Why It’s Ok To Have A Non – Traditional Thanksgiving

Why It’s Ok To Have A Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

The past few years, my family has been having what some people would call a “non-traditional” Thanksgiving. The reason for this is two-fold.

First: We’re lazy. Wow, are we lazy. When I was younger, a kid or a teenage, we were less lazy. But I’m now thirty-mumble-mumble and the lazy is full blown.

Second: My family has shrunk. I’ve always had a small family. It took me until I was like fifteen to realize I should have two sets of grandparents. I had my maternal grandparents but, in my mind, my Dad burst forth from the bowels of Hell fully formed. (Not really. He wasn’t that bad, just a grouch with a short temper.) But we lost my grandparents many years ago and then my Mom in 2014 to cancer. So, for a little while it was just my Dad, my brother, and I for holidays and it just seemed like so much effort. We still met but the year my Mom died, we had Chinese food. It was all we had energy for.

Since then, my brother married and we have one more person at the dinner table for holidays. But my Dad’s health has declined, so much so that a big to-do is pretty much beyond him. However, he still lives in the house I grew up in (we’re trying to move him to the same apartment complex as me but it has to be first floor and there is a long waiting list) and that house is pretty much the only place that will fit four people. We could go to my brother’s house but it’s always a mess and even the short drive is too much for my Dad. So, short and simple has been the word for holidays.

Two years ago we ordered our Thanksgiving dinner from Whole Foods. It came with a turkey and sides. My brother and sister in law actually had to return to Whole Foods because the server had forgotten a couple of sides. So, pro-tip, if you order your Thanksgiving meal, and there are a lot of places that will do that, always check everything before you leave the store. It just might save you the hassle of a trip back.

The dinner from Whole Foods was ok. The sides would good but for some reason the turkey didn’t have any skin. It was cooked (actually, I think it was smoked) but we had to put it in the oven to give it a little color and flavor. I wouldn’t do it again.

Last year we did a beef roast in a crock pot and my sister in law and I made sides. My brother made deviled eggs because that’s just what he does for holidays. It was a very nice Thanksgiving. (I was also invited to my sister in law’s family’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and was completely overwhelmed with how large her family is. I mean, it was only nine people including myself, but it was way more than I was used to.) Pro-tip, if you are looking for hassle free holiday meals, the crock pot is your friend. Embrace the crock pot.

Be Thankful

It’s ok to have a non-traditional Thanksgiving, or any holiday for that matter. What matters is family. Even if that family is small or far away, it still matters. Even if that family is not related by blood or has four legs and a wet nose. Have Thanksgiving with your boyfriend or girlfriend curled up on the couch with a movie and pizza. Have Thanksgiving with your best friend with a board game and mac&cheese. Put the cat’s bowl on the table, just this once, while you eat cereal. Host a community potluck dinner. Skype and chat with friends you only know over the internet while eating pizza rolls. Attend a Friendsgiving. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you remember that we are all human beings and we are all in this together.

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Ideas for non-traditional Thanksgivings:

  • Finger foods. Mozzarella sticks. Potato skins. Stuffed jalapeños. Frozen pizza. Queso dip and tortilla chips. Anything that’s easy and can be heated up in the oven or microwave.
  • Movies Marathon. Get a couple bags of microwave popcorn and some boxes of candy from the dollar store and have a movie marathon. Food an entertainment.
  • Potluck. Have everyone bring a dish and spread around the work.
  • Order dinner. Full Thanksgiving meals can be ordered from places like Whole Foods, Dierbergs, Kroger, other large grocery stores, and some restaurants.
  • Got to a restaurant. Most places are closed on Thanksgiving but wait a day or two and go out. I’ve more than once waited until the Saturday after and gone out with a couple people to whatever restaurant hit out fancy.
  • Friendsgiving. They’ve become popular the last couple of years. Invite your friends over for Thanksgiving and spend the holiday with people you actually like.

But the point is that Thanksgiving does not have to be your blood relatives sitting around a table eating turkey, potatoes, and the green bean casserole your aunt brought but nobody will eat because it tastes weird. Gather. Gather with friends. Gather with co-workers. Gather with neighbors. Just gather with other human beings and be together.

The setting is not important. The food is not important. How you gather with others is not important. Just gather.

Thank you for reading!

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Fall To-Do List 2017

Ah, November. We are truly into the autumn season now. Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. (Soon it will be December and Christmas will rush into our lives.) But for now, we’re still firmly in autumn.

I live in the Midwest and our temperatures are already dropping hard. We’ve already had a hard freeze. The growing season is officially over and the plants have been put to bed. The days are getting shorter. (After daylight savings time is over, the days are getting really, really short.) So I present to you, a list of things to do before winter sets in; a Fall To-Do List to get the most out of the season.

Fall To-Do List

I would say I’m sad to see summer go but that would be a lie. I’m much more of a spring and autumn girl. Even winter is better than summer for me. I like to put on cozy sweaters and drink gallons of pumpkin spice whatever while reading a favorite book in my favorite spot on the sofa. Summer is hot and icky. Give me a cool wind and chilly temperatures and I’m a happy girl. Happy autumn, everybody!

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My Halloween 2017 Reread List

I’m going to confess that I haven’t been reading much. I’ve been dealing with… things. I’ll do a personal post after Halloween. Now, autumn is my favorite season. In no small part because of October and Halloween. In my part of the U.S.A. our weather is just starting to get really cool. Halloween is forecasted to be in the low 50’s for the high. My favorite weather. My favorite sound is dry leaves rustling around in the wind. I’m 34, have no kids, and live in an apartment where I get no trick or treaters, but I still put on my hooded cape and witch’s hat and walk around the neighborhood. Nothing thrills me more than seeing the little kids all dressed up, going from door to door, and everyone’s decorations.

And since I haven’t been reading much lately, I’d thought I’d ease back into things with a reread of my favorite spooky and chilling books. So, here I present, in no particular order, my list of Halloween 2017 rereads.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

houndbaskervillesI’m a devoted fan of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles is arguable my favorite of Doyle’s stories.

Holmes and Watson are faced with their most terrifying case yet. The legend of the devil-beast that haunts the moors around the Baskerville family’s home warns the descendants of that ancient clan never to venture out in those dark hours when the power of evil is exalted. Now, the most recent Baskerville, Sir Charles, is dead and the footprints of a giant hound have been found near his body. Will the new heir meet the same fate?

Although Holmes reveals the completely non-paranormal motive behind the murder and the strange canine seen upon the moors, it’s still my favorite of the more spooky Holmes stories. As Holmes says in ‘The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire’, “This Agency stands flat-footed upon the ground and there it must remain. The world is big enough for us. No ghost need apply.”

pumpkinboarder

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeWhenever I get asked my favorite book, Anna Dressed in Blood pops into my mind as a strong candidate. It’s probably may favorite YA book involving a ghost I’ve ever read.

“Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.”

You can read my review of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake here. It’s incredibly well-written and very deserving of the positive reviews it received when it was published in 2011.
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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanReally, any of Neil Gaiman’s books would fit pretty well into a Halloween reread list. I also loved Coraline, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Neverwhere. Of course, we can’t exclude The Sandman graphic novels.

“After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…”

You can find my author feature for Neil Gaiman, including a video preview of The Graveyard Book, here. For some reason I can’t find the review I wrote for, although I’m pretty sure I did write one. Oh well. Gaiman’s books have this other worldly quality and a spookiness that make them great books to read for Halloween. The movie adaptation of Coraline is also on my list of not-so-scary movies to watch for Halloween.

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The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

Book Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

A ghost story from the view point of the ghost. I was surprised with how much I love Hysteria Hall. It was a giveaway prize but I ended up really enjoying it. It was a unique ghost story of the type I had never read before.

“In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.

And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.”

You can read my review of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender here.

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Some other books I plan to reread this season are…

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury – Creepy but almost impossible to find. I happen to own an ancient copy.

Dracula by Bram Stoker – Come on! You have to read Dracula. Or at least watch some of the movies. Bela Lugosi is my favorite of the fanged fiends but Netflix keeps taking the DVD out of rotation.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – This one has always been my favorite of the murder mystery legend’s writing, although I find Christie’s style rather sterile and sparse for my tastes.

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice – My favortie is, of course, Interview with the Vampire, but I’ve been meaning to read more of the series. I think there are a dozen books now. And I obviously need to rewatch the movie.

All the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling – Yeah. Movies too.

The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike – (giggle, snort) Yeah. I read it because of the movie. I’m not ashamed.

I might read some more stuff too. Definitely watch some movies. I’ve got nothing but time this coming weekend. Time, a library card, and temperatures in the low 50’s. There will be hot chocolate and much snuggling of a very put upon cat. Stay wicked, people.

Thank you for reading!

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4 Things To Do For Halloween In Saint Louis, Missouri (For Adults)

Everybody likes a good Halloween party. As we quickly approach the last weekend before Halloween, there are more than a couple adult appropriate parties going on. So, get a babysitter for the kids and head out for some Halloween fun yourself. Just make sure you have a designated driver. Be safe, everybody!

The Halloween Party That Shall Not Be Named

Ballpark Village hosts The Halloween Party That Shall Not Be Named

Attention all wizards!

Johnnie Brock’s Dungeon and Ballpark Village team up again to throw the BIGGEST Halloween bash in St. Louis! Don’t miss The Halloween Party that Shall Not be Named with…you guessed it…your favorite magical theme for 2017! This themed party includes access to 4 different restaurants and bars, video DJ entertainment, wizarding characters, and our epic costume contest with a $7,500 prize package! Not to mention each venue will be decked out in all things magical from the train station to the great hall. Specialty themed drinks onsite available for purchase. TRUE FANS WILL NOT WANT TO MISS THIS!

TICKETS
$10 GA advance ticket will permit guests 21+ into participating party venues. GA ticket includes admission only, specialty drink menu, full bar and food available for purchase. Specialty themed drinks onsite available for purchase. GA ticket price increases day of to $20, so purchase your ticket in advance.

Perfect for all those Harry Potter fans who grew up with the series.

Facebook page.

601 Clark Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63102
Phone: 314-345-9481

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The Legendary Central West End Halloween

The Legendary Central West End Halloween

St. Louis’ most legendary Halloween party returns Saturday, Oct. 28!

Festivities kick off with fun daytime activities for the whole family, including a children’s costume parade, trick-or-treating at neighborhood businesses and a pet costume contest for all your furry friends. Then, as the sun sets, the party continues with an adults-only bash and costume contest, known for its elaborate, complex and outrageous costumes.

2 p.m. | Live entertainment on the main stage at Maryland & Euclid, featuring music, fire dancers and more!

6 p.m. | Registration for the adults-only costume contest opens at the stage. Be sure to register early to secure your spot.

6 p.m.-midnight | Adults-only party, featuring a DJ, fire dancers, hula hoop dancers and more.

8-10 p.m. | Adults-only costume contest. The top 10 finalists will be announced at 9:30 p.m., and the top three winners at 10 p.m. You must be present for the final round of judging to win.

The CWE Halloween party is FREE and open to the public. Events take place at the intersection of Maryland and Euclid except as noted.

Facebook page.

1 Maryland Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63108
I have noted the CWE Drunken Fish address, as it sits on that intersection.

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St. Louis Brewers Guild Halloween Party

St. Louis Brewers Guild Halloween Party

What better way to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve than a beer festival?

The St. Louis Brewers Guild Halloween Party features breweries from throughout the St. Louis region pouring samples of what they do best, live music, great food, wild costumes, a Hefe Ride (think hay-ride with kegs on it), and more, all in historic Lafayatte Park!

This is a 21 and up event. Event tickets gain access to the festival, live music, and local food vendors and includes a commemorative tasting glass and samples from our local breweries. Food is not included with the price of ticket. Food trucks, food vendors and retail vendors will be onsite for attendees to purchase whatever they want. Designated Driver tickets will be available for purchase at the gate day-of for $5. Bring a blanket or camping chairs if you want, or just share the picnic tables provided by the park. And don’t forget to wear your Halloween costume because there will be prizes for the best dressed (individual & couple or group).

Facebook page.

Lafayette Park
2023 Lafayette Ave
St. Louis, MO 63104

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Schlafly’s Full Moon Festival

Schlafly Full Moon Festival

Come join us by the fire for our Full Moon Festival on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 4 PM – 10 PM. Cheers to the season with Schlafly fall beers, plenty of roasted pigs, six big bonfires, a chili cook-off with top chefs, live music and more all under the harvest moon at Schlafly Bottleworks.

Guests are invited to celebrate under the November full moon while enjoying Schlafly’s seasonal beers such as: White Lager, Pumpkin Ale, Hard Apple Cider, Pilsner, Coffee Stout, and more.

For the food, the Schlafly culinary team will be roasting eight whole hogs. Guests can purchase a Pig Platter with pulled pork sandwich and two sides such as braised greens, braised greens, mac and cheese, and coleslaw. Guests can also purchase individual pulled pork sandwiches or sides. Individual housemade pumpkin pies will be available alongside tastings of Schlafly’s pumpkin pie in a glass, Pumpkin Ale.

Schlafly also celebrates our newest fall tradition where five local chefs will compete in the Schlafly Chili Cook-Off. Guests will be able to purchase a chili sampler for with tastings of the five participants’ chili creations. They will then be able to vote for their favorite. The winner will be crowned at the close of the festival. Tickets not required.

Facebook page.

Schlafly Bottleworks
7260 Southwest Ave
Maplewood, Missouri 63143

halloween grapic

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3 More Things To Do For Halloween In Saint Louis, Missouri

The Saint Louis, Missouri area has some of the greatest haunted houses and screamparks in the US and they only get better every year. If you’re in the mood for some frights and aren’t too chicken, I suggest you visit the following.

The Darkness

The Darkness Saint Louis, MO

The Darkness is located downtown St Louis just a few blocks from the St Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium and Ball Park Village in historic Soulard.  The Darkness features zombie laser tag, outdoor scream zone, Silo-X haunted house, Monster Museum, and The Darkness haunted house.  Next door to The Darkness is St Louis Escape with four different escape rooms in one location.

I suggest you buy tickets online to save time or else you have to wait in two lines, instead of just one. Fast passes are also available for an extra fee and you will be able to skip the lines entirely.

Tickets are $25. Fast passes are $6 more. The zombie laser tag or Silo-X haunted house are also $5 more. Tickets can be bought here. It’s located right next to the Soulard Farmers Market off of Highway 44. Open during weeknights 7:30 to 10pm and Friday and Saturday nights 6:45 to 12:15pm until Halloween. Plus the first Friday and Saturday of November 7 to 11pm.

1525 South 8th Street
St. Louis, MO 63104

border2The Abyss

The Abyss Haunted House

If you’ve ever been to Saint Louis and are even remotely interested in our haunted history, you’ve heard of Lemp. The Lemp family were beer makers, at one time the biggest in the U.S. But a series of family disasters and then prohibition saw the Lemp family and their brewery decline. By 1950, four Lemp descendants had killed themselves, three of whom perished inside the gloomy Lemp family mansion in St. Louis.

The Abyss is held in the limestone caves under the brewery, not the family mansion. You are forced to confront your fear of the dark, where you don’t know what is lurking around any corner. It is damp and cold down there, so if you have medical breathing problems, this is probably not for you. Wear flat tennis shoes. I’ve had a friend wrench their ankle down there because she was wearing espadrilles with heels. Enter at your own risk. If you chicken out, scream “William Lemp” and they’ll escort you out.

Are you ready to travel over a 100 feet underground in subterranean caves and tunnels?

Tickets are $25. Fast passes $6 more. Tickets can be bought here.

You can also buy a combo ticket for both The Darkness and The Abyss for $43.95. You can use the tickets the same night or different nights.

The Abyss Haunted House is located inside the old Lemp Brewery Complex.  The Abyss is off South Broadway just 2 miles from The Darkness Haunted House.

3500 Lemp Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63118

lempmansion

For a real ghost experience, I suggest booking dinner and a room at the Lemp Mansion Restaurant and B&B. The mansion is actually where you have the best chance to see the Lemp ghosts, including the Lavender Lady and the Monkey Faced Boy up on the third floor attic. The Lemp men who committed suicide in the mansion are also said to wander around. Reservations suggested, especially in October. Most Monday nights year round at 7:00pm there are tours, $25.00 per person.

3322 DeMenil Place
St. Louis, Missouri 63118
PHONE: (314) 664-8024

border2Creeypworld

creepyworld

If you are willing to drive a bit outside Saint Louis, then there is Creepyworld in Fenton, 20 minutes from downtown on highway 141. Creepyworld is 13 attractions in one. There is Raven’s Manor, Krampus; A Christmas Horror Story, Silo-X, Hornbuckel Pig Farm and Corn Maze, Dolly Madelyn’s Mansion, Whispering Woods Cemetery, Carnivorous in 3D, The Dark Zone, Trick r’ Treat Haunted Hayride, The Evil Dread, Supermax; Riot at Rikers, Quarantine; World War Zombie, and Saint Lucifer’s Hospital plus the Hollywood Pumpkin Display and the worlds only all dead Zombie Band. (I think I named all of them. Trying to find a complete list was a pain in the butt.) No matter what tickles your haunted house fancy, Creepyworld will have something to fit. There is a lot going on at this screampark.

Tickets are $25. Fast passes are $6. The Trick r’ Treat Haunted Hayride is an additional $5 for some reason. Tickets can be bought here. I suggest buying tickets online or you’ll be waiting in two long lines. They are open every evening for the rest of October, during the week 7:30 to 10pm and Friday and Saturday nights 6:30 to 12:15pm. Halloween night 7 to 11:30pm.

1400 S Old Highway 141
Saint Louis/Fenton, Missouri, 63026

Have a fun and scary Halloween everybody!

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3 Things To Do For Halloween in Saint Louis, Missouri

We’ve got a little over a week until Halloween. I hope you’ve at least started on your costume. In the Saint Louis, Missouri area, there are ton of things to do for Halloween. I’ve listed 3 here but there are a lot more.

Great GO! Saint Louis Halloween Race

Great GO! St. Louis Halloween Race

October 22, 2017

7:00AM : 5K Start
7:30AM: 10K / Half Marathon Start
9:30AM: Fun Run Start
Trick-or-Treat Village: 7AM-11AM

This year we have added some extra Halloween fun starting with the Trick-or-Treat 5K! The 5K course will be lined with not only your usual water stops but also candy stops for you to trick or treat along the way! The 10K and half marathon courses have some added adventure this year as well! As you run through downtown St. Louis you will have to watch out for the Zombie Zone and you might even see the Ghostbusters in action!

The fun doesn’t end when the race is over! Get your  top of the line finisher’s medal, and head over to the Trick-or-Treat Village to fill up on candy and treats from local business and organizations. For the over-21 crowd, Michelob Ultra will be on site to help you enjoy a post race brew.

I do believe you have to register before the day of the race.Info packet pick up runs Friday and Saturday, October 20-21 at the GO! St. Louis office from 10am to 6pm.

GO! St. Louis office
300 Hunter Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63124

If you wish to participate, better hurry.

borderswishBoo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo Halloween 2017

Bring your little ghouls and goblins for a non-scary, kid-friendly Halloween experience. Children are encouraged to wear costumes. Children 12 and under will receive a treat bag upon exiting. Boo at the Zoo Nights is not a trick-or-treating experience.

Nightly, October 17–30, 2017
*5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

$6 for Zoo members (ages 2+)
$7 for non-members (ages 2+)
Free for children under 2
$1 discount for children 2 to 12 in costume with on-site ticket purchase

The Zoo is decorated for Halloween in a kid friendly manner. The is a pumpkin patch where kids can pick and then paint a pumpkin. ($5 fee) There are game locations, picture locations, and educational activities. New this year is also a Halloween-themed circus act. The 30-minute act features jaw-dropping juggling, stilt walking, amazing magic and more on stage at the Sea Lion Show Arena. (No animals in the circus show.)

borderswishGrant’s Farm Halloween Nights

Grant's Farm Saint Louis, MO

Runs Thursday thru Sunday for the rest of October. October 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29.

Get into the Halloween spirit with some spooky fun and celebrate with the animals at Grant’s Farm. Enjoy Halloween-themed shows, a DJ in the Bauernhof courtyard, lights, decorations and dark Deer Park rides.Guests are encouraged to bring flashlights to search for animals during the dark Deer Park rides.

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Early arrival is recommended. Arrive as close to 5:30PM as possible! Halloween Nights at Grant’s Farm are very popular (especially on Friday and Saturday nights) and unfortunately even though we move guests on trams as fast as we can, cars can drive in faster. So arrive early, or try to visit us on a Thursday or Sunday night when the crowds are less!

10501 Gravois Road
St. LouisMO 63123
Parking is $20 per car. Walk-ups are $5 per person.

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My Top 10 Not So Scary Halloween Movies

Top 10 Not So Scary Haloween Movies

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Even over Christmas. When October rolls around, I get an itch to watch some good old, spooky movies to get in the mood. But I’m also a chicken. I don’t like blood and gore but I have a love for cute Halloween movies. So, grab a cup of pumpkin spice coffee as I list my top 10 not so scary Halloween movies. (Guaranteed to NOT give you nightmares.)

10) The Haunted Mansion (2003)

9) Frankenweenie (2012)

8) Paranorman (2012)

7) The Addams Family (1991)

The Adams Family movie 1991

6) Coraline (2009)

5) Corpse Bride (2005)

4) Hotel Transylvania (2012)

3) Hocus Pocus (1993)

Hocus Pocus 1993

2) Practical Magic (1998)

Practical Magic

…Drum roll please! My favorite Halloween movie of all time…

1) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas

I adore Nightmare Before Christmas. I watch it every year, both for Halloween and for Christmas, I love it that much. It was the first stop motion movie I’d ever seen, the first ever done I think, and it just amazed me. I drive my coworkers nuts listening to the soundtrack too.

What’s your favorite not so scary movie to watch for Halloween?

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The Teal Pumpkin Project

tealpumpkinproject

The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) and launched as a national campaign by FARE in 2014. FARE thanks FACET for their ongoing partnership as we work to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion and community.

Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions. The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to provide non-food items in place of candy so children with food allergies can enjoy trick or treating on Halloween night like every other kid.

Click here to download signs and flyers.

Their Facebook page can be found here.

Have a safe and spooky Halloween, everybody!

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I like kids stuff and I’ll thank you not to be a jerk about it…

(April the giraffe better have her baby soon because I’m sick of hearing about it. The live stream shows up on my Facebook feed every couple of posts and I’m about to lose my mind. It’s even on the news! Drop that baby already, April! We’re all tired of staring at your backside.)

Ok, world, listen up, if I want a row of little tiny plastic pony shaped toys in colors not found in nature on my shelf then I will have a row of little tiny plastic pony shaped toys in colors not found in nature on my shelf and you standing there with a mean grin on yourself face asking me ‘My Little Pony is for kids, why do you have those’ like my fondness for lighthearted, fantasy based entertainment somehow makes me touched in the head or less of an adult just makes you look like a jackass.

Yes, I like kids stuff and I’ll thank you not to be a jerk about it.

Princess_Luna

Princess Luna is my favorite and is the best and most awesome.
Fight me if you don’t think so.

I also have some Harry Potter Funko Pops! and minis, some Disney Dorbz, some assorted mini figures,and a good sized collection of Marvel Avengers action figures, bobble heads, and Lego sets. And the aforementioned My Little Pony toys. Other odds and ends of the literary sort. I recently bought a set of The Man from Uncle 1960’s novels. I plan to collect all 23 of them. And a Totoro plush from my Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli phase. There is also a tub of anime DVD’s under my bed. Some Sailor Moon stuff.

And the point is, these things make me happy. I’m drawn to entertainment that is light, colorful, fantasy based, and escapist. I need them. Without them, life is dreary and monotonous. Dreadfully boring. Pressing, and not in a good way. I need that outlet. And what right does anyone have to decide my outlet is weird or not appropriate for my age? I find your scrapbooking (or whatever) boring but I’m not picking up your glue dots or paper strips and asking you why you waste so much money on this crap. Because it’s rude and mean.

Without that outlet, I could not see myself coping. (It would be interesting, and probably helpful and enlightening, to see how many people that are fans of such child aimed entertainment as MLP, fandom, and cosplay actually have some form of mental illness (fuck! I HATE those words) and are using those child aimed entertainment and geeky pursuits as a coping mechanism.) [I HATE the words ‘mental illness’. The social connotations around them make me feel like there is something wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with me. I am not broken. There is no need to look at me with pity when I get excited about a new Funko Pop! figure, My Little Pony movie, or Ever After High special. Fuck you very much.]

It also pisses me off that there seems to be a level of interest that is acceptable and a level of interest that is not acceptable. Like a measuring stick for your crazy. “I like Star Wars. I have all the movies.” – acceptable. “I like Star Wars. I went to a Con dressed as Rey.” – unacceptable. Personally, if you don’t love something enough to let it consume you, then you are weak. Weak!

Everyone has their coping mechanisms. Just because mine doesn’t involve stinking cigarettes, booze, or whatever sex filled murder TV show is currently occupying the evening time slots does not mean I’m immature or mentally deficient. Apparently, your coping mechanisms are only acceptable if you are killing yourself faster every time you use them. If a show or movie meets a certain standard; interesting plot, engaging characters, detailed world building, then the kid or adult status we label things with is just stupid. And there are bad kids TV shows, don’t get me wrong.  Teen Titans was awesome. Teen Titans Go! makes me want to stab someone.

And don’t even start with me about girl verses boy TV shows. I will cut you.

harry-potterAnd everyone loves Harry Potter. I don’t care who you are or how old you are. You love Harry Potter. You’ve seen the movies, you’ve read the books, and you are a fan of a child aimed story about magic and wizardery. You’ve taken the online “What House Am I?” quiz.  I know you have. (I’m a Ravenclaw, by the way.) So don’t pretend you are the most adulty adult to ever adult in the world of adults because your pants are on fire. You love Harry Potter. If I want to put on a robe I made and take a wand to a midnight showing of Harry Potter whatever part, then that is my level of love for Harry Potter and you can keep your scorn and obnoxious false superiority to yourself.

So, next time you feel the need to make a comment on my Tardis keychain or pick up and fondle my Pikachu plush like it’s something exotic and new, know that you are a jerk and can shove it where the sun don’t shine. Your stuck up ‘adult’ judgment just makes you an ass. I love my toys and figures and dolls and DVD’s and Netflix queue filled with cartoons and fantasy shows and I have better things to do than pander to your stagnate idea of how an adult should act. I have an evil wizard to defeat with my lightsaber. So nah.

Thank you for reading!

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Am I still a blogger? The Mysterious Ability to Focus and Maintain Motivation

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If one does not blog,

Is one still a blogger?

It’s been, yikes, four months since there has been any activity on this blog. I haven’t been reading. I got Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter for the October Owl Crate box and I was trying to read it but just couldn’t focus enough. I think it’s still sitting on a shelf, book mark half way through. I’ve gotten a couple of books since then that I haven’t even opened. Some of them look really interesting but it doesn’t seem to help.

This happens sometimes. You might call it depression or ADHD or whatever you like. But I go through periods where my brain just does not want to function correctly. Other times I read a book in a couple of days and it’s no problem. Then there are the times where it’s a struggle to even watch TV because I can’t focus or have any desire to pay attention or care at all that I’m missing something that I might at other times really enjoy. I can almost never finish TV show seasons because of this. I just can’t stick with it. Movies are a little better. Shorter timeframe, really. But a Netflix movie could languish in my possession for a couple months or more before I can dredge up the desire to watch it. Even then I might pause it and wander off a couple of times to do the dishes or tidy up or annoy the cat.

Then there are the things I obsess over. Like fandom. I read fanfiction. Adore it, really. Once I have an interest in a fandom, that’s it. It rules to the exclusion of all else. A little over a year ago I loved the Avengers Steve/Tony ship. My love for the Avengers was total, all encompassing. I devoured fanfic and fanart for Avengers like my life depended on it. I could read fanfic all day and all night long. It was hard to stop but I had no trouble focusing.

Then I saw the new Man from Uncle movie, which lead to discovering the Man from Uncle TV show from the 60’s and the lovely, beautiful ship of Illya/Napoleon. I was hooked. Now I devour fanfic and fanart for the Man from Uncle fandom. Which really sucks because it’s a substantially smaller fandom than Avengers was. I’ve already gone through the Archive of Our Own fanfics and now I’m desperately looking for more to read.

But now I have no interest for Avengers. Just Man from Uncle. My brain is fucked up.

I can read and read and read fanfic but I can’t do the same for original books. I don’t understand why, either.

I also try to write in my chosen fandom but that’s another thing I can’t focus on. I obsess over Man from Uncle but it’s a struggle to focus and complete fanfic ideas. I have a lot of started ideas but very rarely complete anything to post. You would think my ability to obsess over a fandom would carry over to writing fanfic for it but my motivation kind of trickles away.

I have two Avenger fanfics that I started posting and now I fear I’ll never finish them because my interest has moved on. I’ve sworn to never post anything that wasn’t already done because of this. Those two fanfics will probably languish forever.

Does anybody else experience this? Can you just obsess over something, absolutely adore it, but not be able to focus on other things? Or lose interest and motivation on projects? It’s not like I don’t have time to read books or write. I have loads of time. Just no follow through on projects. Is it ADHD? Depression? Hormonal? Anybody have any advice?

Thank you for reading!

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