Archive for the Life Category

The Makings of a Mortician?

Posted in Creepy, Death, Life with tags , , , , , , , on March 31, 2015 by Stephanie Selby

MorticianSo posts are finally starting to pick up! This is the first proper one in quite some time. I hope I can keep this up.

It’s this stint I’m doing for Americorp that has kept me away; basically I’m tutoring kids with their reading skills. It’s nice to finally have a more long-term job that will help with paying off some of my student loans, but it’s very time consuming. Seems the difficulty of working over forty hours a week, plus having a social life, plus swimming on a regular basis has seriously cut into my ability to write. When I manage to have some free time I find myself taking a nap instead of doing something useful.

It’s not as bad as it sounds at all! I’ve learned a few things about myself volunteering with children. Mostly that I like kids. When I first started I was really worried I would discover that I was the kind of person that don’t enjoy their company. While they can be overwhelming at times and not everyone’s cut out for it, I found I can take it in stride. I especially enjoy the kindergarteners. Their energy can be difficult to contend with, but have got to be the funniest kids in the whole darn school.

For some time I was thinking about becoming a teacher. The kids are great, you get a lot of time off, and even though the pay isn’t great I’m not looking to get rich anyway. On the other hand there’s the parents, the administration, evaluations, state-run testing… Those parts of teaching are not so fun.

The truth is in order to be a good teacher and deal with all the nonsense, you really have to be dedicated to the job. As a writer who’s looking for a fulfilling day job in case things don’t work out, it didn’t sound like the profession for me. I know I’ll be happy to raise up some kids of my own someday, but the drive to teach kids isn’t high on my list of passions. At least not as high as a teacher’s should be.

So what are my aspirations? Writing’s the main goal, but what if I never become the next Stephen King or Neil Gaiman? What will I do then? I believe I may have stumbled across the answer. Considering my interests it’s weird why I haven’t considered it sooner.

Not too long ago a Reddit user studying to become a mortician posted an AMA on /r/creepy. I was intrigued by the user’s answers and delved further by looking into a YouTube channel they recommended. From there I became acquainted with Caitlin Doughty and her Ask a Mortician series. I binge-watched her videos and picked up her book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory (I may write more about it if the fancy strikes me). Suffice to say working with the dead sound like a fascinating and fulfilling career choice!

So the plan is to save some cash while I’m volunteering with Americorp, then find a job in the funeral industry that doesn’t require a license. Perhaps transporting bodies or operating a cremation oven like Doughty herself. After some time I’ll likely figure out if the profession is right for me and if so, try to get into a school with a mortuary science program. I fully intend to continue writing throughout this process and I’ll keep you up to date with my thoughts on the matter. Here’s to a new journey!

Kitsap Coutnty Haunted Fairgrounds 2014

Posted in Halloween, Life, Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

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With the Halloween season in full swing, the haunted house attractions have returned! I always attend the Kitsap County’s Haunted Fairgrounds, and you can read last year’s review here.

This year follows a creepy New Orleans theme, complete with a crypts, clowns, and bayou full of swamp monsters with a running waterfall.  Many of the effects and set pieces are impressive to see and I love to find out what they will come up with next. KCHF has always been a technically impressive haunted attraction, especially in comparison to others in the Puget Sound area.

We arrived at the fairgrounds pretty early to avoid overcrowding. I tend to become annoyed when haunted attractions get too crowded and I run into or get lumped together with random strangers. It breaks the feeling of immersion for me and becomes much less scary. I suppose this could be a matter of preference, but if you feel the same way I’d recommend following my advice and arrive as early as possible.

The opening for this year’s event was a little underwhelming. You may recall that last year we were first ‘scanned’ to check for infections and went through a short maze with a man in a bio hazard suit yelling at us. That wasn’t the case this year, as the maze was barren of everyone but one old woman. I was somewhat disappointed.

That feeling quickly changed as we left the first barn and walked up the pathway to the next, as there were several lovely hearses parked for viewing! The best part was that their respective owners were there to greet people. We stayed there a little longer than most talking to the owners of each one, asking about the vehicles’ details and about how they acquired them. Some were even kind enough to let me climb into them for a closer look. I even had my picture taken lying in one! It makes me really want to get one for myself someday.

Last year, I had some slight complaints about one of the maze sections that made it a little hard to navigate. Fortunately that part’s been done away with and we had no problems making our way through. Although I did miss the skinless man I saw last year – his outfit was so cool!

There is one character form the 2014 haunt that sticks out in my memory. A creepy clown woman that we met in the black-lit area of the attraction. I caught her attention because my jacket really reacted to the lighting, and her dialogue really managed to freak my sister and I out. She got up so close to me that all I could really do was shut my eyes and hope she went away!

KCHF will be running every Friday and Saturday night throughout October, as well as November 1st. If you’re in the area, check it out!

 

No Weird Video This Week!

Posted in Life, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 14, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Oh noes!

Once again, I don’t have a video of my own to post today. I just got a new computer recently, so I’m still taking some time getting acquainted. I’d like to share with you all one from my little collection on Youtube, but for some strange reason the site isn’t working for me right now. I’m kind of between a rock and a hard place at this point, but with luck next week will run much more smoothly. My advice: go outside for a change and enjoy the increasing sunlight and temperatures!

Weird Video of the Week

Posted in Life, War, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Another Friday to share something new. I would have like to make you all a new video myself, but currently my computer and I are going through a breakup and I’m looking for a new electronic companion.

In the meantime I’d like to show you an eerie little advertisement that shows how war can drastically change a child’s life in a single year. Share how you feel in the comments.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 2: Time Kills

Posted in Children, Creepy, In the News, Life, Memes, Review, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

You cannot believe how happy I am to know that they made a sequel to the original! I’m starting to hope that this spawns a series of some kind. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Much like the previous video, its meaning can be difficult to understand. Many theories abound already, but I’d like to throw in my own two cents into the discussion.

Does anyone else notice that mere objects are calling the shots in these videos?

Does anyone else notice that mere objects are calling the shots for living characters?

As with the first DHMIS video, this one also addresses themes of indoctrination of accepted ways of thinking. Instead of conventional ideas about creativity, it’s now all about time. The clock teaches the other characters what time is and how it’s used for organization and measurement, even when they object to the schedule he has set. He also appears to control their actions and won’t let them take part in activities that he perceives as wasteful.

Don’t ask me about the guy covered in slime and talking about batteries. I don’t get it either. The best I can come up with is that the harmful aspects of our history is generally swept under the rug when we teach kids history. If somebody else has a better idea, I encourage you to share.

As they all begin to talk about the future, the trio become aware of mortality by the death of an old man, but the clock quickly changes the subject to a more positive outlook about modern technology. So often our society discourages the contemplation of serious subjects like death in favor of focusing on minor distractions like material goods.

The fish in the next part shows how time can be repetitive. The schedules that we make for ourselves repeat over and over. Eventually one part of our day can feel much like another if it’s repeated enough.

Astute viewers may notice at 2:40 the display the duck is pointing to has Einstein’s famous mass-energy equivalence formula, but instead of energy, it equals a swastika. It’s a striking juxtaposition; a mathematical formula from a scientist with a Jewish background inexplicably calculating to a symbol of the Nazi regime. It’s something that  I can’t help but compare it to the 2+2=5 equation from 1984.

Obviously the clock isn’t too happy that the other characters are discussing and debating the entire concept of time, questioning if it even exists or perhaps a creation of humans. He wants them to think that it’s an important tool and respect him as well. Their ideas aren’t what he wants from them. Drowning out the conversation until one’s ears bleed is definitely one way to prevent a group from thinking!

The clock punishes them further by making time pass quickly, horribly aging them and making them start to rot. The clock stands by looking angrily at them as they beg him to make this torture stop. He will make these character respect him through the power that he has over their lives.

The final scene reveals all that has happened is the only the show they were waiting for in the beginning. Events have come full circle, but even though the characters are back at the beginning, distinct marks have been left behind. Colors are quite dull in the final shot, there’s an eyeball on the floor, and a picture on the wall has changed to ‘nothing’: the clock’s idea of the future. This represents how the characters have now accepted the conventional idea of time; to schedule repeating patterns and focus on unimportant moments rather than bigger issues, making their colorful lives duller. The eye on the floor is a sign that they have become distinctly aware of their mortality and eventually they will run out of the time and die.

I’d love to hear what other people have to say about this video! Feel free to comment.

Holiday Special

Posted in Apocalypse, Life, Music, Nuclear War, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2013 by Stephanie Selby

Truth be told I don’t actually celebrate Christmas. More me, the big holiday is Yule which falls on the winter solstice. That doesn’t mean we all can’t have a nice time together though, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite seasonal music. Gather round the family and enjoy some creepy holiday cheer!

 

First, we have apocalyptic delirium….

 

And who can call it a holiday without a little Lovecraft?

 

And finally something normal to balance the weirdness! I much prefer the old classics.

I Hate Hookerween

Posted in Halloween, Humor, Life, Memes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by Stephanie Selby

With October’s arrival, a lot of people are starting to make their plans for the best holiday of the year: Halloween! I love it and all its trappings; scary storytelling, spooky decorations, candy, and dressing up in creative ways are just some of the many things I love about it.

However, there is one aspect of Halloween that has evolved in recent years that has come to annoy me. This is the ‘sexy halloween’ costumes that have come to be a traditional part of Halloween festivities.

First, let me assure you that I’m not a prude who thinks all women ought to dress like it’s the 1950’s again. Women can and should be able to dress in any manner they please, and should be given respect no matter what they choose to wear. I know there are a lot of ladies out there who like to show a little skin and have some adult-themed fun on Halloween night. However that doesn’t mean I cannot disagree with another woman’s dress choices and give my reasons why, and let me tell you, there are a lot of reasons why I have to disagree with all this. Particularly some of the skimpier revisions to all kinds of costumes.

Sexy Versions of Male Horror Villains

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I cannot begin to tell you how wrong this is! The fact that these costumes aren’t remotely like the villains in slasher flicks is the last of many issues to come to mind. This could only be the result of some guy looking at a serial killer like Freddy Kruger or Chucky and thinking ‘man, if that guy was a chick, I’d totally bang her!’ Is this an attempt to reconcile the fact that most sexy costumes for women aren’t scary, are designers just running out of ideas at this point, or will they make a skimpy women’s version for just about anything?

Sexy Cartoon Characters

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Sexy Big Bird, sexy Spongebob, and so many others: just why? Do the men of the world really want to mess around with the cartoons of their childhood? If you’re looking for attention or a good time or something, why bring nostalgia into it?  There’s no need people!

If you insist on being a sexy cartoon character, may I suggest Jessica Rabbit? She’s a cool character, and you don’t have to change a thing about her outfit to turn heads!

Lingerie costumes

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Or at least they look like lingerie to me. I’ve seen lingerie versions of superhero costumes, animal costumes, and much more. Just about every costume you can think of has a lingerie version to go with it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought lingerie was supposed to be ladies’ underwear. Sure it’s very pretty underwear that many women enjoy wearing, but people generally don’t go out on the town in nothing but their undergarments. Sticking a pair of cat or rabbit ears on your head doesn’t change that. Is it so wrong to wear a nice dress on or something?

Ethnic stereotypes

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I’m sure many of you remember the ‘We’re a Culture, Not a Costume‘ thing that happened a few years ago. While I’m of the opinion that most ethnic costumes are harmless and have no ill intent behind them, I understand where these college kids were coming from. I don’t like most of these costumes because they tend to be just plain tacky, terrible costumes. In many cases these costumes are supposed to be humorous, but I’m not laughing – I just find it dumb.

It’s one thing to wear a beautiful kimono, or a traditional spanish dress, or put on a cool mariachi band outfit, it’s totally another to use cultural fashion as a means to show off some skin. I’m 100% certain that real geishas and Native American women have never dressed like this. Please don’t bring foreign cultures into all this!

Every Woman’s Costume is for Hookerween`

Or it least it seems that way. Go to the women’s section and try to find an outfit that doesn’t. I can assure you, unless you grab a few plus-sized ones, you’re going to be hard pressed to find costumes that fit this criteria. Even if you do manage to find something, choices will be limited. As much as women have the right to wear revealing clothing if they want, women should also have the option for more modest attire. Women that don’t want to wear these kinds of clothes probably have to make their own costumes or are pretty much SOL.

I’m sure you’re guessing that I’m making my own costume this year. You would be right. I don’t expect this trend to disappear anytime soon, I just wish that people would tone it down so more choices and creativity can come to the Halloween season.