Horror Addicts Guide to Life Author Spotlight: Sumiko Saulson

HorrorAddicts.net

23676179Sumiko Saulson has written several horror novels and has been featured on the horror addicts podcast before. For Horror Addicts Guide To Life  she wrote an article called The Addicts Guide To Cats. In it Sumiko gives us some hints on what not to do with your kitty. One thing you definitely don’t want to do is bring your cat back from the dead.  To read Sumiko’s article along with several other articles on living the horror lifestyle, pick up a copy of Horror Addicts Guide To Life. Recently Sumiko was nice enough to tell us what she likes about horror:

What do you like about the horror genre?

The horror genre addresses our deep, dark fears of the unknown. Many horror stories are about surviving or at least attempting to survive the worse. Often, they are stories about why we fight to survive against all odds. Sometimes…

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Holding on to Hope

  The past few months I have felt like Alice tumbling recklessly down the rabbit hole in Wonderland desperately trying to grasp a root to keep myself from hitting rock bottom.

My (now Ex) wife surprised me with applying for divorce in July roughly a week or so after my fortieth birthday and my life hasn’t been the same since.  

I have a crippling disease loosely termed “Fibromyalgia” what I have is Myalgic Encephalopathy and Chronic Fatigue with Immune Dysfunction commonly referred to as “ME/CFIDS” Essentially what it does is it causes swelling in the brain stem and spinal cord; the inflammation is quite painful and because of that pain it increases my fatigue as my body desperately and in effectively tries to battle the pain.  This in turn causes devastating levels of depression.  I know we all get depressed at times but this is “can’t get out of bed, I want to die” depression.

Things that you may take for granted like taking a shower, I sometimes find as dreadful as the prospect of mountain climbing.  Who knew one could get so exhausted from simply cleaning your own body and washing your hair that you actually need to lie down afterward?  It happens.

I fall asleep uncontrollably several times a day, making it (although I have no access to a vehicle anymore) difficult to even trust myself to drive.  I once fell asleep on the kitchen floor while doing dishes, towel still in my hand.

The pain levels vary from day to day but when it rains (and luckily <Insert sarcasm here>) I live in one of the rainiest provinces in Canada, Nova Scotia.  My pain levels can go as high as 9 or 10, often resulting in loss of mobility, motivation to engage socially and in extreme cases, vomiting.  I don’t tend to even eat on those days because A) I can’t stand there and prepare food and B) I just don’t want it to come up again.

When my wife and I spilt she chose the option of giving me one lump sum of cash to get me out of her life quickly to relieve her own guilt.  I took the sum as I had to have the money to set up a new life somewhere else.  I was also stupid and lonely enough to go back to the dating scene not too long after we split.  The only reason I think I did this was to prove to myself that A) Someone could still like me and find me attractive B) Someone could like me despite having a chronic illness and possibly C) to make my wife a little jealous in hopes she would take me back.  It was stupid.  I ended up with a girl who was not only completely selfish but borrowed money from me constantly, then quickly picked up and moved back to the States when she knew I was running out of money.  Her final blow was disconnecting the power on me so I had to find the money (from a friend) to pay off an 8 year old bill to get it hooked back up and am now also desperately trying to scrape together the $150 deposit they want within 30 days.

I have applied for the disability portion of Social Assistance but their regulations say that when someone receives a large sum of money one does not qualify for one year from receipt of said money unless I have receipts to support virtually every dollar I’ve spent.  Which of course, not realizing I should have kept everything (I kept some but not enough apparently) It looks like I won’t qualify for assistance for another 7 months.  

My ex girlfriend (the vampire) was diagnosed with MS and had no health coverage. She was barely getting by.  I started helping her financially back in September running up my line of credit in the process, I continued to help her until we broke up and I applied for assistance.  What’s awesome is that by me helping her, I ended up screwing myself.  So now I find myself in a situation where I don’t know how I will pay rent; I have since gotten another roommate which helps but he’s a pensioner, there’s only so much he can do and only so much I’d expect of him. 

I haven’t worked in four years.  I fall asleep literally every few hours.  I have degenerative disc disease from an old injury and untreated scoliosis as a teen so I can’t sit or stand for long periods of time.  What the hell am I supposed to do?

The best part is a large part of my support system has up and abandoned me.  They either find my situation too complicated, have their own judgements about me or think I need to be doing this or that; all I needed was your support and encouragement.  Thanks for leaving me.

So now I find myself spending my days in bed watching mindless Investigative reports on plane crashes which ironically remind me of my life.  One giant plane crash, one lonely survivor to tell the tale.  What went wrong, how did it crash?  Am I a horrible person?

I turn 41 this year, I have a dog, some cheap second hand furniture, no job, no home of my own, no family, no energy and I am slowly losing hope.

How do I keep my hope when my future is so uncertain and seemingly bleak?  

I’m throwing myself back in to my faith.  I’m leaning on God.  I read scripture and pray often for strength, for a chance, for hope.   

 

I regret my absence from writing as of late.  It’s been hard putting things in perspective and relaying my thoughts.  One of my symptoms is cognitive issues which if you read some of my earlier work may explain why I frequently jumped from topic to topic.

The one positive thing that has happened to me is being published.  I was published in HorrorAddicts.net ‘s Anthology titled “The Horror Addicts’ Guide to Life”; sure it wasn’t a paid gig but I am now in print in a book, it’s publicized heavily getting my name out there which has been one of my childhood dreams.

You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.ca/Horror-Addicts-Guide-Life-Emerian/dp/1508772525/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429652253&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Horror+Addicts+Guide+to+Life

I just need to get through this, I just need to keep my head above water to prevent myself from drowning in this never ending abyss.  I need to believe I can do this.  I need hope.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously, 

Sparky

  
Images Courtesy of:
Sad Woman http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php

“Faith Text” http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10067886

Hand with Butterflies http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10019997

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My Love Affair with the Timey Wimey

My New Journals

My New Journals

I was four years old when I met my first Doctor on the CBC here in Canada; my mother who was big in to Science Fiction and anything of the bizarre had it on one or twice; that would have been around 1978/1979 just before I started school.  I wanted to watch it again but I never knew what time it was on and there was no consistent schedule leaving it to late at night.

When I was 8, I received my very first television set; it was black and white and took some time to warm up but it was then I discovered Doctor Who was on the CBC at midnight and in the summers, I begged to stay up late in order to catch it from time to time.  It seemed to just be a filler show for us here in Canada during these years but I am proud to say that my first Doctor was Tom Baker.  The genuine article with his crazy long scarf and facial expressions that still make me giggle to this day.

Years had passed since I had seen Doctor Who and I’m embarrassed to say, I forgot about it.  In my early thirties I rediscovered the show, the Doctor, now being played by David Tennant, and I remembered why I enjoyed it so much as a kid.  It’s whimsical, funny, full of imagination, unique stories, unbelievable creatures from the minds of geniuses that you can watch evolve over the years to the now refined and well done, exponentially improved creatures/villains we see on the series today.

I was hooked immediately.  I finished out Tennant’s series (Doctor #10) with mixed feelings.  On one hand I was angry and sad because Tennant was clearly born to play this role, I was sad that he was leaving as clearly didn’t want to leave, his last line prior to regeneration IS actually, “I don’t want go.”  No one was going to be able to fill his “sand shoes” or converse sneakers- cream colored or red depending on the time period and suit he is wearing.  And no one pulls off 3D glasses like David Tennant.  I cried.  Yes, I cried like a little Whovian bitch and out of protest I actually refused to watch Matt Smith carry on (and probably ruin) the role of the Doctor.

I gave in out of curiosity and admittedly at first, I thought he was way too goofy. As time went on, I think for many of us, he just melded in to that role and charmed the pants off of everyone.  Even Doctor Who Merchandise sales shot WAY up with the new handsome young Doctor, obviously bringing in a whole new demographic.  Looking back now I think this was a genius move, choosing Smith for the role and although I LOVED all the stories written by Russel T. Davies I think Stephen Moffat has brought a whole new aspect to the show.  He leaves us hanging by the seat of our pants, he likes to mess with the fans with revealing story lines, holding back just enough to make us tune in again next Saturday.  The action scenes and effects have taken a huge leap forward losing some of the original cheesiness that the show had been known for.  He’s turned it in to an entirely different series and I personally, am a big fan.

I can’t go a day without watching Doctor Who in SOME form or capacity; whether I’m watching the Classics with Baker, Pertwee or Davison or re watching this season or going over old Doctor Who Confidential episodes; I have hundreds of Doctor Who books and have begun a nice collection of memorabilia.  Earlier with my Disoronno, I used Dalek and TARDIS ice cubes.  My girlfriend and I have Doctor Who everything, our whole bathroom in TARDIS themed, we have shirts, posters, framed pictures, jewellery, magnets, journals, blankets, sonic screwdrivers, bedside lamps… The list goes on and on. This is a show we enjoy together and our home shows it.  We have both been Whovians for a long time and we kind of see it not just as an interest, but rather a lifestyle.

Our Whovian Tree

Our Whovian Tree

Many are divided on their opinions of the latest Doctor, number 12 portrayed by actor Peter Capaldi but I think he’s doing a phenomenal job.  He’s bringing back the darkness, the mysterious-ness, intrigue and the realist attitude reminiscent of the original Doctor played by William Hartnell (only Capaldi is far more handsome).  To these fans that are stuck on the current Doctor’s age, need I remind you that
A) He has lived for over 2000 years and
B) when he was first introduced to us in 1963 he came with a grand daughter.  So…basically… Get over it.  Capaldi is fantastic and the Christmas Special blew me away to the point where I watched it three times and I feel once more coming.  With the recent news that Jenna Coleman has signed on for season 9, I simply CANNOT WAIT to see what happens next season!

Are you a Whovian? If not, what are you waiting for??

Robot Sparky

Images are mine except for “Robot” which is courtesy of http://doctor-who-collectors.wikia.com/wiki/Robot_%28DVD%29

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Doctor Who: The Time Heist~ A Review (contains spoilers)

The Time Heist

The Time Heist

The episode begins with a visit by the Doctor to Clara’s apartment while he tries to talk her in to travelling with him instead of going on her second official date with Danny.
Doctor: “I got a whole day worked out.”
Clara: “Sorry, as you can see, I got plans.” As she gets her outfit together (which is Impossibly cute btw)
Doctor: “Have you?”
Clara: “Look at me.”
Doctor: “Yeah ok.”
Clara: “No no no- no- (Whips hair around) look at me.”
Doctor” Yeah, I’m looking…”
Clara: “Seriously?”
Doctor: “Why is your face all colored in?” (Alluding to her makeup.)

I love this bit of banter they do back and forth where the Doctor pretends to NOT be in love with Clara.
He then comments on her being taller to which she points out she’s wearing heels, he quips, “Do you have to reach a high shelf?”

The TARDIS phone rings.
Clara: “There you go, you’ve got another playmate”
Doctor: “No one in the universe knows that number…”
Clara: “Don’t; because if you answer it something will happen.”
Doctor: “What?”
Clara: “A thing.”
Doctor: “It’s just a phone Clara, nothing happens when you answer a phone…”

Jump to the Doctor, Clara and two others sitting at a table holding memory worms… It is here we are introduced to two new characters:

Psy

Psy

Psy- an augmented human with USB ports on his head and Saibra- a mutant human (like Rogue and Mystique from the X-Men) who takes on cellular structure simply by touch.

“It’s a memory worm” (I love the memory worm) A recorded message from “The Architect” plays instructions that they will rob the Bank of Karabraxos, the most heavily guarded bank in the universe, a bank for the super rich. This is an impregnable institution with heavy security, DNA checkpoints, and intruders are incinerated.

Once the team escapes the locked room they are in, they emerge on to the street where they are detected as unwelcome guests. As Saibra turns herself in to a regular bank client to avoid detection, they then witness a man being punished for his crimes.

The Teller

The Teller

Emerge “The Teller” a shackled and chained servant (the only one in existence who has a contract with the bank) feeds on the thoughts of others, particularly guilt (which is why they all wiped their memories so the Teller wouldn’t pick up on them), turning their brains “in to soup” He provides a security for the bank to protect against crime. He feeds off the man in the street sucking out all his guilt and criminal intent leaving him with a caved in skull, seemingly lobotomized.

They realize the true power of the Teller understanding how detrimental their thoughts can be should the Teller tune in to them.

This is a dangerous mission (of course) and we begin to wonder why they all seemingly agreed to this heist.

The woman in charge we learn is Miss Delphox who we discover is a mere clone of the Bank’s director, Madam Karabraxos and she realizes they did not get the intended target. The search is on for the team.

They manage to escape through blowing a hole through the floor with a dimensional shift bomb, it is here where the Doctor tells a skeptical Psy that there was a reason they all agreed to do this, just picture the thing you want most in the world.

Saibra

Saibra

They all have their reasons for agreeing to the Heist, but what are they? These are hidden in a secret vault; they must get to the vault without being detected by the bank security and most importantly, the Teller; following only the instructions of the Architect.

They come across a case with 6 viles in it, the Doctor claims to not know what they are, although Saibra comments that he is lying. The alarms sound indicating an intruder alert. The team splits up to avoid being detected. We learn here that the Doctor knows the viles are an exit strategy of some sort.

As the team meets up, they come across the man in the street that was fed to the Teller; there he sits, unaware, shackled and alone. Psy begs the Doctor to not let him wind up like that.

They wind up coming face to face with the Teller in his cocoon- which is like forced hibernation. The Doctor tells them all to keep their minds blank, but Clara is having trouble with this and wakes the beast. They get out, but Saibra gets trapped behind as the Teller feeds on her, the Doctor throws her “an exit strategy” vile which he assures her is painless and instant. She uses it and is gone in an instant.

The group struggles to cope with the loss of Saibra, particularly Psy.

Miss Delphox

Miss Delphox

Miss Delphox realizes the group is still on the loose and that her job is in danger, so she releases the Teller in to the tunnels of the bank to find the remaining team members.

Psy stays back to try and override the systems and unlock the vaults, the Doctor determines they must split up to minimize the brain signals, he offers Psy an “exit strategy vile” while he and Clara set out and separate.

Clara trying to keep her thoughts hidden

Clara trying to keep her thoughts hidden

We have an intense moment while Clara desperately tries to block out her mind and keep it clear, but she is unable and the Teller locks on to her, Psy saves her by interrupting the brain signals with his own guilt. He sacrifices himself to save her.

They reach the vault but it won’t open Clara feels that Psy has died for nothing; the Doctor detects multiple locks, one last one holding on… they need a miracle now… Just in time, the solar storm gets worse and interferes with the banks’ systems. The storm ultimately unlocks the vault. The doctor then realizes this was all planned in the future.

“This isn’t just a bank heist; it’s a time travel heist. We’ve been sent back in time, to the exact moment of the storm to be in exactly the right place when it hits because that is the only time, the bank is vulnerable”

The Doctor

The Doctor

The Architect-, the one who has designed this heist, has carefully planned out all the events, the one who knows there will be a solar storm making the bank defenseless. Who is this architect?

The Doctor and Clara enter the vault looking for what they were promised for performing this heist. The first box reveals a Neophyte circuit that can replace any lost data; this was apparently Psy’s reward- his memories. The next box reveals a gene suppressant; Saibra’s wish was to simply be normal. But what did the Doctor and Clara come for? They find a card with a private vault number on it but before they can get there, they are caught by the Teller and Miss Delphox’s team of security guards. The Doctor asks her how they get the Teller to obey, she explains that everyone has a price, she leaves the Doctor and Clara with security to be killed and just when you think that’s it- the security guards reveal themselves as a disguised Saibra and a helmeted Psy. They Live!

We learn that the viles aren’t an exit strategy but rather teleport devices and the TARDIS is safely waiting for them. The Doctor then rewards Saibra and Psy with their prizes. They then make their way to that private vault which leads them to the Director of the bank, Madam Karabraxos, one of the wealthiest people in the universe, sitting amongst all her valuables alone. We learn she employs clones of herself to safely guard the bank; there is one in every facility; it is revealed that she has her clones incinerated when they fail to perform up to her expectations.

The Doctor ponders and thinks aloud, “She hates her own clones, she burns her own clones, frankly, you’re a career breaker for the right therapist. Shut up. Everybody, just shut up, shut up shut up Shut-ity up up up.” He is coming to a conclusion,

To Saibra, “What did you say about your own eyes? De-Shut up- say it again.”
Saibra:”How can you trust someone if they look back at you out of your own eyes?”

The Doctor is beginning to realize, he hates the architect- why?; “He’s overbearing, he’s manipulative and likes to think he’s very clever, I hate the Architect!”

“I’m getting sanity judgement from the self-burner” he quips when Director Karabraxos interrupts his “A-ha moment”. He writes down his number and gives it to the director, letting her know that he is a time traveler in case she ever has any regrets.

Doctor: “Gimme a call sometime.”
Karabraxos: “You’ll be dead”
Doctor: “Yeah, you’ll be old, we’ll get along famously, and you’ll be old and full of regret for the things that you can’t change.”

They realize there were 6 “shredders” or teleport devices and only 4 of them, so who are the other two for?

It is then that he realizes that the lone “Teller” creature that has been detained and forced to serve through shackles, has a price as well. He has a reward waiting for him when he finishes with his service, but what is it?

The Doctor comes face to face with the Teller in hopes of getting through to him,

“That’s it, so many memories in here, feast on them, tuck in, big scarf, bow tie- bit embarrassing…” He is hoping the Teller sees why he is here…

Cut back to the beginning where the TARDIS phone rings, a dying Madam Karabraxos has called the Doctor,

“I was once the wealthiest person in the universe, I need your assistance, I am dying with many many regrets, but one perhaps, you may be able to help me with…”

We then see the Doctor putting the plan in place to go back in time to rob the bank, he has selected his team and he himself attained the memory worms. He was the architect all along.

It’s a brilliant scene in slow mo going back to the beginning and how they got there.

Next we’re back at the bank while the Doctor gets through to the Teller, who is now co operating with him because the Teller has seen the real reason why he has come. The Teller’s prize- is another Teller, a female, his partner

“This was never a bank heist, it was a rescue mission, for a whole species, flesh and blood, the last currency, and it’s time to go home” states the Doctor.  The Teller is visibly pleased, we watch the two creatures walk off in to a sunset of sorts together.

After the Doctor drops everyone back off to their homes it’s just he and Clara as he drops her back off in time for her date. We get a glimpse of his jealousy of Danny Pink

“Robbing a bank, robbing a whole bank, beat that for a date…” Clearly, although his face has changed, his hearts have not.

This was a great episode that I watched three times; it was brilliantly written by Steve Thompson and Steven Moffat.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Love the Doctor,

Sparky

Images

The Team http://www.cultbox.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Doctor-Who-Time-Heist.jpg

The Teller  http://morningspoilers.io9.com/doctor-who-time-heist-photos-1635185441

Saibra  http://www.cultbox.co.uk/news/galleries/doctor-who-pics-gallery-for-time-heist

Miss Delphox  http://www.cultbox.co.uk/reviews/episodes/doctor-who-s08e05-time-heist-spoiler-free-review

Clara  http://whatculture.com/tv/doctor-who-8-big-questions-after-time-heist.php/4

The Doctor  http://insidemediatrack.com/2014/09/doctor-time-heist-pictures-trailer/

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Doctor Who: Season 8~ “Listen” (spoilers)

IMG_0292.JPG

Question — “Why do we talk out loud even when we know we’re alone?”
Conjecture — because we know we’re not.
~ The Doctor

The latest episode of BBC ‘s Doctor Who opens with a Doctor who is seemingly going mad. Talking to himself, trying to find an answer to an age old question, :

Are we really alone even when we think we’re not?

It takes a spin off the old common nightmare of someone under the bed at night, something you can’t see. The monster under the bed. Monsters who reach out and grab your ankle when you attempt to stand up. Creepy. Even I was afraid of this as a child.

“What if no one is ever really alone, what if every being has a silent companion or passenger? A shadow? What if the prickle on the back of your neck is the breath of something close behind you?”

Scary right?

The episode flips between Clara’s personal life with a new young handsome teacher at the school she teaches at when she’s not travelling with The Doctor , his name is Dan Pink. We can clearly foresee a future with Clara and Pink but they keep arguing or saying the wrong things. It gets awkward and turns in to a date from hell. To be rectified later, and again later.

In this episode, Clara becomes a little more lovely to me. I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan, having been a fan of the Ponds for so long. But Clara shines in this episode and even gets the Doctor to “do what he’s told”. She became stronger in this episode.

The Doctor shows up unexpectedly at Clara’s house, one my favourite lines is upon seeing Clara’s three way mirror he says,

“Why do you have three mirrors? Why don’t you just turn your head?” Later on he makes another reference to the mirror,

“She looks like a lot of things, because her face is so wide. She needs three mirrors.” I chuckle at the fact that this doctor is constantly making cracks about her appearance when the last Doctor was enamoured with her.

So in this episode, the Doctor concludes that everyone in the world at some point in their lives have had this very same dream of someone under the bed. He then gets Clara to connect with the TARDIS telepathic interface making her in direct mental contact with the TARDIS where she will extract Clara’s entire timeline and zone in on the moment she first had that dream as a little girl. The problem is, she’s not focused on herself, she’s distracted by Dan Pink. They don’t end up in Clara’s childhood at all.

Who she meets is a young Rupert Pink, alone in a child’s home, scared of the dream. Both she and the Doctor end up in this child’s room while Clara attempts to calm the boy, the Doctor attempts to find out more. Clara’s nurturing and compassionate qualities surface. She comforts him gently and offers a toy soldier in the end to guard his bed. The child names the soldier Dan; Dan the soldier man. We now realize that this IS the Dan Pink she is dating.

The Doctor teaches Rupert that the thing under the bed feeds off of all the energy it takes to be scared and that if you simply turn your back and ignore it, it will go away. Which it does.. He makes them all promise never to look, keep yourself turned away from it.

Rupert: “He took my bedspread.”
The Doctor: “Oh, the human race. You’re never happy, are ya?”

We see In this episode exactly how brave Clara truly is and how her timeline is going to play out. Particularly when they end up going to “replay” and salvage her earlier date when “the Doctor” waves her over wearing an orange space suit. When she follows him back to the TARDIS chewing him out for interrupting her date she is shocked when the man in the helmet looks remarkably like Dan Pink with softer and lighter hair. The Doctor introduces Clara to “Orson Pink” he’s from about 100 years in to her future.
At this point, Clara has not informed the Doctor that she was distracted during her telepathic interface with the TARDIS so he’s unsure where these men keep coming from but asks her how they play a role in her timeline. She learns as the episode progresses.

The Doctor takes Clara back to where he found Orson Pink- at the very end of time, scavenging, apparently he’s a rogue time traveller- which runs in his family *wink.
The Doctor suggests they spend the night at the end of the world, upon seeing a locked door which indicates that Pink, even at the end of the world, with nothing around, he is still afraid. Clara brings Pink back to the TARDIS for safety when she stumbles across the little Soldier Dan figure which he refers to as a family heirloom. He admits that one of his great grandparents was a time traveller. *goosebumps*

Cut to the Doctor sitting in Pink’s ship watching the door slowly unlock itself, he demands for Clara to run back to the TARDIS where she’ll be safe. “Do as your told!” He yells in that fabulous Scottish accent of his. The door opens as Clara and Orson Pink look on from the safety of the TARDIS. An alarm sounds upon which Pink knows the hull has been breached and we see a Doctor hanging on for dear life to avoid being sucked out in to nothingness- Pink goes out to save him but the Doctor is now unconscious. To get out of here now Clara must interface directly with the TARDIS once more to get them safely out, it wasn’t a plan but it was a thing, however, now she is focused on the Doctor.

They emerge in an unfamiliar area, Clara volunteers to scope it out. What she discovers is a lonely, scared and very young boy hiding up in a barn. She asks, “Rupert? Orson?” No response. We then hear a couple entering the stables where the father is complaining about the boy crying all the time. Clara quickly hides under the bed to hear the father say “He’s not going to the Academy, is he? He’ll never make a Time Lord.” She realizes then that she is in the Doctor’s time line when the Doctor begins crying for Clara from inside the TARDIS, the little boy wakes and Clara instinctively reaches her hand out and grabs the boy’s ankle. It’s like an “A-ha” moment. She tries to soothe the boy, coming out from under the bed.

“Listen. This is just a dream. Very clever people can hear dreams, so please, just listen. I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn’t anyone ever tell you fear is a super power. Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger and one day, you’re going to come back to this barn and on that day, you’re going to be very afraid indeed. But that’s OK, because if you’re very wise and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind.”

“It doesn’t matter if there is nothing under the bed or in the dark, so long as you know it’s OK to be afraid of it. So listen, if you listen to nothing else, listen to this. You’re always going to be afraid, even you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion — always there. But that’s OK because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home. I’m going to leave you something just so you always remember. Fear makes companions of us all.”

She exits back to the TARDIS- hugging the Doctor as he explains he’s not a hugger.

I thought this episode was creepy yet sweet at the time. Once again, the Impossible Girl has made her way through the Doctor’s time line and may have even had an impact on his future selves.
We also see Clara finally make it right with Dan Pink… Could he be travelling with us soon? Or will this be the reason for her exit from the series?
I think Moffat did a great job with writing this one. I have watched it three times now.

Some Quotes I got from. http://www.tvfanatic.com/quotes/shows/doctor-who/#ixzz3DRpGuW00

Image Courtesy of http://geekworldradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/doctor-who-season-8-august-23.jpg

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The Allure of Horror

Oh the Horror!

Oh the Horror!

“Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability.” 
― H.P. Lovecraft

I have been a hard core Horror film and Book addict since the age of 10 when I read my first Stephen King Novel, Pet Sematary; by age 13 I had amassed a very respectable Stephen King collection and I read them all voraciously. My favorites being The Shining, The Tommyknockers, The Stand, and It.

The first horror film I ever saw was the 1982 classic, Poltergeist where at eight years old, I became OCD about ensuring our television set was turned off and unplugged at night.

The next films I watched were Stephen King’s Christine about a sentient, malicious 1958 Plymouth becomes virtually in love with and passive of it’s young new owner. In tune with John Carpenter eerie deadpan style musical score (See 1987’s Prince of Darkness) it adds to a film that is classic in it’s good old fashion revenge plot.

After this, there would be 1984’s Children of the Corn also written by Stephen King but directed by Fritz Kiersch (also known in later films as “Tuff Turf” “Gor” and even directed a few episodes of the short lived Swamp Thing series circa 1990). Children of the Corn literally scared the crap out of me. I began a nightly ritual of quietly dragging my blanket and pillow behind me while I parked myself in a makeshift bed on the floor by my Dad’s side of the bed. I got used to be stepped on first thing in the morning..

As if these films weren’t enough for an 8-10 year child. My parents insisted I join them for yet another John Carpenter scream flick, using that same melodic monotonous steady music that never alerts you to something happening like most Horror film scores. Carpenter is a genius for this technique. The film was 1982’s, The Thing starring the still then handsome, Kurt Russell. 


This film takes place in the Antarctic where a team of researchers and scientists are posted on a small American research base. 
 Upon discovering evidence that a Norwegian group of scientists eventually went made were attacked and seemingly turned on each other. 
 What we later learn is that an alien craft was unearthed releasing an alien race able to take over the bodies of everyone and everyone.

There is a disturbing scene in that film where one of the many kenneled dogs ends up morphing in to one one if these violent beings. It was an excellent film and one I proudly still own in my personally DVD collection. I was 9 when I watched that one. Which resulted in another 2 month round of me dragging my shit in next to my Dad while I attempted to sleep between the fear and the guilt of being such a pussy. I was 9.

Over the years my love of Horror stretched out in to the genres of Comic Books and Television series. I can’t enough of the Fright surprise, the Gore and the Unexpected .

I’m guessing many people are drawn to the Horror Genre because of this: The fear of the unexpected and the fear of the unknown.

Other Horror Films that really made an impact on me are as follows:

Carrie (1976- with Piper Laurie playing the crazed mother. No one could have played that better, not even Julianne Moore in the 2013 remake.

The Exorcist (1973) brought to life the incredibly dark and disturbing novel by the same name by author William Peter Blatty. That film made many of us question our faith, believe in possessions and exorcisms. The battle between God and Satan has always been a troubling yet intriguing genre for me.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Written and directed by Roman Polanski is still one of my all time faves. The innocence and naivete that Mia Farrow brings to role is precious. You end up loving this character. A newlywed young couple move in to an old Brownstone in downtown New York, with an epic dark history. The husband’s career soon begins to reach new levels of success, can they trust the kindly old (creepy) long term residents of the antiquated apartment building, Minny and Roman Castavet who’s intentions although seemingly sweet quickly become irritating, invasive and eerily creepy and unpleasant. This is a great classic thriller that I never get tired of watching.

And lastly, 1987’s John Carpenter (cue creepy soundtrack) film, The Prince of Darkness which takes a group of theology students in to an abandon church in LA which harbors a deep dark sinister secret. Protected by monks for years is a giant vat of green liquid that allegedly contains the essence of Satan himself. Needless to say, mistakes occur and hi jinx ensue and it seems Satan is attempting to pull himself through to our world. As I mentioned previously, any scenario exploring God versus evil I find compelling, mainly due to my own faith and the theories out there that he already walks the earth.

We enjoy being frightened, maybe we think of it like a carnival, ride; you decide if you want to get in, belt up and take that ride despite the side effects of nausea, vomiting, fear and nightmares. We keep going back…


“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” 
― H.P. Lovecraft

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live in Fear of the Unknown…

Sparky

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PHOTOS

Screaming Face – freedigitalphotos.net “Ghost Background” by hyena reality

Screaming face courtesy of pixabay.com http://pixabay.com/en/photos/screaming/

 

Posted in Books, Films, Horror Films, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Depression is Killing People

The Scream by Edvard Munch

The Scream by Edvard Munch

(originally appeared on my blog at Bubblews  Sparky on Bubblews )

 

This morning when I woke up early to take my dog, Riley to the vet, I decided to check my Facebook while getting my morning beverage.

I noticed my cousin had posted a picture of her and 4 of my other cousins and I of course, liked it. She then sent me a message that shocked me. My cousin, the youngest one in the photo hung himself last night. He was 27 years old. I didn’t know him really; the last time I saw him he was barely forming sentences but I did hear of him and see photos of him through our mutual family. I am guessing he struggled with depression as so many of do. When I reviewed a few of his Facebook photos, it was evident that he didn’t seem to be a happy young man. He was found in his parents’ basement by either my aunt or uncle or both. I cannot imagine how traumatizing this was (is) for them and even though I haven’t seen that part of my family in many years, my heart just breaks for them.

We’ve all been reading in our news feeds and seeing tributes to the late great Robin Williams since his untimely death on August 11 and despite the sadness of losing such a great actor, it is bringing the epidemic of “Depression” to the forefront. People are talking about it. The biggest impact that Williams death has made on people is ‘how could someone who can make so many people happy be depressed?’ It’s a valid question; but most people do not understand the psychology behind comedy and people pleasing.

I suffer from depression, clinical, medicated, sometimes can’t get out of bed, depression. I have since I was a child. I’ve always been very lonely and felt isolated due to my over protective yet stand offish parents. I had a full blown anxiety disorder by the time I was in the 1st grade. I didn’t find help until I went to university and was referred to someone through counseling. Of course, I actually sought out help when many people don’t or simply don’t know where to begin.

I’m also the people pleaser/ mediator type personality which is often a trait carried by many only children. (It’s important to note I am/was an only child until I was 13, at this point my parents re- married people with children from a previous marriage, so I inherited 3 step brothers) My parents fought a lot, they both suffered with depression and addictions (although they will deny this) so I always tried to “cheer them up” “snap them out of it” “switch their focus” tried to make it better. One way to do this was through humor.

Humor has this uncanny ability to do remarkable things for our body and spirit. If you use it properly and at appropriate times, it is a great diffuser of situations; tense, scary, over emotional situations. I’ve often heard people say to me, “thanks for the laugh Sam, I needed that.” In fact, I post ridiculous things and share nutty stuff sometimes in hopes that somewhere, one of my friends or followers will have a chuckle and for one brief moment in time, feel good.

I think the role of Patch Adams came easily to Robin Williams. I think he understood this personally. He was able to identify with the character easily because he knew this from firsthand experience. Many who knew him have been quoted as saying how kind he was and when they were down, he was often there cheering people up, helping people quietly behind the scenes.

Another thing with humor and depression is that it can be a great deflector. You can mask your own pain in a joke or an act. People don’t have to get to know the real you because you can hide it well. A good sense of humor can also be a result of loneliness. As a teenager, I never really fit in with any particular group. I never felt accepted but rather on the outside looking in. Humor was a great way to break that social barrier for me. It still is.

It’s not surprising that many comedians end up going down the same route; loneliness, depression then suicide leaving people behind wondering why.

I don’t even know if my cousin had a good sense of humor or not. My uncle (his father) was my favorite uncle when I was little. He was always laughing and being goofy, I can only imagine he must have inherited some of that. I do know this though:
We are losing too many people to this affliction, disease, illness, whatever you want to classify it as, it doesn’t really matter; it’s affecting people daily and leaving behind people shaking their heads because they never knew and if they did, didn’t know what to do.

Is it because we just don’t pay enough attention to one another? You have to admit, we have become obsessed with our gadgets and the internet to the point that it’s rare to even have a face to face conversation with anyone. It’s usually via text, social media, or you find yourself in a room with someone who has their head down the entire time you’re with them. How is anyone supposed to reach people these days when we live in such a toss away, multi tasking, everything is temporary, emotionally unavailable society?
It’s no wonder people are feeling more desperate and lonely than ever before when we find ourselves competing with several things and/or people at once to have a simple conversation with one human being.

We really need to get back to basics in this world if we are to ever make it. It seems we need to learn all over again how to connect, ACTUALLY connect with other human beings, how to be social, how to be compassionate, kind and selfless. Maybe we needed someone high profile to make a statement in order for the world to examine how we treat one another. This could be one last final gift from him to us.

To my fellow people suffering in depression, remember there will be good days and sometimes those good days can make up for a dozen bad ones. Depression comes in cycles often broken up with periods of what some refer to as “normalcy” or what I refer to as “remission” so if you can recognize that this is indeed one of those times, remember it will be followed by good times. My heart goes out to my Aunt and Uncle through this enormously difficult time. My heart also goes out to anyone out there who is thinking about suicide as an option and to plea to you, remember those you will leave behind, think of the impact on your loved ones, your friends and those who know you.

Rest in Peace my young cousin; I hope you’re not lonely anymore…

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Sparky

Image borrowed from   http://galleristny.com/2012/05/sothebys-hauls-in-330-6-m-as-munch-scream-soars/

Posted in Coping, Depression, humor, Opinion | 7 Comments

Animals are NOT Commodities

My Babies

My Babies

The photo above is of my beloved mini dachshunds, Lucy and Riley. I view them as one of the biggest blessings in my life next to my wife, family and friends. I would do anything for them. I’ve spent sleepless nights when my girl was sick and sooky, I’ve eaten junk at times in order for them to have the good quality food they need. I’ve stayed home endlessly to keep them company as they keep me company.

Before these babies came in to my life, I had cats. My oldest guy, a ginger sweetie named Jack died in 2004 and that literally broke my heart. We were together for 10 years of belly rubs, hugs, and snuggles. My cats and I had moved to Newfoundland and Alberta then back to Nova Scotia together. The thought of re homing them never occurred to me because after all, they were my best friends and they were my responsibility. I never thought I would ever recover from the loss of my Jackie, I did though, as I had another boy, an adorable black and white medium haired, named Bailey. After my grief period I focused on him.

My Beloved Jackie

My Beloved Jackie circa 1999

Together we experienced, the loss of our friend Jack, multiple moves, multiple boyfriends, the loss of work and then illness when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. When my last relationship ended- amicably, I ended up giving up Bailey because he was NOT doing well with the move and break up. I started noticing clumps of hair around my small apartment and his food bowls were going untouched. I had to make an awfully painful decision to let Bailey go where I knew he’d be happy and thrive or keep him and watch him get sicker, he was already 10 at this point. So I parted with him, and he lived another few years with the help and love of my ex. I thank him for that.

The point I am trying to make here, is that pets come in to our life, give us unconditional love, put up with our mood swings and failed relationships; I CANNOT understand how people can treat animals with so little respect and compassion.

This morning when I woke, I reached for my phone as I always do to check messages and of course, Facebook. The first thing I noticed was that someone was trying to re home their cat of 7 years because their fiancée was allergic. Seriously? You’d let go of your buddy of 7 years, not knowing what could happen to him because your woman gets the sniffles or probably doesn’t want a dirty litter box in her home?

I am allergic to cats. I knew for years and had it confirmed with an allergy test. I did NOT part with my cats. I loved them far too much to just give them away and hope for the best.
When I moved around the country, I had 2 duffel bags and 2 cats in tow everywhere I went. I knew they’d want to be with me no matter where I was and again, I could NOT give them up, they were my buddies and they counted on me. We made it work.

I took antihistamines for years, after all, it wasn’t my cats’ fault I was allergic, so why would I make them suffer?

I just don’t understand how people can think so little of the animals that provide them comfort and love. I’m tired of seeing ads for people looking for new homes for their pets because of stupid shit that they COULD work with but simply choose not to.
Animals are capable of an unconditional love that most people aren’t. How can have so little respect? Do you even HAVE a heart?
If you’re thinking about getting a pet, remember that this is at least a 10-20 year commitment and if you’re not capable of that, then maybe a pet isn’t for you. Get yourself a plant instead.
I will take care of my babies for as long as they grace me with their presence. They give me so much happiness and joy; it only seems fair to return it.

Bay

My Baby, Bailey

Another thing I discovered today was that one of the dog rescue groups I supported and even volunteered a little time and food for is not as golden as I thought they were.

My friend, the same friend that introduced me to this Pit Bull rescue group, shared a Kijiji (local buy and sell website) ad today that clearly shows this woman selling rescue puppies for $350 apiece.
Now, you may be thinking, “perhaps she is trying to earn money for the care of the many dogs she takes in”, yes I initially thought that too, until I was informed that she has pretty much stopped taking in dogs that NEED help and has been focusing instead on selling puppies that are given to her. I also heard that she hasn’t always done right by some of these dogs in need, even resorting to putting down hard to home or hard to train dogs. !!

I am beside myself with anger. How you call yourself a rescue when you are simply another puppy pusher is beyond me.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for the individuals that selflessly give up their time and money to help an animal in need, and I thought she was one of these people. It turns out, she’s just out to make a buck now, and THAT I will NOT support. I will NOT be promoting her rescue anymore and I feel stupid for the nice write up I published a year ago about this particular rescue operation.

Animals have souls, they are not items to be sold and made a profit off of, if that’s the case, then call yourself a breeder, NOT a rescue group. There aren’t enough people out there fighting for these poor mistreated and misplaced animals and I will no longer support what you do.

So disappointing.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Love Your Pets,
Sparky

My Precious Lucy, My First Dog Ever!

My Precious Lucy, My First Dog Ever!

Posted in Animals, cats, dogs, love, Pets | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Book

Originally Published on my Blog at Bubblews- http://www.bubblews.com/news/4328650-a-good-book

Love Books!

Love Books!

What is it about a brand new book that’s so appealing? Is it the promise of being taken on a new and exciting journey? Is it the prospects of meeting and falling in love with new characters? Is it the subject matter that excites you? Or is it an author you love with a brand new title out?

I have been a reader since before I was in school. I started off with the usual suspects, Alice in Wonderland was my favorite tale as a child. My middle name is Alice so I imagined that it was me falling down the rabbit hole and me talking to the hookah smoking caterpillar, eating cakes to be bigger and biting mushrooms to become smaller. I pretended that Alice’s cat, Dinah, was my cat and we would have fun flitting about the backyard, snoozing under shady trees and chasing white rabbits in waist coats. I had a very vivid imagination as a child and I think that’s what effectively creates a capable writer in later years.

I also enjoyed ALL the Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume novels as a wee girl. I loved how mischievous Ramona was and how funny Fudge, the younger brother of fourth grader, Peter Hatcher (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing) is as he simply loses his mind over the arrival of an unexpected baby “Tootsie” in the family as the newborn receives all the attention. “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret” is a book that EVERY young woman should read, it basically guided me through puberty. These were great books to read as a kid and if I ever had children myself, reading would be a daily activity as I introduced them to these and the world of Doctor Seuss, Roald Dahl, and Maurice Sendak’s brilliant 1963 masterpiece, “Where the Wild Things Are”.

As I approached my teens, my reading tastes changed. I went for darker, more creepy fiction. I started reading Stephen King when I was 10 years old, later on I discovered Dean Koontz and Anne Rice and from there my reading choices have blossomed in to a plethora of tastes ranging from historical biographies, books about war, Zombie Fiction, Serial Novels like Charlaine Harris’s “Sookie Stackhouse” books from which the HBO series, “True Blood” is based, and heartfelt tearjerkers that make you go through an entire box of Kleenex until you finally finish. One of my new favorite authors is Mark Tufo, creator of the “Zombie Fallout” series (available on Kindle and Kobo- the 1st book is free!). Zombie Fallout is currently a 7 book series with the 8th dropping in August. I have read all seven. It follows one man fighting to keep his family and friends together as they progress through the new world that is the zombie apocalypse. His books are filled with horror, gore, humor and incredibly likable characters; the books wouldn’t even be the same without the mean old bitch “Deneaux” that everyone hates and has it in for the book’s protagonist, Michael Talbot.

There’s something comforting to me about curling up on the couch or my bed with a blanket, my dogs and brand new book. The possibilities seem endless as I anticipate seeing the world through someone Else’s eyes. I equate it to watching a movie, only it’s in ULTRA HD. A movie where you yourself create how your characters look, a world that you interpret from an author’s eyes, it’s sometimes like connecting to someone through words despite being oceans away.

Sure, books may not have the same texture and smells as they once did as we convert over to EPUBS and Kindles, but the words are the same. I still await the journey of the written word with an excited fervor that rivals opening night of the latest Star Wars installment or Harry Potter something. I am always full of hope on that first page, sometimes my expectations aren’t met- there are still crappy writers out there, but there are A LOT of great ones waiting to be discovered. I am really in to Indie authors lately; as more and more authors turn to the world of self publishing to get their written works out there, it’s now easier than ever to pick up a great book for $.99 or $2.99 which is still WAY cheaper than heading to your local bookstore. I literally have hundreds of books just lying in wait to be read. Today I’m reading my most recent purchase from the Kindle store, “Moribund Tales” by author Erik Hofstatter, it’s a short story compilation and I’m already on the second story. So far, very entertaining and extremely well written. It’s only $2.99 on Kindle/Amazon- give it a go today!

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Read Lots,

Sparky

*PHOTO courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net “Smiling Young Woman Showing Books” by imagerymajestic

Posted in Book Review, Books, E Books, Fiction, Reading, Zombie Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canada Day and Woes of 40

20140701-014528-6328646.jpg Canada Day, July 1st which is our equivalent to the American holiday, the 4th of July, doesn’t just mean babecues, fireworks and a paid day off work, it means that my birthday is about a week away. This year, I’m turning 40..! How the hell did this happen? In the blink of an eye I went from a young woman to a middle aged woman. Ugh. MIDDLE AGED. This is how we perpetually think of our Mothers. Old, middle aged, pleated pants wearing, concerned with sales and the cost of heating, 6 o’clock news watching, gas passing, laughing randomly at inappropriate times, woman. It probably wouldn’t bother me as much if I didn’t have so many younger people in my life, it makes me wonder if they see me like that. I mean, I don’t wear pleated pants… Yet.

There was a time when people’s heads would turn and look at me as I walked to work, I was attractive, of course at that time I didn’t think so. Not really, I mean- I knew I wasn’t a hideous Shrek, but… If I knew then what I know now I would have embraced my youth more. I spent so much of it sleeping late, watching Melrose Place, and concerning myself with pleasing other people. That’s how it goes though right? As you age you are filled with increasing regrets. For example, I really regret being so filled with angst in my youth that I wasted it away. I blame Kurt Cobain for this. Of course, he chose the chicken shit way out, he thought it was better to die than to fade away. Thanks Kurt, for leaving a legion of fans with nothing but depressing music and a lack of hope in the future.

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Nowadays, I have more of a chance that heads will turn to look at me because I have sneezed loudly, had a “sneak away” fart, or ran my shopping cart in to an end cap at the grocery store. I am that woman who you allow to cross at a crosswalk only to have her trip over her own giant man feet along the way. Yes, I am that awkward.

It would seem the first 40 years flew by, in a flash of various hair styles/colors, men, (until I came out as a lesbian), friends, illnesses and a plethora of residences. What I have to show for it now is a trail of dead end jobs, night terrors, chronic illness and a killer sense of humor. I am married with dogs so that’s a highlight. I also have a fish, but quite frankly, he’s an asshole. I refuse to shed light on the life of “Steve: The Betta” a mystery he is and a mystery he shall remain.

I’d like to say, what do the next 40 years have in store for me? But I’m realist and a smoker (at the time of writing this) so- maybe 20 years if I’m lucky.

I can tell I’m aging because I worry about different things than I used to. I used to worry that my make up wasn’t perfect or I had an unruly cowlick sticking up. I worried that friends were mad at me, whether I’d have money to go out with, whether my bra strap would break at school and I’d have to walk around campus ALL DAY with one jiggly boob. Things I worry about now are whether it will rain the following day causing an arthritis flare up making me cranky and miserable, or if I have to be somewhere that I REALLY don’t want to be the next day. Will I have a satisfying bowel movement in the morning? These are my thoughts.

I’m hoping that the saying, “40 is the new 30” is true. I mean mentally, I’m much younger; I’m a total goof, plus I have dimples which in my opinion, makes you appear younger than you actually are. My hopes for the future are to simply feel happy and fulfilled. It sounds so easy when you break it down in to two simple words doesn’t it? I struggle with feeling happy because of Fibromyalgia, arthritis and the depression that comes with that and years of trauma and struggle. I plan to work on this in the future, to enjoy the good moments more and dismiss the bad ones. I want to spend this phase of my life focusing on family and those I consider family. I want to be less selfish in my misery and be stronger to cope with it. I want to focus on the things that really matter and not waste time on the trivial. I also want to focus on my health in hopes of gaining some reprise from daily pain and chronic fatigue.

I will be devoting more of my time reaching my writing goals. I would love to publish a book of short stories, possibly a novel or a screenplay. I have lots of ideas, I just need the discipline and patience to bring them to fruition.

How do you feel about turning 40? Or if you have turned 40, did it affect you at all? Did you fixate on it or feel apprehensive about it? I’d love to hear from you in my comments.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sparky.

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Images

“Canadian Flag On Grunge Paper ” by sippakorn www.freedigitalphotos.net
“Number Forty Surprise Box Means Unexpected Celebration Or Party” by Stuart Miles www.freedigitalphotos.net Continue reading

Posted in aging, Coping, humor, Musings, Women | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments