December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Oh my. In the spirit of giving, I certainly can't keep this treasure to myself. I found this post on The Hairpin. Weird arts-and-crafts, Christmas decorations, and the mysterious behavior of the elderly. Also, there is a Flickr set you can scroll through to see all of them. Christmas decorations are the best.



I can't wait to go to my parents' house and bask in the festive glow. At my house, we usually get one or two new ornaments a year. There are a lot of classics, but my favorites (in terms of weirdness) are the homemade abominations that I made as a child. One of the strangest is this clear plastic lid with a bunch of glitter and tinsel melted to it. That was a school project. Another is a heart with my photo on it and the date that I oh-so-dyslexically threw on there (the nines look like p's). We are against ornament discrimination at my house. There is a huge array of creatures, styles, and random objects. We have a bunch of really, really old glass items from my dad's childhood, and his favorite: a little brass horse. My brother's tend to be lizard or reptile-themed, and we still put the little McDonald's happy meal toys on the tree (they were Disney character ornaments that probably sang songs at some point). Our tree is a hodgepodge but it is always a thing of glittering beauty, especially if you stand a few feet back. Around the rest of the house, there are assorted homemade swags, wreaths, and of course, my mother's Santa Claus collection. At some point, my mom began a Santa Claus collection and it really took off. It was like they were multiplying in the night. They always stood on the entertainment center around Christmas time in their varied, jolly bearded glory and when I was younger I used to play with them and organize Santa conventions. As you do.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday time with family and friends, and find a good way to bring in the new year. I'm convinced 2012 is going to be especially good.

December 22, 2011

Oh and by the way

I shaved some of my head the other day! It's great. Expect more of that in the future. A week ago I had a dream in which Caitlin told me that she wanted to shave her head, but it was absolutely necessary that I do it too. I'm not saying that's why I did it, but as I thought about it, that definitely helped sway me. I have also been having dreams about playing the accordion, riding horses, and hanging out with Obama. All good things.

December 15, 2011

Finally!


I know that most of you are bummed that rain is back in Portland. I'm sorry, but I'm not. I owe this sentiment to two things. One, this means that snow should start falling on the mountain. This means that snowboarding will actually be fun. The second reason? Those babies right up there. Bass Hespers. I should be a spokesperson.

I got them a couple weeks ago and then it dried out and got sunny and I have just been dying to wear them. You remember how it felt when you went school shopping and bought new jeans and new novelty sweatshirts and brand-new 96-crayon packs with a million colors and perfect tips? While you didn't entirely want school to start, you kind of did because it meant you would finally be able to break out your new treasures.

Well that's how I feel. I wore them today and they are glorious.

December 13, 2011

AWESOME Gift Guide

So, after Kyle Arthur's wedding, a bunch of of us went back to our apartment. Sam had to break in through the window because he forgot his keys, we brought the leftover kegs in, and we were supposed to like, keep the party going, but that kind of fizzled after about ten minutes and then we were just hanging out. I put on The Last Unicorn (one of my favorite movies in the world) and there was even a redheaded guy hanging out who I didn't know or really notice. A few weeks later he confronted me at The Woodsman Tavern (great new restaurant on Division!) and was like, " Weren't you in Kyle's wedding? I watched The Last Unicorn at your apartment."

Eventually we got hungry. We decided to order pizza. And for some reason, we made Alexa do it. She was one of the least sober and throughout this conversation with the pizza guy she kept saying, "Yes! Yes! I want the AWESOME crust. Yes to AWESOME crust." And we really didn't know what to think and some of us kind of thought that maybe she wasn't really talking to anyone and the pizza would never come. But it did! And it was awesome! Apparently AWESOME crust is a real thing. It involves a dusting of garlic salt and herbs, I think.

Anyway, whenever I say or think the word "awesome" now, I think about Alexa and the AWESOME crust. And in my head I say it like that in all caps. I have been perusing various gift guides on the internet and have selected the most AWESOME things that I have seen. Get these for somebody in your life. Or maybe just yourself.

Lomokino Camera
This is truly awesome. Johanna (look at her great blog) got this for her boyfriend and I am totally jealous.You can make instantly classic videos with 35mm film. It just looks like so much fun.

Pocket Piano
A mini-synth for the musical person in your life. Infinitely cooler than the annoying Ipad app.

Polaroid Camera
 Classic and fun and the sort of thing that you don't go out and buy for yourself, because you already have a serviceable  digital camera, but let's be honest. If you had a polaroid camera you would end using it all the time instead of your boring digital camera. You can get the new school version, or a refurbished old one.

Redwood Forest
Tiny trees? Not only tiny trees, but a species that was thought extinct and was recently discovered in China? Truly wonderful. And good for the air.

December 9, 2011

Friday Morning

I've been on this health kick and part of that involves finding inspiration for maintaining said health kick. So I'm eating my toast and burnt coffee this morning, flipping through this magazine and this fitness guru is all, "Get up and do something for you every morning. Even if you can't work out, you should get up and do some situps and whatnot." And I'm thinking, Yeah. Yeah! I can do that. On the tail of my elation comes the realization that such things are impossible. They are probably possible for some people, but not for me. The only consistency to my mornings are the tornado-like force of my attempts to get out the door and go to work. Take today for example:

6:45: Sam wakes me up.

6:45-7:00: I lie in bed. I tell myself that I am trying to remember my dreams and this is very important to my creativity and general well-being, but really, I'm just lying in bed.

7:00: I actually get out of bed. This happens incrementally. I have various pieces of clothing lying next to the bed so that I can put them on without getting out from under the covers. I do this and then I get up. I do not make the bed.

7:10: I walk to the gym. It's freezing. I wake up every morning with the goal of going to the gym before work (because I never go after work) and then I set my alarm for later and burrow under the covers because it's very dark and it's very cold and surely I will make myself go after work. But not today! Today I go.

7:15: There is a huge RV painted like a energy drink can in front of the gym. Are there touring Extreme Racquetball teams? It appears so. The gym is incredibly crowded for some reason. There are three different trainers taking clients around and this group of guys doing synchronized jumping jack/push up/weight lift routines. I glower at everyone and do a smattering of light exercise: few minutes on the rower, some bicep curls and whatnot. Then I shower and go home.

8:00: There is nothing to eat. I have one piece of sourdough toast and the heel of a loaf of wheat bread. The heel is small. It burns and shrivels up into this little black fungus-looking thing. The coffee is burnt as well. I read the fitness magazine from 2007 to get inspiration for my day.

8:20: I planned my outfit the night before (to save time), so this will be quick and easy. I just need some black tights. I have a bag full of tights in the closet which I blindly root around in for awhile before taking it and dumping it out on the bed in desperation. I have two brown pairs, one grey pair, various striped pairs, one navy pair, and various fishnets. None of these are black. This is shocking. I will have to wear the stupid thigh high pair. It turns out I only have one of these.

8:35: The outfit has to change. I go through the whole process again. I pick out shoes. I brush my teeth, makeup, etc.

8:50: I have to wear different shoes. I can only find one of those. I run around the house frantically, unevenly, because I'm only wearing one shoe.

8:55: Shoes on. Can't find my keys.

8:58: Keys are in the bowl. I lock up, run out, and grab my bike. The house looks like it has been ransacked.

I'm curious. Who out there has a morning routine?

December 8, 2011

Christmas Came Early!

Oddly reminiscent of the cacophony of sound pouring out the pachinko parlors, I have found my favorite video of 2011. This comes to us from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, the new queen of Jpop (japenese pop for you rookies). Her first hit was Pon Pon Pon, released in July. Apparently Fred Durst is a fan? That's how you know she's good. Sidenote, she's also a purveyor of fake eyelashes (which may or may not be promoted in this video. That's for you to decide). Look out for the maximum awesome past the two-minute mark. 



December 7, 2011

The Anti-Gift Guide

I have been deep in the depths of holiday gift planning/buying/pondering. It's a big deal. How do you say "I love you and I think you're awesome" to all the various people in your life without bouncing your rent check and beginning the year with a cup o' noodles and a forty of malt liquor? That's a different post. Today I would like to talk about revenge. No need to ignore your enemies during the holidays, you might as well remind them of your presence with a gift wrapped in shiny paper. Take advantage of Christmas this year and show them how you really feel.

Coal: Cliché, yes. But it's also an old classic. Christmas is a time of tradition.

Blankets Stewed in Disease: Also a classic. Not only are you referencing our illustrious history as a nation, but here in Portland people would be overjoyed to receive a new Pendleton blanket. Bonus if they post a photo of themselves running around a meadow wrapped up in said blanket before meeting their demise.

Novelty Gifts: These are in every Goodwill. They are left over from Christmases past. They are waiting like bombs to be opened. Bad paintings of odd subjects, computers from 1990, those Trolls with gems in their stomach, Billy Bob the Singing Bass (I unwittingly selected this from the prize pile at the pig roast and now will own Billy Bob forever. Sam made him sing for me this morning. It truly is torture), strange objects made for tourists out of shells, odd figurines, etc.

Everyday Items: On an ordinary day, you might be pleased if someone walked up and gave you a wastepaper basket, a can of tuna fish, or a container of dishwashing fluid. On Christmas, when it's wrapped in nice paper, it's heartbreaking.

Ill-timed Jabs: Did this person recently get dumped? You should give them a "Cooking for One" cookbook. Are they unemployed? A briefcase. Overweight? One of those mini trampolines. The list goes on. Be creative.

The Ultimate: I'm not sure it gets worse than this: a used personal effect. A friend of mine once received a used tube of lipstick. So shocking. I think it could be worse though. What about used white cotton tube socks?

The worst for me was probably the Barbie tent I received when I was 10 or so. Even if I had any interest in getting inside of a Barbie tent, I was too large to fit inside it.

What's the worst gift you've ever received? The best?

December 5, 2011

Goldrush

I attended a holiday party last Friday that was completely bedazzled by characters in gold lamé. It was wonderful. I mean, really, nothing says holiday like gold lamé. I used to have an aversion to gold and would only wear silver jewelery. Somewhere in the past year or so, I've done a 180, not unlike my sudden discovery and love for navy blue. Here are some gilded things to brighten your Monday. I'm certainly in need of some brightness.



1. Le Sportsac (zany) 2. Nixon watch  (ballin') 3. Bass Weejuns, Classic shape in limited edition Gold!

December 2, 2011

Funday Friday

Did you guys ever see this? Hermes show from the fall? I meant to share it ages ago but never did. So here you go. Magical, no?


I don't know if you ever play this game, but when I'm walking around in the woods I usually end up discussing what type of Tolkien character I would be. I grew up reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books obsessively, and naturally I like to imagine that I too could be some Middle Earth character frolicking around in the woods. I like to think that I would be an elf. I would carry around a bow and arrow (see above), wear various leather things, and have a pet hawk on my shoulder. When my friends (and boyfriend) are feeling like total jerks, they tell me I would be a hobbit. Or worse, a dwarf.

November 30, 2011

Small Talk


Oh man, so after all this talk about holiday parties I've actually been invited to some. To holiday parties filled with people I won't know. Which means I will have to small talk. Which means it will be awkward. Which kind of makes me not want to go. Which is lame because I was the one who thought it would be fun in the first place

It's just, I don't want to talk about my job. Oh well, I do this thing mumble mumble technical words spoken so quickly no one could understand but yeah I like it and I work with good people and yeah, I mean, I'm interested in pursuing new work, but I mean, in these tough economic times, but yeah. Oh. It was nice to meet you. 

And I don't want to ask you where you're from.

Oh. Gaston. Nice. 

Or. 

Oh Michigan. I haven't been there.

Me? I'm from Newberg. Yes, the beach is nice. But Newberg is not near the beach. Yes, that's Newport. Ha. Ha.

And I don't want to talk about how we know the host because then it becomes this thing where you basically admit that you're not really friends, just acquaintances really, and are probably in their email address book under the label People to Invite to Cocktail Parties (B-List) and then it turns out the person is like, their best friend, and they're like, Yeah, I've never seen you before so I thought maybe you were just a random. Joke!

And how do you get out of a conversation when you don't know anyone else? In a normal situation someone who you know would come up and say, Oh hey. Let's gossip about so and so's new boyfriend, and you excuse yourself (or not, depending on your level of intoxication) and then you guys go cackle in the corner. But at a party with people you don't know, you just get to the point where there's nothing left to say but neither of you see anyone else you can latch on to and you start chugging your drink faster and faster as the conversation goes on until you can stop and say, Oh look. I need a refill. And then you run.

It's daunting. But I'm better than that. I will not let Holiday Party with People I Don't Know beat me. I'm working on a mental list of conversation starters that don't center around work or where you're from or how you know the host (Example: What's your favorite dinosaur?). I can be that person.

November 28, 2011

Workout Dignity

My main reason for joining a gym was that I needed a respectable place to work out. For many, many years I was gymless. My workouts consisted of pilates mat exercises, sporadic jogging, and those random toning workouts they present in womens' fitness magazines. I would do these in my living room (if no one was home, or in the privacy of my room, if someone was home). These random toning workouts also required cardio which I supplied by adding moves stolen from Flashdance and MC Hammer videos. When I lived in 834, Heidi always knew when I was "working out" because I would disappear into my room, weird thumping noises would commence (as I bounced around my room with weights in my hands), and I would reappear with a red face and disheveled hair. It was not for the eyes of others.

I knew I was going to have to relinquish my secret workouts once Sam and I moved in together, but that was a small price to pay. I mean, I enjoyed them, but my dignity was worth maintaining. Working out at the gym is like a pantomime of exercise. The smooth glide of the elliptical trainer, the effortless slide of weights on cables. Those machines are made for maintaining your cool in public. You can't come back from Donkey Kicks. You can't come back from the Twister combined with the 5-pound weight Fist Pump (patent pending).

I'm not sure what happened this weekend, but the illusion came crashing down. Perhaps we were both still drunk from the toddler-thigh-sized maple bars we consumed earlier that day at the Huckleberry Inn, but I suddenly found myself doing team ab workouts with Sam, to a mix he had created (it seems solely for the purpose of working out) and suddenly all bets were off. He was doing these manic pushup things while I danced around with hand-weights to Jerk it. Red Fang came on and we were both headbanging and leaping around the living room. We suddenly traded and he was spinning around in circles with the hand-weights while I lunged around with my hands on my hips. It could only be described as a diabolical workout frenzy.

And we shared it. He may never look at me the same, but at least he knows.

November 22, 2011

Reading Rainbow

In light of our current lack of sunlight, I've been reading like a fiend. In the summer I read less because I feel guilty for sitting inside when there is any hint of sunshine, so this absolutely disgusting weather is my green light for obsessive novel reading.

I just finished Jonathan Frantzen's Freedom. So good! An investigation of a love, marriage, a family's path through life ,and the choices we make in the face of infinite choice and well, freedom, this book is a total page turner with inspiring prose, well-crafted characters, and an all-encompassing nowness that is refreshing and accessible. I recommend.

I'm nearing the end of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (thanks Rachael) and it's been enjoyable as well. Since I was just there, it's nice to read something that takes place in Brooklyn and recognize the street names and all that. Graham Street! I was just there!

I'm looking for my next victim. Any suggestions?

November 18, 2011

Time to Party?

Okay, my inbox has been flooded lately with all these ads for special holiday dresses, festive accessories, and the like. Also, around this time the the lady magazines start giving you tips for how to avoid becoming fat at all the holiday parties you attend (like there is a never-ending parade of holiday parties, like your calendar is booked to the brim), such as: only drink low-calorie white wine and eat a protein before the party so you won't fill up on cream-cheese filled puff-pastry. So, what I'm thinking is, well, two things.

One, I love dressing up and this whole festive party dress thing is really appealing. I am the sort of person who will buy some crazy sequined dress (like the one above) with the thought that I will be able to wear it at some event at some time in the near future. Basically, this advertising is directed at people like me. Also, I love delicious snack food that is served with toothpicks. Who doesn't? I wouldn't even follow those tips, I would not eat a full meal before I attend the party and I would just wholeheartedly enjoy that delicious scallop wrapped in bacon. 

Two, I'm never invited to holiday parties. I mean, if you believe magazines and advertising, there are people out there holding charming, cocktail-attire soirees at which they serve eggnog and hot whiskey drinks, and everyone is covered in glitter, and there's mistletoe, and pompous laughter, and the evening ends with dancing and maybe a very classy gift exchange in which things like gourmet olive oil and tickets to Cirque du Soleil are traded. But I don't know these people. I'm not even sure they exist. But if they do, these parties are happening without me. And I think it's tragic.

My call to all of you is to host some sort of glamorous function that requires wearing fancy clothes. And invite me. Mostly because it will be fun, and also because I want an excuse to wear sequins (and I have some real treasures stashed away for the gift exchange).

November 16, 2011

How to Pick Up Portland Girls X

I went to New York last weekend and it was glorious. There is nothing like a long weekend to ward off the impending doom of winter doldrums. While I was there, I basked in the differences of the coasts, the odd sartorial choices of stray dogs, the neverending food and drink opportunities, and the slightly more aggressive path that East coast males feel obligated to take. I have a single friend there; we went out to bars and talked about various dating disasters and feelings and all that shit. Along the way I had some epiphanies.

Be a Metal Guy: Somewhere between the Bushwick Social Club and Ontario (Canada-themed bar, woodsy is in) I had an epiphany. My friend should be dating a metal guy. Metal guys are awesome. They always have been. Remember? While some of you were busy being dorks in thin cotton turtle necks and Charlotte Hornets starter jackets and playing Nerf football, the metal guys were wearing their black t-shirts covered with horrifying things under a sheepskin lined denim jacket and scratching band insignia into their binders with a protractor. They can play instruments, they have an encyclopedic memory of bands and rock history, and they will never make you listen to some song that they made using an Ipad app. 

The more I pushed this epiphany on my friend, the more I convinced her and myself. Metal guys are dorks but in an awesome, unselfconscious way. They don't like a band because it's cool, they like it because it rocks. They are loyal. They don't jump on bandwagons. They have nice hair. We went to a rock show on Saturday night and my friend was impressed by the amount of guys present, though the cute baby-faced one did turn out to be a girl. Either way, the crowd showed a refreshing enthusiasm that has been missing since dudes stopped dancing and started perfecting the toe tap. Metal guys will always have my vote.

Get Aggressive: West coast guys could learn something from East coast guys. I'm not saying you should try on some sort of Jersey Shore affectation, but there was a refreshing amount of eye contact in the bars. A random sidewalk approach even occurred, which obviously, was spurned but represented a determination that is sorely lacking here in the land of pines and rain. Let's be honest. People go to bars to meet other people. I'm not sure why, because it appears to be practically impossible, but when one is single, one goes to bars and looks around and hopes there is someone there who finds them attractive and loves kittens, gluten-free beer and dead-stock Levis as much as they do. Stop pretending you don't want to meet a lovely lady at the bar, make actual eye contact with someone, and maybe try to chat with her.

Try the Internet: Not just for sexual predators and women who are obsessed with marriage, cats, and long walks on the beach. Apparently everyone is doing it. There is no shame in internet dating. It may in fact be the dating mechanism of the future, and someday people will feel awkward and embarrassed when telling the story of how they met on a ferry when her hat flew off and hit him in the face. Not convinced? I know someone who is dating an attractive stripper. This happened via a popular free online dating service. Seriously. It doesn't mean you're ugly and desperate, it just means you want to date someone.

November 9, 2011

Going on a trip!

I'm heading over to New York tomorrow to hang out with friends. I have tentative plans to go to a Russian bath house, a flea market, and hope to come back with some gems. For some reason this song keeps playing in my head whenever I think about my trip, so you know, there's that.

November 8, 2011

Sordid Side of Town

Let's talk about the sordid side of getting married. The bachelor and bachelorette parties. They're weird right? Maybe I don't really get it because I grew up without television and my parents are the kind of people who didn't have the parties before they got married (not because they didn't like to party but they just didn't), but . . . . I guess I just don't really get it.

I understand having a night out with your friends. I think that's nice. But shouldn't they be a more fun version of a usual night out?  There seems to be this American mythology and expectation surrounding the notion of the bachelor party. I've attended a couple bachelorette parties and they have all varied pretty drastically, but there always seems to be penis paraphernalia and veils. For they guys, you see the ramped up version in movies like The Hangover and Very Bad Things, like, this is your last chance to touch a bunch of boobs and possibly have sex with someone (which somehow isn't cheating) before you are doomed to a horrible, monotonous existence with the one you love. This seems really counter-intuitive to the whole concept of marriage but the industry supports the idea that this is the guy's last night as a single man. There was even a show called Stag: A Test of Love. This show filmed the bachelor party and then showed it to the fiancee the next day and then filmed their horrified response. That was an actual show.

 So, I didn't really know what to expect when I went to Kyle's bachelor party. I was the only girl, which was fine, but definitely awkward. We got a back room at Pho Gia and set Kyle up at in a table in the center like it was last supper or something. I brought him a gag blow up doll I snagged at a garage sale, which we all tattooed with a Sharpie, and then we went to Sandy Hut for drinks and jello shots. The blow up doll was surprising popular. Or maybe not so surprisingly. He was pretty great.

If I have a party, I just want to go camping with my friends. What do you guys think? Are traditional bachelor/bachelorette parties an important part of getting married? Am I missing the point?

November 7, 2011

It's All Over


Wow, what a weekend. Being in a wedding is hard work, but also, not really because you're doing things like being a good friend and dressing up and smiling and drinking lots of wine and eating food and talking to people. So, you know, not like going out and chopping down a tree or something, but also not as easy as sitting around in the Romance Killers all day and watching television. 

Kyle and Emily did such a great job planning this wedding, and having been around for the whole planning process, I know they worked really hard, but also focused on the good stuff and didn't let it get all consuming. The result was so festive and fun and unique to them.

There was so much laughter and excitement and smiling. I got to see all my friends who don't live here because they all came out for the wedding, and it was just really great to see Kyle and Emily surrounded by the people they love, affirming the fact that they love each other. Highlights included getting ready at the Nines (thanks again Darci and Liz!), the story of how Kyle and Emily came to be, Emily's sweet catfish poem, certain unnamed men crying in the audience, the really awesome photo booth*, listening to the toasts (and giving one which was terrifying but also very exhilarating), girl's time in the bathroom complete with illicit whiskey swigs, talking with the bride and groom's parents about the bride and groom, dancing to Robyn, delicious chocolate cake, dancing with Laurence (he came up from SLC!), and finishing up the evening at our place with The Last Unicorn and pizza from Dominos complete with Awesome Crust.

*Kyle Carnes set up the perfect photobooth. Here's a post about it.

November 4, 2011

Wedding Weekend

As most of you know, I am a groomslady in Kyle's wedding. It's happening. The bachelor party went down last night, complete with a private room at a pho restaurant and a novelty toy blowup doll christened something Branson (Chuck maybe? From Death Wish? I don't know). I was a partial attendee last night. Partial because I only went to dinner and then to the Sandy Hut and ducked out once strip clubs became the main topic of conversation. More on that later. Anyway, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are tonight! The wedding is tomorrow! Everything is happening so quickly.

To get everyone in the wedding mood, here are shots from the last fantastic wedding I attended. Lauren and Ben were married down in the redwoods on Lauren's family farm. It was a beautiful wedding and included the added benefit of a weekend away and the adventure that came with it. I'm pretty sure we all walked away with some stories.






Congratulations to Kyle and Emily! And belatedly, once again, to Lauren and Ben.

November 3, 2011

New Favorite Band


Just when you think you will be stuck listening to the Beach House (or whatever) album on repeat  forever, a new band jumps out from the hedges. I mean, they're not new, but new to me. Mr. Gnome is from Cleveland, Ohio, which is also the inspiration for one of my absolute favorite Youtube clips. Barille's voice shares the keening edge of Karen O's, their guitar/drum combo rocks, and their cover art is comfortingly weird. What else could you ask for?

November 2, 2011

Winners

I want to thank you all for participating and entering all your great, creative entries in this contest. It was really fun to read everyone's stories and see your creative talents in action.

Also, just to remove the anonymity factor, our contestants were:

Elizabeth Burnell-Untitled

Johanna (Johanna's mom)-A Scary Halloween Story... A True One

Kyle Arthur-The Long March to the Bathroom (A True Story)


Gabe Rodriguez-The Haunted House (or, Deuce Numm-Bertew gets his First Pube


Sam Grant-Numbered graves photo


Kyle Carnes-Getting killed on the stairs photo


Emily Dart-Mclean-Creepy clown photo


Alexa Heidrich-The Origins of Elias


Benjamin Dayton-The Godforsaken


And by popular vote the winners of This Contest is Haunted are Emily Dart-Mclean's creepy clown photo (apparently that's her at age seven) and Benjamin Dayton's The Godforsaken. Nice job, you guys.

You win a copy of neo-classic slasher film Scream. Yay!


November 1, 2011

This Contest is Haunted Tie-Breaker

Tallying up the votes for this contest has been like watching an epic horse race between Man O' War, Secretariat, and Seabiscuit (minus Toby Maguire who obviously ruins everything). What? You've never been obsessed with books about racehorses?  Forgive the reference and contribute to the ultimate tie-breaker. There is a three-way tie and only two prizes. I need you to vote for your number one favorite out of these three. Please vote in the comments. The top two take all.


1)



2) The Godforsaken

Denver’s annual zombie crawl is upon us once again. Last year was my first encounter with this disturbing phenomenon, having just moved to the city from Wyoming a few weeks before All Hallows’ Eve. I’ve since discovered that the living dead are drawn toward urban areas as there are just far greater opportunities for feasting on human flesh than out in the sticks. I had never before encountered so many fucking zombies in my entire life.

Sure, you have your enterprising ones disguised as traveling salesmen or delivery drivers come to the ranch every so often, but being loners, these specimens are easily dealt with, relatively. You can spot them by their jaunty walk, and occasionally then have scars of gaping wounds, but they usually know enough to cover those up. Three guns are necessary. At least a twelve-gauge rifle, the biggest shotgun you can get your hands on, and a pistol with a decent kick. An initial shotgun blast to the midsection slows them down as they approach—don’t wait to see what they’re selling, to be sure, they’re peddling your goddamn demise—after the first shot, they’ll be dazed but don’t think you’re done. As they’re staggering and screaming all fucked up like—faking pain is a tactic they employ—you have to run up, getting as close as possible, and sink the rifle shot into the cranium. The pistol is for back up at close range only. And you better hope to Christ you don’t have to use it. Once they’ve stopped moving, you have about twenty minutes to sever the legs and arms, and what’s left of the head. If you wait too long, they will reanimate on your ass. This is the worst part because the smell is horrendous, and contrary to popular lore, those limbs do not easily separate from the body. Each part must then be buried at least 7 feet below ground and not within a fifty-yard radius of any of the other parts, neither from that particular zombie, nor from any others you’ve previously buried. Each spot must be clearly marked.

I was shitting dynamite when I discovered Denver’s substantial zombie population and the lack of adequate land to dispose the fuckers in. And on top of that, realizing that amazingly, I’m one of the only people in the city who knows how to properly kill and dispose of a zombie, I damn near called it quits and moved back home. But I stayed, if only for lack of money.

A year has passed, and tonight those godforsaken bastards will erupt from the ground like a gonorrheic discharge upon the streets of Denver, and they won’t leave until they’ve had their fill of human flesh. Knowing I can’t possibly eliminate the entire zombie population from Denver has been disheartening as all hell. I’m just one fucking guy after all. But that’s not stopping me from doing my damndest for the protection of the human race. A zombie infestation can get out of control faster than a Wyoming cop’ll have their hand up your ass under the pretense of a narcotics crackdown. For shit’s sake, I’m not going to let that happen.

Dressed in full camouflage, I carry a golf bag with my guns, a hacksaw, some beef jerky for fuel, and a water canteen, to the alley next to Dos Locos, a major stop-off on the zombies’ annual prowl. I hide behind a dumpster roughly twenty-five feet back from the street. A Dia de los Muertos celebration is in full swing. The playful mariachi music falls on my ears in stark contrast to the unsavory task at hand.

My plan is to pick a large male out of a pack as they pass by the entrance to the alley on their way to devour their unsuspecting victims. I’m hoping the first kill will be sufficient to scare many of the zombies back to their graves, because I just don’t have the man power or the space to sever and place more than one or two of them. If this fails, the vile, rapacious fucks will surely tear me limb from limb.

The first batch to pass is no good. Mostly females and skinny ones at that. Hard to shoot and won’t spook any of the others. Just’ll piss them off. I wait for another twenty minutes or so with no good shots. I get hungry and break into the beef jerky. Just as I’m taking a swig off my canteen the perfect specimen appears. Tall and wide, surrounded by a group of about ten other zombies and a few people dressed up for the Day of the Dead fiesta who don’t know any better. Luckily the idiot humans are on the periphery of the bunch. I drop my canteen and grab the rifle; the shotgun would probably hit the humans at this range. I aim and fire. The big sonofabitch goes down. No stagger at all. Everyone else is screaming and running away like I planned. The big one is on its back writhing. I reload and run up, center the barrel’s end near the temple. The mariachi band has stopped. The whole fucking restaurant is deserted save for two guys peaking around the corner of the building watching me. I fire again to end it. The decayed brains splatter my hands and face. The two guys look scared. One of them turns and vomits. I wipe my face with my sleeve and yell to them that everything is OK. It’s dead, I say, and the others have fled back to their graves. We are safe for another year! They run. It’s an understandable reaction from someone who’s never seen a zombie killing. I figure they’ll be fine, and set to work quickly sawing the limbs off. In the approaching distance, sirens blare, and I know everything is going to be alright.



3) THE HAUNTED HOUSE (or, DEUCE NUMM-BERTEW GETS HIS FIRST PUBE)

Not so very long ago and not so far away, an unsuspecting new family moved into the spooky, decrepit fixer-upper on the corner of Bones Blvd. and Skeleton Street. The old-fashioned piss-yellow Victorian was obviously haunted yet inexplicably appealing to the merry-go-round of buyers who, like clockwork, moved in and then out, always screaming and frazzled when they turned over the keys back into the hands of Dolores Doodie, the neighborhood real estate agent. Year after year, Dolores would do a little Annette Bening-in-“American Beauty” routine in the newly cleaned, empty house, giving herself a pep talk along the lines of “I will sell this house today!” despite the moaning and groaning soundtrack continuously provided by the floorboards and walls of the home. And year after year, an attractive new family would swoop the place up, high on the dreamy hopes of fixing the place up and reviving its full potential as a neighborhood cornerstone.

SPOOKY MUSIC

And so, not so very long ago and not so far away, the Numm-Bertew clan pulled into the driveway of the old haunted house on the corner of Bones & Skeleton, their blood-red Previa minivan sparkling in the moonlight (they had driven all day from their former hometown and arrived at their new home only once the sun had long set).

SPOOKY MUSIC
The family battled cobwebs and the lack of a porch light before reaching the front door, toward which little brother Deuce was extending his open hand when the thing clicked, croaked, and screeched open without any damn body turning the knob. Deuce’s two older sisters gasped in terror at the haunted house cliché, clinging to each other for protection in an inexplicably sexy way, with both sisters’ visibly pert nipples standing at serious attention in matching tight tank tops as the moonlight cast down upon nothing else but their boobs. Little Deuce paid no heed to his super sexpot teen sisters, of course, owing to his lack of pubes and the fact that, until kids get pubes, haunted houses are still cooler than boobs.

As usual, mom and dad were suddenly nowhere to be seen. Deuce Numm-Bertew and his wet hot American teen twin sisters were technically orphans, you see, but the ghosts of their dearly departed parents were so concerned for preserving the virginal purity of their should-be porn star daughters that they manifest themselves physically in a blood-red Previa whenever the twins were about to lose it to a football team and whisked them away, along with little Deuce, to a whole new hometown and a whole new life.

Just then, a BLACK CAT/JOLT OF SPOOKY MUSIC jumped down from nowhere and scared the shit out of the twins, literally. Deuce rolled his eyes, mumbled “typical” under his breath, and pushed the front door all the way open, revealing a dark gaping expanse into which he bravely stepped. Faced with the classic dilemma of whether to remain on the scary front porch where you and your hot twin just sharted in unison or follow your little bro into an even scarier haunted house, the girls opted to chillax with their poop on the porch and pray for a football team to come along and deflower them in the moonlight.

Inside, Deuce groped pathetically in the cobwebby darkness with the hope of finding a light switch. Little fool was too young to know what everybody does by the time they get pubes: that haunted houses don’t have light switches, and that the place is only illuminated when the demonic powers that be are damn good and ready to light a bitch up. Just then, JOLT OF SPOOKY MUSIC/LET THERE BE LIGHT!!! All at once, the haunted house was ablaze with jack-o-lanterns, hundreds of carved pumpkins lit from within by candlelight, each and every last one of them bearing a strained, constipated expression that was neither sinister nor intimidating yet also not sad or even ironically dopey.

JOLT UPON JOLT OF SPOOKY MUSIC as the house itself begins to shake, quake, even, with the bizarrely straining pumpkin faces becoming even more bizarrely strained with every passing moment. Little Deuce wasn’t scared, though, because having spent all eight of his living years with twin teen hottie sisters with severe sharting anxiety, Little Deuce recognized the nature of these expressions almost immediately.

Without hesitating, Deuce became a man: he grabbed an axe from the nearest place where axes are kept and ran for the nearest mainline pipe. With one fell swoop, as the house was groaning and moaning and heaving and hoeing all around him, hundreds, no, thousands, of groaning, moaning, heaving and hoeing jack-o-lantern faces aglow with the look that only backlogged feces can be blamed for, Little Deuce slammed the axe into the sewer pipe as hard as he could, freeing his new home of her lifelong suffering with one valiant gesture, the act that made Little Deuce just plain Deuce.

And so at that very moment, when the most infamous haunted house on Bones/Skeleton burst from within to flood the entire neighborhood with decades worth of pent up poop and pee, Deuce got his very first pube, becoming a man. As for the house, well, it was no longer haunted at all, freed of the ghosts of feces past and allowed to breathe and be free at long last. With the first rain came a little less poop on the streets, then the second rain and so on, and by the time several years worth of torrentially rainy winters had passed, the formerly haunted house (and the three or so square miles immediately surrounding it) looked good as new.

And so Deuce Numm-Bertew lived happily ever after, with lots of pubes and a poopy twins fetish as his main companions, plus the annual Christmas card he sent to the realtor Dolores Doodie, thanking her for another year in the house she sold his ghost parents.
ORCHESTRAL CLIMAX!!!

THE END

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was definitely action-packed. I was a dead bride, complete with scary makeup, a handmaid black veil (thanks Caitlin), and bouquet of weeds. Sam was Driver, and yes, he sewed that scorpion on the back of his jacket all by himself. I would like to remind you all to vote on your two favorite stories/photos. Links to all of the stories are in the post below. At the moment we have a three-way tie, which simply will not do.

October 28, 2011

It's time to vote!!!

Today is the the day. This is your chance to participate in the democratic process and vote for the winners of This Contest is Haunted 2011.

I've thought a lot about this, and since we have three photo entries and many more stories, I would like you to vote for your two favorites, regardless of category. In case you are undecided, you may find all of the entries here, here, here, and here.

Please vote in the comments, or if you would prefer to be anonymous you can email me at rachel.wri@gmail.com. I will tally up the results on Monday.

Go!

October 27, 2011

This Contest is Haunted IV

Wow. Here are the final two entries for the finest creative horror-fest I have ever been witness to. I had no idea my friends were more talented than the writers of Child's Play (I saw it for the first time the other night. It was actually pretty stupid), but you are. You really, really are.

8) The Origins of Elias

I first met Elias when I looking at a house in Mississippi as a potential roommate.  Al and Elias were sitting on the couch on the front porch when I pulled up on my bike.  We began dancing that dance of getting to know each other, except I’m pretty sure they were just making sure I wasn’t too straight-laced for the house.  The most interesting part of our exchange was when I reciprocated in asking where they were from.  Al, a pleasantly round and jolly sort, replied he was from Arizona.  Elias, being the weasel-y looking odd sort, replied he was the result of a bad night for two drunk badgers who had eaten rancid tacos.

Despite this first encounter I moved in, and quickly learned that Al, and especially Elias, were fans of whiskey.  And wine.  And chain smoking on the front porch ad infinitum.  Al worked at a factory in Swan Island, and although he commuted by bike, one day he was able to come back with an industrial sized spool of rope.  Elias, being the questionable character he was, decided to work on his knot tying.  The apex of his efforts coincided with one night I had people round for dinner.  We were eating our communal flan dessert when he entered the room with a series of nooses tied onto a length of rope.  He proposed an experiment, which was not received well by the group. 

But I digress.  This is meant to be a scary story.  In case the idea that your Craigslist-found roommate wanted to hang you and your friends (and for how long had he been planning this?) wasn’t terrifying enough.  In which case I will flesh out the mysterious origins of Elias.  Or how the night of his conception begat the man who interrupted my dinner party with a suggestion for a group hanging. 

It had indeed been a very bad night for those two badgers.  Normally without second thought for would-be predators, these two brazenly drank agave fermented in the bowels of New Mexican hell to hallucinating excess.  They feasted on their spicy spoilt trash tacos until their stomachs were distended and grotesque.  Belching and emitting the most foul of odors they caroused wantonly throughout the forests.  Until, that is, they were accosted by it. 

It was a stringy haired whore; whose body was covered in pulsating herpes blisters that popped in such rapid succession it was like young innocents blithely stomping packing material.  Its thin lips barely concealed teeth blackened by tooth decay it had developed while still in its mother’s syphilis infected womb.  It was bent over, afflicted not only with bread back, but severe spinal disintegration.  Surely this sorry collection of diseased cells with a pulse was on the verge of imminent death.  It was.  However, that biological impulse to procreate gave this monster one last ounce of strength, when, having encountered the badgers, it overtook them and had its way.  I mean, its way. Nasty nasty sex acts that that I will not pass on.  Think R. Kelly multiplied infinitely.  The badgers did not survive.

However, due to the incredible amount of biological activity that resulted from the combination of tequila from hell, trash tacos, herpes and tooth decay, a fetus developed.  Not more than 2 days later, when it had taken its last breath and evacuated its bowels for the last time, Elias emerged.  Mostly formed and ready to crawl his way to 4187 North Albina.  Ready to scare us, scare us all to hell.

9) The Godforsaken

Denver’s annual zombie crawl is upon us once again. Last year was my first encounter with this disturbing phenomenon, having just moved to the city from Wyoming a few weeks before All Hallows’ Eve. I’ve since discovered that the living dead are drawn toward urban areas as there are just far greater opportunities for feasting on human flesh than out in the sticks. I had never before encountered so many fucking zombies in my entire life.

Sure, you have your enterprising ones disguised as traveling salesmen or delivery drivers come to the ranch every so often, but being loners, these specimens are easily dealt with, relatively. You can spot them by their jaunty walk, and occasionally then have scars of gaping wounds, but they usually know enough to cover those up. Three guns are necessary. At least a twelve-gauge rifle, the biggest shotgun you can get your hands on, and a pistol with a decent kick. An initial shotgun blast to the midsection slows them down as they approach—don’t wait to see what they’re selling, to be sure, they’re peddling your goddamn demise—after the first shot, they’ll be dazed but don’t think you’re done. As they’re staggering and screaming all fucked up like—faking pain is a tactic they employ—you have to run up, getting as close as possible, and sink the rifle shot into the cranium. The pistol is for back up at close range only. And you better hope to Christ you don’t have to use it. Once they’ve stopped moving, you have about twenty minutes to sever the legs and arms, and what’s left of the head. If you wait too long, they will reanimate on your ass. This is the worst part because the smell is horrendous, and contrary to popular lore, those limbs do not easily separate from the body. Each part must then be buried at least 7 feet below ground and not within a fifty-yard radius of any of the other parts, neither from that particular zombie, nor from any others you’ve previously buried. Each spot must be clearly marked.

I was shitting dynamite when I discovered Denver’s substantial zombie population and the lack of adequate land to dispose the fuckers in. And on top of that, realizing that amazingly, I’m one of the only people in the city who knows how to properly kill and dispose of a zombie, I damn near called it quits and moved back home. But I stayed, if only for lack of money.

A year has passed, and tonight those godforsaken bastards will erupt from the ground like a gonorrheic discharge upon the streets of Denver, and they won’t leave until they’ve had their fill of human flesh. Knowing I can’t possibly eliminate the entire zombie population from Denver has been disheartening as all hell. I’m just one fucking guy after all. But that’s not stopping me from doing my damndest for the protection of the human race. A zombie infestation can get out of control faster than a Wyoming cop’ll have their hand up your ass under the pretense of a narcotics crackdown. For shit’s sake, I’m not going to let that happen.

Dressed in full camouflage, I carry a golf bag with my guns, a hacksaw, some beef jerky for fuel, and a water canteen, to the alley next to Dos Locos, a major stop-off on the zombies’ annual prowl. I hide behind a dumpster roughly twenty-five feet back from the street. A Dia de los Muertos celebration is in full swing. The playful mariachi music falls on my ears in stark contrast to the unsavory task at hand.

My plan is to pick a large male out of a pack as they pass by the entrance to the alley on their way to devour their unsuspecting victims. I’m hoping the first kill will be sufficient to scare many of the zombies back to their graves, because I just don’t have the man power or the space to sever and place more than one or two of them. If this fails, the vile, rapacious fucks will surely tear me limb from limb.

The first batch to pass is no good. Mostly females and skinny ones at that. Hard to shoot and won’t spook any of the others. Just’ll piss them off. I wait for another twenty minutes or so with no good shots. I get hungry and break into the beef jerky. Just as I’m taking a swig off my canteen the perfect specimen appears. Tall and wide, surrounded by a group of about ten other zombies and a few people dressed up for the Day of the Dead fiesta who don’t know any better. Luckily the idiot humans are on the periphery of the bunch. I drop my canteen and grab the rifle; the shotgun would probably hit the humans at this range. I aim and fire. The big sonofabitch goes down. No stagger at all. Everyone else is screaming and running away like I planned. The big one is on its back writhing. I reload and run up, center the barrel’s end near the temple. The mariachi band has stopped. The whole fucking restaurant is deserted save for two guys peaking around the corner of the building watching me. I fire again to end it. The decayed brains splatter my hands and face. The two guys look scared. One of them turns and vomits. I wipe my face with my sleeve and yell to them that everything is OK. It’s dead, I say, and the others have fled back to their graves. We are safe for another year! They run. It’s an understandable reaction from someone who’s never seen a zombie killing. I figure they’ll be fine, and set to work quickly sawing the limbs off. In the approaching distance, sirens blare, and I know everything is going to be alright.

October 26, 2011

Round III of This Contest is Haunted

Three contestants for the photo portion:

5)



6)


7)


October 25, 2011

Round II of This Contest is Haunted

 3) The Long March to the Bathroom (A True Story)




When I was around 9 years old, my newly formed family (mother, new step-father and step-brothers) moved about 20 minutes outside of Corvallis, OR into a wonderfully large multi-level home that was on a few acres.  Now coming from a town, I was not immediately ready for the shock of not having your neighbors right outside your bedroom window or the absolute silence and darkness that came at night.  Dealing with the dark and silence at night was easy living with my new brothers in the adjacent rooms, that all change within about 7 months of living there.  My mother and step-father were getting a divorce and we would be getting the massive house to ourselves.

As soon as my step-brothers and father moved out of the house, it took on a whole other vibe.  It became terrifyingly empty with all these crazy shadows cast by the moonlight coming in from the long row of windows that seemed to be present in each and every room of the house.  The very worst part of the house now seemed to be the separation of the family living spaces from where my room was, what used to be a blessing for three young boys was now a gauntlet of terror each night I had to make my way to the bathroom.

This long march came to a terrifying head one clear evening in October with a bright moon.  I needed to use the bathroom as any boy who is scared of leaving the safety of his warm blankets for the cold hard truth of not wetting the bed.  I made my way out of my room and down the hallway trying not to look out the window in case some monstrous beast was just outside waiting to catch a glimpse of me and snatch me right away.  I lost this battle of wills and peered out into the late night.  Our backyard was an acre long grass field populated with a few garden beds and a sprinkling of small trees lining the property.  At the very end of our property line was a tall stand of trees at the peak of the hill illuminated from behind by the moonlight.  At first I could not believe what I was seeing standing in between two of the trees at the very top of the hill and thought my mind was just playing tricks on me.  That was when it moved.  This humanoid looking thing was walking the ridge of the hill and must have been at least 9 feet tall when compared to the trees.  It lumbered along stopping occasionally and just stand still.  I was rooted to the spot in absolute terror and couldn't even let out a peep.  I had been terrified of something like this ever since I had seen an episode of Unsolved Mysteries covering sasquatch (aka bigfoot) and now years later I was seeing one in my own yard.  To this day I swear it stopped and looked down the hill directly at me and its eyes flashed red for a brief second, then lumbered over the hill out of sight.

If I thought I was terrified before of the walk to the bathroom, I can't start to explain the horror that walk was for the rest of the six months we lived there.  Anytime I needed to go to the bathroom at night I would jam my pillow on the side of my head that the windows faced and walk as quickly as my legs would carry me all the while picturing a huge bigfoot right outside of the window waiting for me to take a peek.



4) THE HAUNTED HOUSE (or, DEUCE NUMM-BERTEW GETS HIS FIRST PUBE)

Not so very long ago and not so far away, an unsuspecting new family moved into the spooky, decrepit fixer-upper on the corner of Bones Blvd. and Skeleton Street. The old-fashioned piss-yellow Victorian was obviously haunted yet inexplicably appealing to the merry-go-round of buyers who, like clockwork, moved in and then out, always screaming and frazzled when they turned over the keys back into the hands of Dolores Doodie, the neighborhood real estate agent.  Year after year, Dolores would do a little Annette Bening-in-“American Beauty” routine in the newly cleaned, empty house, giving herself a pep talk along the lines of “I will sell this house today!” despite the moaning and groaning soundtrack continuously provided by the floorboards and walls of the home. And year after year, an attractive new family would swoop the place up, high on the dreamy hopes of fixing the place up and reviving its full potential as a neighborhood cornerstone.

SPOOKY MUSIC

 And so, not so very long ago and not so far away, the Numm-Bertew clan pulled into the driveway of the old haunted house on the corner of Bones & Skeleton, their blood-red Previa minivan sparkling in the moonlight (they had driven all day from their former hometown and arrived at their new home only once the sun had long set). 

SPOOKY MUSIC
The family battled cobwebs and the lack of a porch light before reaching the front door, toward which little brother Deuce was extending his open hand when the thing clicked, croaked, and screeched open without any damn body turning the knob. Deuce’s two older sisters gasped in terror at the haunted house cliché, clinging to each other for protection in an inexplicably sexy way, with both sisters’ visibly pert nipples standing at serious attention in matching tight tank tops as the moonlight cast down upon nothing else but their boobs. Little Deuce paid no heed to his super sexpot teen sisters, of course, owing to his lack of pubes and the fact that, until kids get pubes, haunted houses are still cooler than boobs.

As usual, mom and dad were suddenly nowhere to be seen. Deuce Numm-Bertew and his wet hot American teen twin sisters were technically orphans, you see, but the ghosts of their dearly departed parents were so concerned for preserving the virginal purity of their should-be porn star daughters that they manifest themselves physically in a blood-red Previa whenever the twins were about to lose it to a football team and whisked them away, along with little Deuce, to a whole new hometown and a whole new life. 

Just then, a BLACK CAT/JOLT OF SPOOKY MUSIC jumped down from nowhere and scared the shit out of the twins, literally. Deuce rolled his eyes, mumbled “typical” under his breath, and pushed the front door all the way open, revealing a dark gaping expanse into which he bravely stepped.  Faced with the classic dilemma of whether to remain on the scary front porch where you and your hot twin just sharted in unison or follow your little bro into an even scarier haunted house, the girls opted to chillax with their poop on the porch and pray for a football team to come along and deflower them in the moonlight.

Inside, Deuce groped pathetically in the cobwebby darkness with the hope of finding a light switch. Little fool was too young to know what everybody does by the time they get pubes: that haunted houses don’t have light switches, and that the place is only illuminated when the demonic powers that be are damn good and ready to light a bitch up. Just then, JOLT OF SPOOKY MUSIC/LET THERE BE LIGHT!!! All at once, the haunted house was ablaze with jack-o-lanterns, hundreds of carved pumpkins lit from within by candlelight, each and every last one of them bearing a strained, constipated expression that was neither sinister nor intimidating yet also not sad or even ironically dopey. 

JOLT UPON JOLT OF SPOOKY MUSIC as the house itself begins to shake, quake, even, with the bizarrely straining pumpkin faces becoming even more bizarrely strained with every passing moment. Little Deuce wasn’t scared, though, because having spent all eight of his living years with twin teen hottie sisters with severe sharting anxiety, Little Deuce recognized the nature of these expressions almost immediately.

Without hesitating, Deuce became a man: he grabbed an axe from the nearest place where axes are kept and ran for the nearest mainline pipe. With one fell swoop, as the house was groaning and moaning and heaving and hoeing all around him, hundreds, no, thousands, of groaning, moaning, heaving and hoeing jack-o-lantern faces aglow with the look that only backlogged feces can be blamed for, Little Deuce slammed the axe into the sewer pipe as hard as he could, freeing his new home of her lifelong suffering with one valiant gesture, the act that made Little Deuce just plain Deuce.

And so at that very moment, when the most infamous haunted house on Bones/Skeleton burst from within to flood the entire neighborhood with decades worth of pent up poop and pee, Deuce got his very first pube, becoming a man. As for the house, well, it was no longer haunted at all, freed of the ghosts of feces past and allowed to breathe and be free at long last. With the first rain came a little less poop on the streets, then the second rain and so on, and by the time several years worth of torrentially rainy winters had passed, the formerly haunted house (and the three or so square miles immediately surrounding it) looked good as new.

And so Deuce Numm-Bertew lived happily ever after, with lots of pubes and a poopy twins fetish as his main companions, plus the annual Christmas card he sent to the realtor Dolores Doodie, thanking her for another year in the house she sold his ghost parents.
ORCHESTRAL CLIMAX!!!

THE END

October 24, 2011

Round I of This Contest is Haunted

Okay, here are a couple entries for the scary story category. We'll be voting for our favorite at the end of the week. Enjoy!

1) Untitled

Donna always knew there was something strange about their family dog. Her daughter had picked her out from the pound, and despite the puppies that were eager for her attention she went straight for the old mangy black and gray mutt with yellow eyes. Unlike the other dogs that were yelping through the cages this one sat in the back of its kennel alone, somber and disinterested, that was until her daughter walked by.  His eyes followed the little girl, apparently unaware of any other presence in the world.  Donna wasn’t surprised that her daughter had picked him, she was always a little different, and they seemed a perfect pair.   

The dog, Vince, followed her everywhere. He was her shadow, would respond to any order she gave, and would never make a sound. When others would approach, he would look forward with chilly yellow eyes, and bristled hair, causing them to take an unconscious step backwards. Meanwhile, Sarah would grin with a smile that suggested something between comfort and pleasure.

 It was early spring, and Donna had finally gotten an evening off and coordinated a new sitter to come over so she and her husband could enjoy a night on the town. At 8:00pm the doorbell rang, and a peroxide blonde woman in her early 20’s stood on the stoop shaking off her umbrella. Donna gave instructions to the woman, and told her they would be back by 11:00pm at the latest, then walked her into the living room to introduce her to Sarah. Sarah and the dog barely acknowledged the young woman when she came in, and continued watching an animated show about birds.

As soon as Sarah’s parents were gone the woman grabbed her cell phone, and started texting away.  Then she grabbed the remote and switched the channel over to watch reruns of the Jersey Shore. Sarah was not thrilled. She glared at the woman, and ordered, “Change it back”.  The babysitter ignored the 5 year old and kept watching. Sarah tried to grab the remote and the babysitter, startled pushed Sarah away, asking if she wanted “time-out”. Having fallen on to the ground as she was pushed, Sarah cuddled closer to Vince, and began talking ever so quietly to him about the mean girl.

When Donna and her husband returned home, the lights were off and Sarah was in bed with Vince sleeping by her feet and the babysitter nowhere to be seen. Slightly concerned, Donna woke Sarah to ask where the sitter was. Sarah simply said that the baby sitter’s boyfriend came over, they watched a terrible show about “Snookie”, played hide and seek, and now the babysitter was gone. Donna was rightfully appalled and tried to remember to erase that contact, thinking the woman obviously didn’t even deserve to be paid for the evening.

Summer was just starting to show up, and Donna found herself in the back yard hauling dirt, and preparing to plant her tulips. After digging for a few minutes Donna noticed a patch of yellow about 6 inches down. Confused she kept digging, not quite understanding what she saw. Waves of nausea washed over her. Her desire to run was overruled by the shock of recognition. She looked almost the same as that day she’d come over to watch her daughter, only instead of pink gloss and a smile, there was torn flesh where her bottom lip used to be, and a massive bite across her neck, which had ripped out her trachea, and left her spine visible.
The scream of terror she had finally been holding back spilled out, and rang through the neighborhood. Donna turned around to run and call the police, only to find her daughter and her dog, staring at her with yellow eyes peacefully sitting on the porch.

Sarah smiled at her mother, and said, “Vince, mommy wants to play hide and seek with the babysitter.”




 2)  A Scary Halloween Story.....a True One.

When the kids were all small I worked at K-Mart as an overnight stocker.  I would come when everyone left for the night.  They would lock me in, then in the morning when the store reopened I went home.  The only other person in the store when I was- was a guy who ran the floor buffer once every couple weeks.  Can't remember his name but lets call him Larry.  Also, back then K-Mart stores all had little snack bar/grills in the back of the store.  My sister was a cook in this snack bar.  All this being said, let's continue the story.........

One night as I arrived for work I walked back to the snack bar to talk to my sister. Let me add that you had to walk past aisles 1 through 12, then past the health and beauty aids dept before you got to the snack bar.)  She was all flustered and told me the story of what had happened that afternoon.  She had served lunch to a couple of women there and while they were eating, one of the women started to cough and choke. The other woman was alarmed and trying to help her but she couldn't stop choking.  So the woman was trying to help her friend out of the store and outside to see if she could catch her breath.....but right at the end of aisle 9 the lady collapsed.  She was spewing blood violently out of her mouth and convulsing.  She died right there at the end of aisle 9 of an aneurism.  As I walked toward the locker room to put away my purse I looked around at the end of aisle 9 and although maintenance had cleaned up after all this there were little blood spatters on the floor, on the baseboards around the checkout, and most horrible of all, there was a big display of Fiddle Faddle on that end cap (shop talk for the shelves at the end of an aisle) and there were spatters of blood all over them.  My first job that night was to remove those boxes and discard them.

 The next time I came in, I tried to avoid that area as much as possible. Someone had filled the end cap with those gallon sized jars of Vlassic pickles.  That evening when I was stocking I heard a loud crash.  I went to the front of the store to find that at the end of aisle 9---- three jars of pickles had broken on the floor. I cleaned them up but the hair on the back of my neck was standing up and I was scared shitless!!!  Later that evening I had just finished putting up a whole aisle of plastic ware...baskets and trash cans and stuff, and was all the way back to the storage room when CRASH!!!!!!!  I went over there and everything I had put on the shelves was in the floor.  I said fuck it and left it there on the floor.  I was terrified.   The next morning, when I told the manager and a couple clerks they laughed and told me I just had the heebie jeebies.

 The next time I worked, Larry was there to do floors.  He usually went and got a lawn chair and watched TV in electronics till about two hours before the store opened and then  would hurry and finish buffing the floors. Well this night I was feeling not as scared because I knew he was there at the end of Aisle 7 watching Sanford and Son and nothing would happen.  Wrong.  About a couple hours into the shift he came and found me in the back of the store and his face was white as a sheet.  He told me to come up to aisle 8 (that's where all the typewriters and adding machines were.)  Anyway, there was this electric typewriter just click click clacking all by itself.  Scared me shitless.  I told him to unplug it!!!!!!!!!!!  He hit the power switch that was hooked to the whole section of typewriters and it stopped clicking.  He kind of chuckled nervously and I went on back to work.  About an hour later I heard him scream and call my name like a little girl.  I ran up there and it was typing again--by itself---with no power source.

Larry never cleaned the floor that night, he stayed in the warehouse with me.  And he never came back to work again. 

October 21, 2011

Weekend!
























I'm headed out to a magical adventure at Pacific City, stomping grounds of my youth and site of many an hour whiled on the beach with Corona and rolled-up jeans. There's a big dune. I will be running down it. Have a great weekend!

October 20, 2011

Real Life Conversation 1

I'm in a wedding in a few weeks and I'm on the groom's side. I'm not wearing a bridesmaid dress, nor am I getting my hair and makeup done with the other bridesmaids, so I'm a little bit worried about looking mannish and dowdy, or possibly confusing older people who think I'm on the boys' side because I actually have a penis or am hoping to have a penis in the future (I picture them explaining it to each other in hushed voices while they pass kleenex around, You know, like Chaz  Bono on Dancing with the Stars).

In an attempt to circumvent this awkwardness, I asked my friend Darci, who is an esthetician, if she would be willing to do my makeup on the day of the wedding. She was glad to, which was exciting, and last night we were talking about what I could do. We also discussed my hair. I have a lot of it and I am not much of a hair stylist so we were talking about a few different options.

Me: I was thinking I need to wear it up. Something with braids maybe?

Darci: I can do braids! I braided John-Robert's hair.

Me: Yeah, I saw the picture.You braided his hair in cornrows.

Darci: But actually, it would probably take five or six hours. I'm not sure I would have time.

Just imagine it.

Kyle and Emily, I'm going to have cornrows at your wedding. There may or may not be beads at the end.

October 19, 2011

Get Ready

I purchased the prizes for This Contest is Haunted yesterday. One for best photo and one for best story. I want it to be a surprise but I also can't wait to tell everyone because it's awesome.

I'll give you a hint: 90s. 1996 to be exact.


Send me submissions by Monday!

October 18, 2011

The Joys of a Signifcant Other, Chapter 2

Adjusting to real life. This is a huge step, right? Real life vs. romantic comedies/literature/my brain after absorbing all that stuff. My ideas about being in a relationship have changed a lot. I mean, back when I didn't have a boyfriend, I totally had a boyfriend. A future boyfriend.

He was, of course, not real, but he was always nice, was an artist or a writer (but not a flaky, stupid, self-centered one) and we would do super romantic things like watch the sunset, eat dinners cooked by him, have brilliant conversation always, and we would live in Paris, and then travel around the world in a sailboat, and live sustainably off the land in the woods somewhere and somehow it wouldn't be boring, etc. etc.

Future boyfriend was obviously not real nor attainable. Probably not even biologically possible. So you know, when you embark on a relationship you have to give up on your ideals based around Future Boyfriend. You also can't make ultimatums because they never work (except for maybe the one where you leave your partner if he hits you. That's a good ultimatum).

I once believed that I would never live with my significant other before marriage because living alone is awesome and then after marriage, you get the new joy of moving in. I don't know. I knew a couple that did that and they were happy, so I took it as my own. And all of the sudden we were talking about moving in together and I was into it. Weird. But when I started talking to my friends about moving in with the boyfriend, they told me, "You will clean. All the time. You will be the cleaner. That's just how it is." And so I freaked out and bought Sam a toilet brush. That's not true. I actually asked him if I could buy him a toilet brush and he said no. Fortunately my panic was unfounded, he cleans all the time.

I also recall a time when I tried really hard to look nice. You know, so Sam would continue to be attracted to me. I made effort to look nice when we hung out. I really did.  It's not like I wore makeup to bed or anything, but you can't look like slob, right? Over. Sam actually bought me an enormous pair of heather gray sweatpants and I wear them all the time and they have an awkward grease spot on the crotch where I probably dropped a piece of pepperoni pizza or something. And the sweatpants probably aren't a good thing, but I don't think throwing them away will change the fact that Sam has seen me in these sweatpants.

And you know there are the moments when things aren't perfect (often because I get really mean when I'm hungry and other things usually related to me) and we are not skipping around and laughing and holding hands, but that is also sadly, part of having a relationship. It's still something I'm coming to terms with.

Oh. Another lie I told myself is that we would never work out at the gym together. Because those couples are gross. But it has happened. We have done circuit training in the gym in the morning and the worst part? It was fun. And we are gross.

I'm sorry. This must be hard to hear. But there's nothing better than the real-life confessions of a person in a real-life relationship with a real-life person to curb idealism.

October 17, 2011

Wait, so you're not going to be wearing a dress?


Kyle and Emily did their engagement photos with Kyle Carnes Photography this weekend and they are totally awesome. I mean, look at that photo. This shoot was special to me for several reasons. One, I'm in Kyle and Emily's wedding. Obviously, they aren't sticklers on gender roles and rigid tradition because I am a groomslady. Two, I was an initial supporter of their idea to have a 50s style gender role reversal photo shoot, threw out some ideas in the brainstorming session, and was very much looking forward to seeing the end result. Three, I was there for the conversation between Kyle and Kyle, during which, the proverbial lightbulb went off and Kyle C realized he wasn't going to have to shoot Kyle Arthur in a dress and make it look like a Norman Rockwell painting. Apparently there has been some links missing in the communication. Lastly, the shoot took place at our house. I'm pretty proud of the home that Sam and I have put together. I think it's very homey and well-decorated (obviously completely objective) and it gives me a lot of joy to see it in the background of these photos. Go to Kyle's blog to check out the rest.

October 14, 2011

New Favorite Style Blog

Remember when I discussed the merits of the Urban Weeds style blog? Well, after I did, Caitlin made a comment that the subjects were always so generic and made it look like all Portlanders wear skinny jeans, tall boots, and have children. Caitlin's assessment was true. And we don't all wear skinny jeans, tall boots, and have children. So after that, I really couldn't enjoy the blog. I would notice a new post, click to find a lovely black and white portrait and then scroll down to be completely and utterly deflated by some boring leggings/dress/boots/ peacoat combo. But I still look at it because it's fun to see people in Portland and also because I'm a little bit of an internet martyr (Seriously. There's this one blog I read only because I think the person is really annoying. Why?).

However, there is relief from the khaki-clad, squeaky clean of Urban Weeds. I have found a new go-to style blog: Portland's Pretty. Marissa is funny, doesn't take herself too seriously, and finds a wide variety of looks that she sees fit to print.

Here are some recent shots from her blog:




October 12, 2011

The Last Sasquatch Vol. 4





From top:

girls

rachael and kali dancing in the pit

alexis

sunset