man does not live only in the empirical world.

But if one is to engage with the primordial forces of darkness, one must expect a bit of… social awkwardness.

I am not a creation of the antique pastoral world. I am modernity personified. 

Is the language not rich with felicity of expression?

And most of those are from episode 1 alone!

Also, just a few of the interesting words I’ve learned…

cutaneous eccrine pores
tensile exoskeleton
Solipsistic self-aggrandizement
piquantry (or maybe piquancy)
Atropa belladonna (Deadly nightshade)

 ephemeral: transitory, lasting a very short time

Demimonde: In Penny Dreadful it refers to the “other” world, a place between life and death, or as the character Vanessa Ives puts it, “A half-world between what we know and what we fear”. The literal French translation is indeed half-world.
The definitions I found via Google:
a group of people considered to be on the fringes of respectable society.
(19th-century France) the class of women considered to be of doubtful morality and social standing.

I’ve also learned about the name/term itself.
Again from Google, penny dreadful: a cheap, sensational comic or storybook.
I think they were more like comic books than storybooks, and very inexpensive, hence the word ‘penny.’ (Obviously.)

So, like I said, I’m just barely in to season 2. Finally there are some witches involved. Although, these are very strange, very creepy kind of witches. Evil. And I don’t like that Penny Dreadful is so heavy with the devil theme so, like I said, I’m not sure how long I’m going to stick with this. I prefer my witches more along the lines of Hermione, Sabrina, and Samantha. ; )
I didn’t expect Penny Dreadful to be this intense. I thought it was going to be something fun like The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, but it’s more gory and shocking than it is fun. Fascinating and smart, yes, but also very, very gory. Sometimes even disturbing.
Once November comes I’ll be in Christmas mode and will not want to watch something like this. But it’s cool for now and even strangely inspiring- I really feel the urge to paint. Huh. Go figure.
Anyway, Penny Dreadful adds a little bit of edginess to my quiet normal suburban little life. I like my entertainment to be edgy- not my life. I like my life calm and peaceful. And these days I can achieve that most of the time.