September 30, 2009
I think I could have stayed there all day.
September 29, 2009
I took some time to reflect on my fear of vampires recently when I capitulated under the weight of my daughter's ridicule and sat down to watch Bela Lugosi's original Dracula for the first time. Yes, the first time. I had never seen it. Despite owning a copy. I bought it because I needed the Dracula set to complete my Universal Legacy Collection of DVD's. My collector's soul simply would not let me walk away.
As a fan of classic horror, I had to ask myself: why? Why do I embrace mummies and ghosts and werewolves, while vampires, and particularly Dracula, leave me cold? And I think I've arrived at an answer.
Dracula has absolutely no redeeming qualities. No glimmer of humanity. No endearing trait.
Frankenstein's monster is seeking acceptance. The Wolfman is the unwitting victim of his malady. The Mummy is searching for his long-lost love. The Invisible Man is . . . well, he at least finds humour in his situation. Maniacal humour. But humour nonetheless.
Dracula, on the other hand, is not humourous. Nor does he inspire pity or empathy.
He's just evil and creepy. Even in 1931 black-and-white.
September 28, 2009
On a happier note, I went apple picking on the weekend and stopped at a favourite market for some pumpkin pie fudge. An autumn tradition. Delicious as always. So good it almost balances out the plumbing bill. Almost.
September 26, 2009
September 25, 2009
It's been a while since I've been the recipient of a blog award. I was beginning to fear I was losing my touch. Sliding rapidly downhill. Sinking into oblivion. But then along came Wendy The (Very) Good Witch to assure me that this was simply not true and to bestow upon me this lovely award. Thank you Wendy! You've made my otherwise dreary day.
But I can't simply grab the award and run. No. There are rules to follow and work to do:
1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the Logo and Place it in your Blog.
3. Link the person who nominated you.
Once again, done.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know.
Hmmmm . . . this requires some thought.
1. I collect old time radio shows.
2. I'm re-building my childhood Nancy Drew collection.
3. I have a modest collection of Star Trek action figures.
4. I'm working to overcome my habit of collecting things.
5. I love vintage photographs, even of people I don't know.
6. I've kept scrapbooks since long before it was trendy.
7. As I child, I would sneak into the kitchen and drink maple syrup by the glass.
5. Nominate 7 "Kreativ Bloggers".
Okay. Let's be clear. These are only 7 of my many favourites. Not a comprehensive list at all.
Confessions Of A Pagan Soccer Mom
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs and let them know you nominated them.
I'd rather let it be a surprise.
September 23, 2009
September 22, 2009
Or, rather, a book containing those words in the title.
Yes, my eagerly-anticipated, personally-autographed tome detailing the ongoing brains vs. coffee debate had arrived. As I enthusiastically flipped through the pages, my eyes came to rest on a particular favourite:
Sound advice indeed as I select this year's Halloween recipes.
September 20, 2009
September 18, 2009
September 17, 2009
September 15, 2009
I suspected as much when I was unsuccessful in my attempts to grow carrots. And cucumbers. And basil. Easy crops, by all accounts.
But, ignoring my past failures, I eagerly forged ahead with my plans to grow my very own pumpkins this year. And for much of the season, I had reason to be optimistic. I varied my methods, starting some indoors and some outdoors. Some behind the house and some beside it. Some horizontally and some vertically. And many of the seeds germinated. Those were exciting days in the pumpkin patch.
They grew quickly at first. Dare I say thrived.
Big, bright, orange flowers appeared. Vines began to stretch and climb and attach themselves to anything in their path.
And then, it all seemed to stop. Plant growth slowed to a barely noticeable pace. Flowers still appeared. But they were never followed by the anxiously anticipated pumpkins. None. Not one.
Where had it all gone wrong? Not enough sun? Not enough water? Too much water? In an effort to identify the problem, I began to read up on pumpkin plants. I learned some amazing things. Like how to distinguish male flowers from female flowers. A quick inspection revealed that all the flowers currently on my plants were male. None sat on the little "thrones" that would eventually grow into pumpkins. Was that even possible?
Then I began seeing photos of the rapidly-growing pumpkins of other, more successful gardeners. Hearing tales of pumpkins simply growing randomly from last fall's dropped seeds. Accidentally. With little or no effort required. My sadness was complete.
So it appears that I'll once again be purchasing my pumpkins. But in the words of the ever-optimistic Linus Van Pelt: "Just wait until next year!" A new strategy is already being plotted.
I suppose I should be thankful I don't live in an era in which people relied on their own crops for survival. The law of natural selection would have disposed of me years ago.
September 14, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 11, 2009
September 9, 2009
Apparently, what I call a Mountain Ash is also known as a Rowan Tree. Or a Whispering Tree. Witchwood. Witchbane. Witchen. To name just a few. According to folklore, this was the tree on which the Devil hanged his mother. It was also kept in houses to guard against lightning and planted on graves to keep the deceased from haunting and used to protect against assorted types of evil.
A Halloween tree on so many levels.
September 8, 2009
This time, no one is looking for fossils. They're here to find the "gill-man", subdue him, capture him, and return with him to Florida where he can be studied and spend his spare time as a tourist attraction. The plan works perfectly. For a while.
But the creature proves amazingly resilient. And he returns again, alive and well, in The Creature Walks Among Us.
Another team of scientists. Another attempt to study the creature. Another love triangle. But no Captain Lucas on his boat on the Amazon this time. Seems the creature never left Florida after his last adventure.
During the capture attempt, there is an unfortunate incident involving fire, and when the smoke clears, the creature is transformed by his captors into an air-breathing animal. But he's not happy.
This sequel focuses more on theme and less on action than the previous two. Excruciatingly so. So much so that I dozed off at a couple of points. On a positive note, however, there was much less screaming and fainting. At least during the parts when I was awake. And the final scene is poignant. A fitting end to the last of the creature films.
But now, back to fog-shrouded graveyards and torch-wielding villagers.