Thursday, October 30, 2014

Seven Halloween Movies for ChickenSh*ts

I'm a chickensh*t. I call myself that so many times in a day that not knowing its origin was driving me nuts. I found it, right there between chicken skin and chicken septicemia. Chickensh*t: cowardly, ineffective, lacking courage.

What'd I tell ya? Chickensh*t. But does that mean that I don't like to be scared? Does that mean I don't enjoy the adrenaline rush of a thrill? Heck no, especially when the opportunity for fright comes with handfuls of M&Ms and tiny gold foil packages of Snickers.

Halloween is here and I will join in the spirit of this holiday, sh*tting in my pants or not. Naturally, the question you are having about me at this point is, Alexandra, how do you get into the ghoulishness of it all if you spend most of your autumn day jumping 5 feet in the air when a falling leaf nonintentionally floats across your face? (hey! I didn't see it coming!)

You can laugh at my spineless existence, I still love you. And I know you know someone like me.
For those of delicate constitution, I give you my list of
Movies for ChickenSh*ts (because we are a thing)
Please watch these movies in true chickensh*t fashion - broad daylight - you'll get the satisfying Halloween freak out we all seek, but without the need to call Flight for Life for resuscitation.
Haaaaaaaaave fuuuuunnnn (mwahahahahahaha)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Man in My Dreams - A True Tale of the Supernatural

It was always him.

I was in my late 20s when he first appeared in my dreams. We would pass each other on a busy afternoon in the bright light of day. Our eyes would meet, and we knew instantly, our faces eerily familiar to each other. We would look, not believing and not understanding why. Watching each other walk past, wondering with an uneasiness how it was that we knew each other.

He was thin, but not slight, and wore a grey suit. His rich, black hair was combed back, straight, except for a precise side part. He was attractive and dark, with brown skin that shined from being freshly scrubbed. In the dream, I would be rushing, almost running, as I passed him along the inner side of the street. He would be standing on the edge of a curb, pausing as he readied for a step.

We immediately recognized each other, in an uncanny, bewildering way. He would continue standing, and I would briskly rush past. No words were ever said between us, but I would glance back over my shoulder, my eyes fixed on him, haunted by why he was there. His eyes remained on mine, asking the same thing. That was the scene, over and over, never changing.

I often told my mother about this man in my dreams, and confessed how hard it was to not wish for him in real life. My mother was a superstitious woman, and she told me that he represented one thing: Death. She had me promise to never go to him in my sleep. And if I were to ever see him in real life, I was to ignore his calling and run from his grasp. I hated to hear her say this, but I promised her I would not follow him. Still, every night before I fell asleep, I felt no foreboding as I held the hope to see him. 

My dreams with him didn't stop. They didn't happen often, but when they did, my heart would race simply by the angle of his face as he turned to look at me. His presence in my dreams made me feel more alive than any man I had known, and I wanted to reach for him. Despite my mother's fright, I purposely concentrated on this man before bed in the hope that I would see him. As much as I feared him, I was drawn to him. Privately, I practiced what to say to him if he did ever appear to me in real life. I fell asleep wondering about his voice, if it would be smooth, if he spoke English. More than anything, I wanted to ask him why we were in each others' lives.

On the nights I dreamed of him, I didn't want to wake because then he would be gone. I wanted the dream to grow into something more, the barrier of not speaking when there was so much to say, was like a hundred pound brick that sat on top of my chest. But the scenario would play out the same; in the middle of a crowded city, we would sense each other amid the weaving and bobbing heads, and we would inexplicably know who we were before we even looked. His dark eyes would find mine, and would stay pinned to me as we both continued in our opposite directions, with me running west, in my dress clothes and work shoes, and him standing at the corner, facing east, not moving. His look when he saw me was one of disbelief, and mine of equal confusion. We moved past each other, asking with our eyes, why do you know me?

One summer when I was in my early 30s, on a day warm enough that I wore only a light blouse to work, I took an early lunch. I had decided to step out of the closed office that I had been in since morning and take a fast walk. I was trotting west, into the bright sun, and hurried through to enjoy the minutes of fresh air. I stopped and waited to cross at a busy corner, holding my hand over my eyes as a visor from the high sun. While I waited, I absent-mindedly scanned the crowd across the street.

I felt my knees turn to rubber when my eyes, with a mind of their own, stopped on a man in a grey suit who was standing at the edge of the curb. His hair glistened, dark and shiny, under the noon sun. From across the way, I could see his face, rosy cheeked as if he had just come from a fresh shave.

Instantly, I knew. Blood pounded in my ears because it was him. The man from my dreams.

I couldn't believe the moment, and I stood with my hands trembling as to how something so impossible could be. I thought of the promise I had made to myself, that if I were to ever see him in real life, I would run to him with my questions. But I froze, my tongue dry in my mouth, and panic taking over my body. My heart raced as I thought of my mother's warning. She was a believer in the message of dreams, and I had more of her ways than my own in me. I knew I couldn't go to him. My mother's insistence of his ominous presence was the only thought in my mind.

He was Death, and I knew that if I allowed myself to be lured to his side, then that would be exactly when a car would come from nowhere, and I would fall victim to the purpose of his presence in my dreams.

My legs shook, knowing I had to escape. But before I did, I couldn't stop myself from one last look. My heart pushed against my chest when I looked up to see his stunned eyes meeting mine. He stood stiff and frozen, and I watched as his mouth fell open in slow motion. He was a statue, his face stricken, as if he had just seen a ghost.
With my heart in my throat, I began to run, no longer wanting to ask how and why it was that we knew each other. I took the nearest street that led away from him. I never looked back, though with every step I felt his breath on my neck.

Since that day, I haven't dreamed of him. No matter how hard I plea.
* * *
**The photo above is of my mother. She is the woman looking at the camera. This is also her tale. If I counted to a thousand, it still wouldn't cover the number of times she told it to me. Despite its many recountings, she was frightened every time she recalled it. In the last months of her life, my mother would wonder aloud about the man in her dreams, and ask me, "Why did he know me? Why did we see each other? I have never forgiven myself for being a coward and running." She wondered of him her entire life, this man, the one she couldn't resist but had to. What I wondered, is why out of six siblings, I was the only one she had told this story to.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blogging Like It's 2009 - 5 Random Things About Me

Old School Mean Pretend Teacher
Picture if you will, a time when blogging was a small circle comprised of people who found blog fodder through blog hops, memes, themes, and tagging. It was a time when blogging awards were given out like stickers at a Dr.'s office after you behaved for your exam.

The time, 2009. The blogosphere then, a commenting wonderland. Today, that period in blogging history is known as "Old School." A lot of us miss old school. Mr. Linky misses old school.

My corner of the blogosphere is raising Old School Days up from the dead with a meme, and I am deliriously answering Yes Yes Yes like the brunette in the Clairol Herbal Essence shampoo commercial. Vikki Reich of UpPoppedaFox, thank you so much for tagging me old school style, with "5 Random Things About Me."

1. When I was little, I would pretend-have school with my dolls. I would line them up in front of me, all of them leaning against the baseboard, and lord over them. Contrary to my online image, I was not a kind nor patient teacher. "YOU!," I'd scream, "in the red pigtails with the freckles! Sit up straight, I don't care if you're filled with sawdust!"

2. In Catholic kindergarten, I thought the songs we sang in church were "My Country Tisothee" and "Gladly the Cross-eyed Bear." Obviously, the name of America before it was America was Tisothee, and Gladly, well, he was cross-eyed and Jesus was going to fix that right up as long as we kept petitioning on his behalf.

3. I was a sneaky, willful five year old. Slyly slipping downstairs to watch unsupervised and scared out of my gourd, my one and only love Rod Serling on the Twilight Zone. Heart palpitations and sweaty palms, absolutely, but I have been addicted to the narrative arc ever since.

4. I have trypophobia. If you don't know what it is, DON'T LOOK IT UP. In fact, forget I said this.

5. One of the significant events in my life that has contributed to me now being a quiet adult, are memories like the time on the 3rd grade playground when I assumed everyone was lactose intolerant as I was. Thus causing me to pose the following rhetorical question in a casual, relaxed tone to the fellow 3rd graders around me, "Don't you guys just HATE how ice cream and milk make you poop in your pants?" The response of stunned silence let me know I had scored another point for Miss Popularity.

I now joyously tag the following 5 bloggers for 5 Random Things About Me:

Jocelyn of O Mighty Crisis
Leslie of Hungry Little Animal
Jenny Kanevsky of  In Other Words
Casey of Life with Roozle, and
Deborah of Peaches and Coconuts

*Hey, you too can turn back the hands of time. Don't wait to be tagged for 5 Random Things. You go and do it yourself, go ahead. Be a free will loving blogging hippie from 2009.

* * *

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Manual

Halloween is nigh, ready or not. October is in our face, even if middle age has us blinking and rubbing our eyes to see it clearly. When you're as old as the trees in front of your house like I am, things take a flip. Special measures need to be taken for your safety now on Halloween night, no longer your kids'. You may not like being a pedestrian in the dark (pesky uneven sidewalks) and you may get colder than usual (darn that aging thyroid) but you still have to get out there and walk the long orange mile of jack o'lanterns and scarecrows propped up on adirondack chairs.

When it's a middle age you taking the kids out on all hallow's eve, it won't just be the ghosts and floor boards they'll hear creaking in the night, it'll be your knees. Well, I've got you covered, friend, from greying head to bunion toe. With a few necessary adjustments designed to keep yourself safe, you'll be able to groan and moan along with the best of them. (moaning will be for our fallen arches and groaning for our aching backs, but who needs to know, it'll just sound that much more authentic)

How To Be Safe on All Hallow’s Eve [geriatric crowd edition]:

1. With your advancing short term memory loss, it’s a good idea to plan a route and draw out a map with familiar landmarks. No one is saying you’ll get lost, but ’tis better to have it and not need it, then to be found frozen behind your neighbor's house in the morning. (oh, but she was sooo close to home!)

2. Aging eyesight makes contrast between light and dark a necessity for clear vision. Walking in the dark against a dark sidewalk isn’t going to help you. Bring along the glasses you’ll need for your night blindness–or not, if you're okay with feeling your way around like a naked mole rat.

3. Choose face paint over face mask any time you can. Masks will muffle your voice, causing you to feel disoriented when you hear it; throw in the night blindness and hyperventilating panic that will make you think it's the big one, Elizabeth, and you’ve got the makings of full blown chaos and confusion. Don’t do this to your kids. Say YES to paint.

4. Bright colored clothing, for real. Go as Gramma Neon. Be Seen, Be Safe, that's my new motto [patent pending].

5. Wigs, capes, costumes: the triple threat! Wigs will overheat you when you’re already hot-flashing, capes will make you feel claustrophobic because of the string tied around your neck waddle, (a new thing that takes getting used to) and costumes?? Just wear what you wear when you shovel snow. Go as “Mrs. She-Just-Gave-Up-One-Day.”

6. Stop muttering and talking out loud to yourself when you cross the street. Wits about you, people! in the face of traffic. Small, darting children–yes, motorists are prepared to be on the lookout for those BUT doddering off-kilter adults? You'll catch them off guard, not a good thing.

7. Please don’t go inside anyone’s house. The home owners will grab you, lock the door behind you, then run out the back shouting “Kids! Surprise! Your new gramma and grampa are gonna babysit tonight!”

8. Older men, watch your choice of costumes. With your hairy ears and eyebrows, the werewolves of the night will find you and drag you back to their den to be their new alpha male. Ladies: now is not the time to stop the botox you just discovered. You'll look ripe for the picking when they come looking for lost souls of the dead.

9. Once home, have someone with good vision inspect your candy for hard and too sticky to chew pieces. Last thing you want on a night like this is to bite down and crack a tooth, or pull a crown, or snap your bridge in half, all from cheap peanut butter twists or stale popcorn balls.

10. Finally, TAKE CARE. Remember that this is the only night of the year that the door to the underworld is open. The departed are allowed out to harvest souls. Be careful, with our one foot in this world and one foot almost into the next, we are the tenderoni the underworld seeks. *I know we're starved for having someone look at us hungrily the way they once used to, but this kind of lip licking and eager hand rubbing in our direction, is not what we think we want.

Are we ready, troops? All right then, everyone grab their neon vest and flashing pumpkin necklace, we've got our job cut out for us staying on this side of the underworld for a few more eves.
Glaucoma badboys courtesy of Walgreen's
* * *

Monday, October 20, 2014

Best of The Internet

We were soccerbusy this weekend. Those who know what I mean are shaking their heads, I hear them, "Ohhhhh, yeah." But it's Monday night now and I'm 1/4 caught up with the things. So, here we are, the best of the internet from, um, errr, last week (still amazing info., check it out!)

--I stumbled onto "Tech4Moms," founded by  Sarah Kimmel. Sarah is a Microsoft Certified IT Manager who blogs on new apps, new gadgets, everything you need from toddler to teen technology. Click over and find out more about family tech news, apps, digital equipment...

--Never rush a story. Easier said than done when the words are all pushing to the front to get out first. But, it's important, "let your story simmer." Great writing advice on penning your best, via HippocampusMagazine  "Craft: The importance of the simmer."

--And this one. You'll have to play it to see what I mean, but typing lower case letters in an orange square was never this much fun. Via craymachine.

Have a great week, everyone, I hope it was off to a productive start.



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