matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Default)
I've been erratic about posting lately, due in part to Reading A Lot of Books Lately and Watching a Lot of Things Lately and to having erratic sleep patterns caused by critters. The woodpecker has been up to his tricks, hammering on the white trim of our house (which my dad has recently just repainted). I've been sticking my head out the window or running outside and yelling at him. It seems the best way to drive off Woody, according to various articles I've dug up online.

Finished reading "The Help": usually I tend to steer clear of Very Popular Books since all too often they seem to end up Not Worth My Time, but then I cave in to See What All The Excitement Is About. This time, however, the pattern of Popular Book Turns Out To Be Crappy has been broken: It's very good, like a combination of "The Remains of the Day" and "To Kill A Mockingbird" with a whiff of "Mississippi Burning". I totally relate to all three of the main female characters: like Aibileen and Minny, I work a thankless job where I don't get a lot of respect (though my lot isn't as hard as theirs, of course), but like Skeeter, I'm still trying to get my feet under me and find my niche in life. Dare I say, I'm tempted to bring Skeeter or Aibileen to a certain Mansion, since I need more Normal People on my roster.

Speaking of which, I'm going to RP Hell: I'm putting Alice the sparkle-pire on reserve.

Also have been reading several Doctor Who novels I've picked up here and there: found one set at Halloween in a New England town (featuring Ten and Martha). I think I know what I'm reading for October!

Ordered the next volume of the classic penny dreadful Varney the Vampire, though I probably should read the first one.

Have been watching The Gates, courtesy of AJ at [profile] carpe_ooc: it's kind of like Desperate Housewives meets True Blood, but still fun to watch. Also had a "Hey It's That Guy" moment, when I realized Paul Blackthorne, aka TV verse!Harry Dresden has a role in it.

Also, I'm staying on top of episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. I can't say why, at least not right now, but I have a bad feeling about a main character, but I'd have to post a whole entry about my reaction to the series. I'm gonna wait till after this Friday before I jump to any conclusions, though.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Autumn_Road)
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Autumn! I live in New England, so the leaves turning colors can be quite dramatic, particularly if we've had a good summer (not to wet, or the leaves drop off easily; not too dry, or the colors aren't quite as brilliant). I love the days getting shorter and cooler. I love the atmosphere: the earth is slowly going to sleep and as the trees drop their leaves, there's a lot of ambient energy being released. I love scuffing my feet through freshly fallen leaves.

Pumpkins and dried cornstalks in fields. Orchards that offer Pick Your Own Apples. The first minor frost when the plants start to look a little off, but aren't frozen outright.

An October wind blowing leaves around at twilight.

Going to the Topsfield Fair and taking in all the sights and sounds and smells.

Going to Salem, Mass. close to Hallowe'en, when things ramp up for their Haunted Happenings: I had a blast when I went for a walk through the side streets, seeing people walking around in costumes.

And of course: Hallowe'en!! My second favorite holiday after Christmas: costumes, ghost stories, spooky things going bump in the night. The way the twilight seems to close in especially quickly that night. That odd feeling that just hangs in the air the whole day, intensifying at night, till that black period of time between midnight and three a.m., when it feels like the physical world and the world of the spirits have melded.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Black rose)
Just up after a fun filled Halloween evening. Unfortunately, it was too cold and windy for us to have our annual bonfire and Halloweiner roast, so we lit the fireplace and had an indoor barbecue. We had six trick or treating goblins show up, as well as a few people who just wanted to take pictures of our Jack o'lanterns -- ninety-five all together. It didn't seem like many people in the area decorated their yards as much as they usually do, and even we didn't put up as much as we usually do, since we've been busy moving stuff in the house, getting ready to have new windows put in. Plus we're getting our roof done, so we haven't been putting many decorations up close to the house.

Also, I ended up not going trick or treating: the wind kept blowing off my witch hat, when I stepped out into the yard. Pretty hard to hold onto your hat when you're wearing a bed sheet. But I had fun reading ghost stories and spooky poems to my folks.

Also watched the classic 1931 version of "Dracula". Brrr... Great atmosphere, and I can see why Bela Lugosi is the iconic Dracula: his presence is wonderfully chill-inducing! (Take that, sparkle-'pires) And on Saturday night, I found "Nightmare Before Christmas" on YouTube.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Halloween)
And a Blessed Samhain, to those who follow the Old Ways. I've started to find "Happy Halloween" a bit oxymoronic. Of course, you don't want a cruelly frightening Halloween, but even still, it is the celebration of things going "Bump!" in the night, so perhaps a "Spooky Halloween" is in order. I got a jump on the festivities last night, when I slunk out at midnight and tooted a vuvuzela, in honor of the mysterious vuvuzela player who haunted our neighborhood twenty Hallowens ago.

I'll post more in a bit about our yard decorations and our recent jaunt to Salem's Haunted Happenings. I gotta go find the witch hat to go with my costume. I'm reviving the bed sheet ghost of last year and adding a witch hat. Hey, it worked for one of the kids on "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", so I thought I'd give it a go.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Halloween)
In which I've been working, planning our annual Hallowe'en trip to Salem, MA (which will be taking place next week, when Dad and I have some time off from work), digging up more lights and things for our Hallowe'en yard haunting, poking at various fanfic projects (which I should type up), watching various anime or TV serieses online (currently "Castle" and "Yu Yu Hakusho") and tagging [livejournal.com profile] carpe_ho_ras RP threads.

Re: Fanfics: I'm slowly poking away at the [livejournal.com profile] 31_halloween fics, but it's rather slow-going, as I'm writing YnM fics, and Hallowe'en is a fairly recent import to Japan (from what I've heard), so I've had to handwave a few things in order to make some of the prompts work.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (YnM -- 003)
As well as dropping off a good stack of books I'd been meaning to get rid of since forever, and even more that I had recently culled out while reorganizing a few shelves (unfortunately, this meant that I misplaced a few Anne Rice books I wanted to read this month, darn it). We had a coupon for the Used Book Superstore in Burlington, so we decided, today being rather dreary which made it a bad day to work on decorating the yard, that we'd get rid of the pile of books -- and get a few more. I fiund several more of Anne Rice's Vampire novels (not the ones I had misplaced, though I was tempted to do the "find what you lost by getting a replacement" trick) as well as a few odds and ends including a book of true ghost stories from Salem. They sold two books that I'd had my eye, so I guess I'll have to look for them used on Amazon.

Got off to a good start on the [livejournal.com profile] halloween_31 fics, but I need to get cracking at typing them before they really start to pile up. I think I have five out of thirty themes written (it's actually thirty themes and one author's choice, but one of the themes is redundant, so I may do two author's choice, while giving the comm owner the head's up on this little snag). At least they're coming out as short little sketches, though two decided to become longer, more serious fics (one featuring a slightly hair-raising conversation between Tsuzuki and an angry female ghost who turns out to have an indirect tie with his past). I'm a little stuck as to how to write a "trick or treat"-themed fic, since I'm setting these fics in the YnM-verse and as far as I know, trick or treating isn't done in contemporary Japan, though I suppose I could do something featuring Mercy Falcone, the original character from the U.S. branch of the Ministry of Hades.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Halloween)
So, just got a start on bringing out some of our crazy collection of plastic jack o'lanterns to put them out in the yard. We're getting the roof reshingled and our windows replaced, so things have been a bit chaotic and my dad hasn't had a minute to dig out our Hallowe'en stuff. Only catch is, a lot of the Jack o'lanterns are stored out of my reach, making it hard to reach most of them, but I made a good start, which is what I'd hoped to accomplish.

Cut for grumbling about a triggery author )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Halloween)
Like I need another prompt table: I felt like writing some Hallowe'en fic, and this comm came up on [livejournal.com profile] 150_comms and I just couldn't resist.

Cut to save flist )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (There Is No Spoon)
Just back from a dental appointment, followed by doing a little shopping with my folks, which ended up being a fairly lengthy trip: we started out going to the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop in Lowell... where I picked up something I had been looking for off and on since 2003:

A genuine, limited edition Matrix Reloaded tee shirt, featuring the title on the back and a key, which had been distributed only to cinema employees for the premiere of the film. I've seen this item on eBay off and on, running for as much as a hundred dollars. I got it for ninety-nine cents!

Also went to the K-Mart in Billerica, where I picked up a few Hallowe'en music CDs (never can have enough of those) and the two volume "Vampire Archives" anthology, which was likely a one-volume doorstop in hardback, but which got divvied up into two books as a mass market paperback. I have a thing for anthologies, since they're like mini-libraries, plus you can read at least one or two short stories in a sitting, and that gives one a sense of accomplishment. I'm looking ahead to next month and what spooky book(s) I'm going to read in preparation for Hallowe'en.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Guadalupe)
I've always loved how Walt Disney paired these two so vastly different pieces of classical music: Modest Moussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain", with it's sound painting of a hellish bacchanal, with Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria", with it's touching religious sentiment. Perfect for these two so differing feast days...



matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Halloween)
I think my bedsheet ghost costume was the hit of the neighborhood: I went for a walk about sundown clad in my costume and carrying a treat pail and a bag of extra candy to give to any little ones. I trailed behind one mom in a devil costume with a wee one in a dancer's costume: "Oh my, we've got a ghost following us..." At first the little one was a bit spooked by me, but after a while, she got used to me and started "whooo"'ing back at me. I picked up a few goodies -- including a few full-sized candy bars. I can remember getting the mini-size bars (as well as homemade treats like a popcorn ball or a goody bag of peanuts).

The great thing about a bedsheet ghost costume? No one knows if you're twelve or thirty under it, especially if you're careful to keep your vocalizations down to cute little "whooooo" sounds. I had folks driving by honk their horns at me; a couple people passing me on the sidewalk got comically spooked. A few teenagers let out exaggerated yelps.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Morrigan)
((In-character post by one of my favorite original characters, created for the Matrix Online and ported into City of Villains.))

Mmmmrr, g'd evenin' and hell-oooo there, boyos and gels. Hope you've all been havin' a killin'-good Hallowe'en night, and yer partyin' down till th' break o' day. I've been paintin' th' Rogue Isles red as only a jackal-headed death goddess like meself can do. Wish y' could join me on me rampage, but... that might get a wee bit messy, soooo... I decided instead to send you all a list o' th' songs that are runnin' through me head as I go about me rounds kickin' butt and takin' souls:

10. Blood Rock -- "D.O.A."
9. Warren Zevon -- "Werewolves of London"
8. The Who -- "Boris the Spider"
7. John Carpenter -- "Main Title from 'Halloween' "
6. Inkkubus/Sukkubus -- "Samhain"
5. Siouxsie and the Banshees -- "Halloween"
4. Blue Oyster Cult -- "Don't Fear the Reaper"
3. Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & the Crypt Kickers -- "Monster Mash"
2. Michael Jackson -- "Thriller"
1. Danny Elfman, et al. -- "This is Halloween" -- 'Nightmare Before Christmas' soundtrack
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (V emblem)
Don't ask me what possessed me to do it, but as I was picking up a few last minute candles at the Hallowe'en stuff store in Burlington, I got a "V for Vendetta" mask. I half expected to get carded for it, since there's been some problems out in Groton with teenaged kids pranking each other with the mask and sneaking through people's yards while wearing it. Seems like an early Hallowe'en prank which went too far:

http://www.nashobapublishing.com/groton_news/ci_13560309

At last...

Oct. 24th, 2009 07:27 pm
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (NERV)
"Evangelion Volume 9's on my desk, all's right with the world."

I got the mail this morning, and was delighted to find a smallish package, about the size of your average manga waiting in our mailbox. I ran upstairs to open it pronto, though I did so with some trepidation: I feared that somehow, someone had made a mistake and accidentally sent me the Japanese version. But to my relief, once I got through the Tyvek mailer, there it was. The cover is a bit bent and it's a little warped, but the pages are all there, and that's all that matters. I still can't believe it's here, though, and I keep glancing over at my writing desk to see if it's really there....

In the meantime... I ran across and ordered two more books, which were favorites of mine as kid, and which I took out of our town's library almost every Hallowe'en: a pair of Hallowe'en poetry books, one entitled "In the Witch's Kitchen" and the other "Ghost Poems", edited and illustrated with very atmospheric ink and watercolor pictures by Tomie de Paola. The books disappeared from the library some years ago, which left me feeling tricked... but thank heavens for Amazon.com!
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Halloween)
This year... I am dressing in that classic Hallowe'en costume: the bedsheet ghost. Only catch is, we don't have any white bedsheets to sacrifice, so I decided to make do with some white fabric from Wal-Mart instead. I was tempted to baste some black fabric spots on it so it kind of looks like Charlie Brown's bungled sheet full of holes, but I decided against it.

Also... not feeling too well, since That Time of the Month is upon me, and I have several fic chapters that are bugging me to be written, but I just don't feel focused enough to write them out without munging them. Though I *did* start creating my first CoH Architect Mission last night: it's a tribute to "Dark City", and I've been having a lot of fun retooling the story to fit Paragon City. I'm especially pleased at how well the custom spawn I created turned out. Will post pictures in due time...
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Halloween)
Our Hallowe'en Spook-tacular Spooktacular is officially under way! I spent much of the afternoon (after I came home from work) helping bring boxes of plastic jack o'lanterns (the kind that look real when viewed from about ten feet) downstairs while my dad ran extension cords for them all. We now have what amounts to a wall of jack o'lanterns across our front yard. People at work had been asking me when we were going to get cracking with our yard haunt: some unknown person even tossed a fake pumpkin (no face carved into it) onto our lawn a couple nights ago. My dad took this as a sign that he needed to get started -- and he even cut a face into the fake pumpkin!

Also: we're starting to tame Flurry the jittery budgie; I finally got him to sit on my finger for a minute or two. He's less skittish about hands being in his cage, but he still gets a bit "Hey, beat it: this my territory" about visiting digits. We also think he's trying to talk: both my mom and dad heard him say "baby" earlier this evening.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (McKean Hellblazer)
Spent most of yesterday in Burlington: the Hallowe'en stuff store in one of the empty store fronts behind Kohl's is now open for business, so I had a blast browsing the costumes and the yard haunting stuff. I priced some LED candles/candelabra, including some LED pillar-type candles which had been molded to look like they'd melted down at the top.

Also found that I need to avoid Newbury Comics like the plague: I keep finding cool tchotchkes that I like, every time I pop in. This time, I discovered the Vertigo Tarot, which I'd been trying to track down for years. I utterly love the artwork (Dave McKean = genius; that's Card 0, the Fool -- recast as John Constantine -- in the icon for this entry); and to my surprise and delight, the introduction on the accompanying manual is by Neil Gaiman. Also got "Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth" for a bargain price; I know, most of the footage from it has been recut into the series to become the Director's Cut version, but I have an especial place in this movie: It's what inspired what has become "Neon Enoch Evangelion".

Cut for length: here be a lot of background notes )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Halloween)
Turns out our annual pumpkin and skeleton jamboree is famous all over town: My dad was just at a yard sale where there was a bunch of Hallowe'en stuff for sale, and as he was looking at it, the lady running it came over to him and asked him, "Oh, are you the one with the yard full of pumpkins?"

He brought home several nifty pieces including:

--A metal chiminea which I'm planning to use as an incense burner,

--A string of pumpkin-head scarecrow molded lights,

--A molded stack of lit jack o'lanterns,

--A matching molded stack of lit skulls which we plan to place near the mist machine we got at an after Hallowe'en sale, and also replace the bulb with a red bulb for a spookier effect,

--Another lit molded jack o'lantern with spirals for eyes; I'm calling it the groovy hippie pumpkin from San Francisco,

--And last but not least, one of those fake cauldrons with the bit of light fabric blowing over an air vent so it looks like a small fire.

And ye draggies:

Adopt one today! \\ Adopt one today! \\ Adopt one today!
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Hellsing vs Twilight)


A wacky little Mickey Mouse short from 1929, featuring a spirited haunted house party.

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