Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Burnt Out on the Spooky

Well, here we are, the day before Halloween, and I can honestly say... I've done too much of the spooky stuff.  WAYYYY too much of the spooky stuff. 

I have completely burnt myself out, to the point where last night I settled in to start the new Netflix series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and I had to shut it off half an episode in.  I instead opted to watch the animated movie Monster House, and I thought even it was a little too scary.  It could traumatize children! (or 35-year-olds...)

I blame The Visit.  And The Haunting of Hill House.  And Scary Movie Marathon.  And all the other scary movies and shows in between.  I just went too hard this year, tried to watch too much scary stuff throughout the month of October, and I'm so done.  I just want Christmas movies to start so I can sleep without listening for noises and catching sight of shadows out of the corner of my eye.

Don't get me wrong.  I still love Halloween, and I've had a lot of fun gearing up and getting ready for it.  I've had my costume ready and waiting since mid-September, I've been stocking up on Halloween candy for weeks and made up my treat bags on the weekend, I had a fun evening carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds with my mom on Friday, and despite the scary movies, I had a great time with Lindsay, Ryan, Sam & Lainey eating treats and pizza and having a fun day on Saturday.

But it took me a long time to shake off the heebie-jeebies from watching The Visit earlier this month.  And I still don't understand how I got so sucked in to The Haunting of Hill House when it bothered me so much afterwards.  I mean, I'm still worried the Bent Neck Lady is going to appear at the end of my bed every night, and I finished watching the series a week ago.

For Scary Movie Marathon, I picked two movies I'd already seen so that it would be "easier" for me.  I made it through A Quiet Place fine (while it's an hour and a half of anxiety and holding my breath, I still believe it's one of the best, most creative movies I've ever seen), but I struggled with It.  I saw it in theatre over a year ago with a bunch of friends, and maybe that's why my memories weren't so bad?  All the giggles and laughter on the way home erased how traumatizing it was?  I don't know.  But it certainly bothered me on Saturday, to the point where I kept saying to Lindsay, "Do you want to shut it off?  I don't mind if you want to shut it off."  I was almost a little disappointed when she insisted she would be okay.

Too much.  Wayyyyy too much.

So, tonight is Mat Night, and ideally, it's the perfect night to settle in with a big bowl of buttery popcorn, turn the lights out, and watch something scary.  At the moment, I'm undecided.  I have been saving one of my favourites for this night, Halloween: H20, but I honestly don't know if I can handle it.  Even though I've seen it a million times before.  Even though I know exactly when the jump-scares are coming. Even though it features a young and incredibly handsome Josh Hartnett.  I honestly think I might have to ditch it and just watch Casper instead.

Scary movie burn-out.  I didn't know it was a thing, but it's definitely a thing.  And I have it.

I just have to hang in for a few more days.  Christmas movies are in the near future.  I'm ready to leave the ghosts and monsters behind.

Let's go, November.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Haunting of Jill's House

Can someone please explain to me why in the hell when October rolls around I decide I like scary stuff?? 


And yet, it happens, every year.  The Halloween season hits and I get this strong urge to immerse myself in the scary.  I honestly have no idea why, because I always end up regretting it.

This past year, I thought maybe I was getting better at it.  Last fall, I saw the new It in theatres with friends, and I survived.  I saw A Quiet Place in theatres with my friend Sara last spring, and I actually really enjoyed it.  I watched The Babadook last weekend, a movie that seems to be suggested as one of the scariest ever, and it barely even fizzed me. 

Then, as I mentioned last week, I watched The Visit on Thanksgiving Monday, and for some reason, THAT was the movie that got under my skin.  THAT was the movie that bothered me and kept me up at night.  THAT was the movie I couldn't seem to shake, long after the credits rolled.

I took a break from the scary last week after that.  I watched lots of episodes of New Girl, and steered clear of any more movies from my Halloween Movie Bucket List.  And I sort of started dreading Friday evening, when I had plans to visit The Haunted House on the Hill at the Billings Estate historical site in Ottawa with a group of friends. 

As it turned out?  Friday night was OK.  I mean, we had tons of laughs and fun at dinner, and then we did the Haunted House and it wasn't as bad as I expected.  It helped that the "actors" were not allowed to touch us.  I learned that if I just shrunk myself up in a ball and shouted, "NO! STOP! LEAVE ME ALONE!" they would back off.  It also helped that a few times we got lost and had to ask the "scary people" for directions.  It sure had it's fair share of jumps and screams, but it didn't bother me once I got home.  I was able to sleep without issue.

So there I was, thinking I was OK with the scary again.

And that brings us to last night.  Home from work after suffering with a sinus headache all day, I decided I was going to do nothing last night, aside from my usual Monday night laundry.  I got the laundry going, made supper, and then settled in on the couch with a hot bag on my neck and a dose of Advil to start a series on Netflix that had caught my eye:  The Haunting of Hill House.  

I only planned on watching one episode.  I ended up watching three.  It hooked me.  It really did.  The story had me gripped.  And while it was scary, with lots of moments that made me jump and squeal, I was intrigued by these characters, and wanted to see what would happen to them.

After the third episode, I went upstairs to switch laundry loads, and that's when I seriously began regretting my evening spent in Hill House.  Did I mention it was also a very windy night?  It was a very windy night. And OF COURSE, as I'm up there with no phone or flash light or anything, hanging my clothes on my drying rack in the spare room, the power went off.

"Oh, f*ck.  F*ck f*ck f*ck."

I held my breath and waited for it to come back on.  It did not immediately come back, like it usually does.  I continued to curse as I began bumping frantically out of the room, down the hall, to my own room, hands out touching the walls as I went.  Panic was rising.  All I kept thinking was "get to your bed, get to your bed."  Why do I believe my bed has protective super powers?  I do not know.  But when something goes bump in the night, I burrow deeper beneath my covers and wait it out.  I needed to get to the safe haven of my bed.

But my bed was piled with clean laundry that I had yet to fold and put away.  I hit that mountain as I tried to climb on, and so I then began pushing it wildly off the bed.  In my rush to shove the clothes off the bed, I somehow pitched myself right over the edge too, hitting my headachey head on the floor, and causing another eruption of "F*CK F*CK F*CK"'s.

That's when the lights came back on.

Oh, but it doesn't end there.

I quickly made my way back downstairs, lit candles and grabbed my phone in case the power went off again, took some deep breaths, slowed my heart rate, and spent an hour or so watching New Girl to try and erase the scary Hill House memories.  I thought I had done an effective job of pushing it aside, until my mom called just as I was going to bed to tell me her power was off.  I thought about going up to her place to spend the night and help her if she needed it with her generator (she needs it to keep her sump-pump going), but she insisted she was fine, and I really do prefer my own bed.  But about an hour later, I was wakened to the sound of silence in my room - because now MY power was off.  And it didn't come back on.

And the wind was relentless.  The whole house seemed to creak and groan.  It was SO dark.  I kept hearing bumps and weird noises.  I felt like I spent more time awake than asleep, staring into the darkness, listening to creepy noises, and checking the Hydro app on my phone for updates as to when the power might be back on. (It was useless.  It didn't come back on until well on this morning, long after I'd left for work.)

So.  Needless to say, it was DEFINITELY the wrong night to start watching The Haunting of Hill House.  And now, I might have to be done with that, too.

*sigh*  Bring on Christmas.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thanksgiving Weekend: A Re-Cap

Thanksgiving weekend was a blast - a perfect mix of lots of fun with family & friends, and also plenty of downtime and relaxation.  I'm so sad that it's already over!  Here's how it all went down:

Friday afternoon, they let me off early around 3 PM, so I scooted my butt home and got to work right away!  I had cookies to bake!  I offered up homemade cookies in the Canada Day Committee's fundraising auction last spring, and one of the winners had called in their cookies for the weekend.  One of the other winners had told me they'd take their cookies anytime, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and baked 'em all at once.  Once the cookies were done, I had a little downtime before book club, so I settled in and watched the first movie off my Halloween Movie Bucket List:  Pet Sematary!  One of my all-time Stephen King faves!

Just before 7 PM, I headed to my friend Lolly's, as she was hosting our book club group that night.  We enjoyed delicious snacks, lots of great girl talk, and I got some twin snuggles in.  Oh, and yes, we did talk a bit about the book we read. LOL!  It was The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, which I read months ago, and while the book was OK and a quick read, it wasn't my favourite one ever.  I think my expectations were too high, because they promoted it as even better than Gone Girl, and I completely disagree with that assessment.  I think books should stop being compared to Gone Girl, it seems to happen way too often and I have yet to hit upon one that causes my jaw to drop like Gone Girl did.  Regardless, it was great to sit and visit with the ladies, I felt like I was long over-due for a girls night.

Saturday morning, I was up fairly early and after sipping a coffee and getting ready for the day, I set to editing the family photos I had taken for my friend Caryl and her family the weekend before.  I wanted to get that session edited before the next one came up.  While I edited, I put on some more scary movies - first, The Conjuring, and then The Amityville Horror (Ryan Reynolds edition).  Before I knew it, the pictures were all done, the cookies had been picked up, and I was packed up and ready to head to my mom's for our Thanksgiving celebration!

Our Thanksgiving started by going up to Shawville to watch my nephew Caden play in his first hockey game of the season.  After they had chalked up their first W of the year, we returned to Mom's for a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and some great family time.  After dinner, we retreated to the living room to watch the Sens game, and enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving Miracle, watching them beat the Leafs. ;)  It was a fabulous day all around!

Sunday morning I slept in a little before getting up and getting ready for church.  The church was decorated beautifully, and it was an uplifting Communion service with lots of people out.  After church we went to Mom's for brunch, and I was suddenly hit by a headache.  It came out of nowhere, and it wasn't pleasant.  Kara put some of her Peppermint Halo stuff on the back of my neck, I took some Advil, and hit the couch.  Danica stayed with me to watch TV, while the rest of them went on a back road fall drive.  My headache had eased up by suppertime, and we had Thanksgiving Dinner Round 2.  Just enough leftovers to have a complete repeat of Saturday night's dinner.  Yum!!  And Mom was happy to get rid of most of the leftovers, so it was a win-win.

Monday started out kind of wonky.  I was up fairly early again and the headache was completely gone, thank gosh, so I lounged around crocheting while I watched the movie The Babadook on Netlfix, sipped coffee, in no rush... I was heading to my friend Sara's to take their family photos at 11 AM, and had nothing to do until then.  UNTIL...I checked my email and had a reminder from my editor at the Equity to send my notes in as usual despite the holiday.  Whoops!!  I had totally forgotten about that!!  So then the scramble was on.  I rushed to write my notes and get them submitted, get myself ready, and get on the road to Sara's on time.  It made for a sweaty, scrambly hour! haha!   I took photos (and it went SO well!) and had a little visit with the Dowes, then headed home for lunch.

I had been thinking wistfully of those cookies I baked on Friday and shipped out for others to enjoy, and decided to make some of my own.  I had the Sens game on and spent the afternoon baking, decorating for Halloween, and just enjoying some downtime. 

Then I made a REALLY big mistake.  I decided to watch another scary movie from my Halloween Movie Bucket List, one I had never seen before : M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit.  BAD IDEA.  I don't know why, but this movie really got under my skin and creeped me right the f*ck out.  Worse than probably any scary movie I've watched in recent memory. It totally gave me the heebie-jeebies, and as dark fell, all I could picture was this grey long-haired old lady running around my house and hiding under my bed.  Ugh.  Needless to say... nightlight on, and not a lot of good quality sleep that night, despite the multiple episodes of New Girl that I filled the evening with in an attempt to squash the memories of The Visit.  *sigh*

So I might be done with the scary movie list for a while.  I mean, I still want to do my Disney Ichabod movie, and of course I'm still excited for Scary Movie Marathon, but I might not bother with the rest.  The Visit might have been enough for me for a while.  *shudder*

Overall - despite regretting that one movie - it was an awesome weekend, and I wish we could just have a do-over because it all went by too fast.  I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend too! :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Jill's October To-Do's

October is here, and I couldn't be happier!  My favourite time of year has officially BEGUN! :)

A bunch of my blog pals shared their October To Do Lists yesterday, and I'm a day late but I'm going to play along.  October is a jam-packed month, I'm so looking forward to all of the fun!
  • Book Club - It is this Friday, and it's an appropriately murdery/creepy book we'll be discussing!  (Although I read it months ago, lol!)  The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson.  Looking forward to chatting with the girls!
  • Baking cookies - I donated homemade cookies to an online auction this past spring, and one of the winners is cashing in this weekend.  Gotta get my bake on!
  • Celebrating Thanksgiving - This Saturday, our family is gathering at my mom's for our dinner, and I can't wait!  I'm craving turkey dinner! Yum!!  
  • Haunted Houses - I have not one but TWO trips planned to Haunted Houses!  A friend of mine just recently discovered we have one not far from home, just up in Bryson, so we're going to check it out.  Then I have plans to visit the Billings Estate House on Haunted Hill event next Friday.  Ready to get my spook on!
  • Hair Appointment - I've been trying to grow my hair out longer, and it is a slooooow process.  Next Tuesday, I'll be getting low-lights put in for the fall/winter, but hopefully no cut (unless my hair dresser deems my ends need to be cut).
  • Celebrating birthdays!  I have a couple of friends with birthdays this month, and my nephew Caden is turning 13 (WHAT?!?) - so there will be some celebrating going on this month for sure.
  • Taking photos - I have a few friends who have asked me to take fall family photos for them.  I have one of them done already, and a couple more to go over the next month or so.  I'm trying to space them out a bit so I can have them all edited in a timely fashion. 
  • Watching scary movies - Yup, it's that time of year!  I have that strong desire to immerse myself in all things creepy and spooktacular!  I saw a fellow blogger posted a challenge to watch a horror movie for every day of the month.  I don't think I can accomplish that, but I am going to make a scary movie bucket list and try to watch as many of them as I can.
  • CAR RALLY!! It's one of my favourite days of the year, and I'm already so looking forward to it.  I love touring the back roads with my friends, answering the questions, searching for clues, and just having a lot of laughs with Stacy, Ricky, Sara & Graham.  It's always SUCH a good day!
  • Organizing the Christmas House Tour - Well, hopefully, anyway.  I'm struggling to find willing participants this year.  Going to keep trying, though, and hopefully by the end of the month I'll be able to say it's a go!
  • Scary Movie Marathon - I know, I already put "watching scary movies" up there.  But this event is a special one, separate from that.  It's become a tradition for me to force my friend Lindsay to watch scary movies with me the Saturday before Halloween.  We eat pizza and chips and candy, sometimes Ryan joins us, and we've incorporated Sam into the marathon too by watching a kid's Halloween movie around supper time.  I believe this year's choices are It (2017 version) and A Quiet Place, with Hotel Transylvania for Sam.  I love Scary Movie Marathon Day!!
  • Enjoying all the pumpkin things - I made a pumpkin loaf a few weeks ago that was to die for, and I'm sure I'll be making more!  Also enjoying Pumpkin Spice Bailey's in my coffee whenever I can.  And buying a pumpkin to carve, and to roast the seeds!  Mmmm... pumpkin... 
  • Preparing Halloween treat bags - I'll be stocking up on mini chocolate bars and candy soon, then assembling my treat bags towards the end of the month.  It's such a fun task.  
  • Celebrating Halloween! Christmas is my favourite, but Halloween isn't far behind.  I so adore this time of year.  Since Halloween lands on work day, we'll likely have our little office party as usual.  We usually have some snacks (I like to bring my pumpkin cheese ball), and I already have my costume.  Then I'll join my mom after work for a special supper (something fun, like bacon bunnies or pizza or macaroni casserole) and greet all of the trick-or-treaters at the door.  YAY FOR HALLOWEEN! :)
What's on YOUR October to-do list?