Tag Archives: ideas

Ideas for Halloween you probably already had (but should repeat again anyway)

With just a week left until Halloween (cue my approaching sob fest), there are still so many ways left to celebrate this most beloved (albeit scary) time of year. I’m sure no one is as much of a horror/Halloween enthusiast as me (read: crazy person), but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the same means of haunted celebration as I do. For those of you last-minute tricksters, here are a few fun holiday ideas you can still squeeze into this last week of the best month of the year (best for me, anyway…).

Jack the Pumpkin King and Zero. BFFs.

Jack the Pumpkin King and Zero. BFFs.

Carve pumpkins. I mean, duh, c’mon. It’s sort of a no-brainer when it comes to this Halloween tradition. The last week of October is actually the perfect time to do it, so that you can have a chance to enjoy your carvings but so that they don’t rot before the trick-or-treaters arrive, like some people’s pumpkins will who tried to be all overachievers about it and carved them weeks ago. Just saying. My twist this year, though, is to make it something worth a little more to you than the standard toothy-grinned pumpkins of Halloweens past. Surprisingly, I have never carved a Nightmare Before Christmas pumpkin (shocking, I know, but that’s mainly because I can’t draw for crap and no one has ever offered to stencil something for me until now), so it seemed only fitting that my boyfriend and I carve our first pumpkins together using his skills as a graphic designer/artist and my skills as an obsessed NBC fan. Errr, yeah. But they came out awesome, so whatever.

Indulge in cinematic horror (but not actual horror). Ever the scary movie fanatic, I highly encourage you to indulge in at least one or two horror movies before the month is up. I have so many favorites, the list could go on forever, but if you’re looking for a good variety, check out my posts from years past here, here and here.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And if you are, I’ll just come for you in the night while you sleep.

Terrified. And the Three Little Pigs.

Terrified. And the Three Little Pigs.

Attend all the scary things. What would Halloween be without haunted houses and other scary attractions of the like? I took a break this year from the overly-commercialized Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, mainly because of how long the drive is, how expensive tickets are and how much of your night is spent standing in line (because the quality of scare is 10 out of 10, but the other factors make it drop pretty low on my favorites list). Instead, I sought out some local haunts I’d never been to before, dragged all my friends to them, and I have to say I was incredibly satisfied with both the level of scare and the price of admission (definitely adding The Haunted Angelus Scream Park and The Radley Haunted House to my list of annual Halloween events in the Tampa Bay area).

If anyone has anything to add to my (rather dull) list, let me know. I’m trying to hold on to Halloween as tightly as I can in hopes that this year, maybe, just maybe, it will last a little longer than its usual 31 days…

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A lazy Sunday idea

So my boyfriend and I had the ingenious idea of buying inflatable pool floaties and just being lazy on the water all day yesterday. It was pretty much the best idea we’ve had yet, and we’ve had some good ones, so you know this one must have been awesome, but only because I’m telling you it was awesome, because you weren’t even there, so what the fuck do you know about anything?

Err..moving on.

With our styrofoam cooler floating in the water next to us- stocked with snacks and delicious adult beverages, of course (beers for him, fruity mixed drinks for me)- pretty good weather and a quiet, secluded spot in the water, we couldn’t have asked for a better setup. And even when we realized hey, we’ve drifted pretty far away from the beach and into open water, I really didn’t seem to care that we probably wouldn’t make it back alive. I had the sun, the sea and my man, what else did I need? Who really cared if we drowned, right?

Wrong. Apparently I cared if we drowned. A few storm clouds started to move in and it started to rain lightly (but even then I was still unfazed by our predicament). Once darker clouds started rolling in, though, and the water started to get choppy, and I realized I wasn’t making any headway trying to paddle myself back to shore, I started to freak out a little internally, but only because I almost washed away to sea once. Perfectly legitimate reason to be scared, right?

Now I suppose this is the part where I tell that story, huh?

One time I was on a sailboat with my dad and a few friends. And we anchored so we could swim and I jumped in and my friend jumped in and we started floating away because we couldn’t fight the current back to the boat, so my dad had to jump in with a rope and save us. And our life preserver/buoy/rafts drifted away into the abyss, never to be seen again (probably picked up by the Coast Guard). The end.

I’m not really even sure where this post was going in the first place (not like I ever really have a direction that makes sense when I’m blogging, anyway). But basically the moral of the story is that in the future, my boyfriend and I need to keep ourselves beached if we’re planning on floating aimlessly (or invest in a tiny baby anchor). Although it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, because the water was probably only chest deep, but I’d rather drown than put my feet down in those nasty, murky, weedy, mushy waters.

And to make this post even more useless and irrelevant, because I didn’t even get a picture of either one of us doing the lazy float thing (because let’s face it, who has time for selfies when you’re busy being lazy and float-y?), here’s a picture of a dog being lazy instead:

Basically what I looked like. I'm not quite this tan though.

Basically what I looked like. I’m not quite this tan though.

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Where’s the app for that?

I wish there was a way to control what your dreams were about each night. Because I’m sick of having all these scary, overwhelming dreams all the time. And not scary in the traditional sense (because everyone knows how obsessed I am with horror, so I wouldn’t mind those types of dreams), I’m talking about the kind of dreams that make you wake up confused, wondering if something has gone awry in your life that you just didn’t recall until this very moment. I’ve had crappy stuff go down in dreams only to wake up thinking it was real, with that gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach because something shitty just happened that I wish hadn’t. Then I remember it only happened in my dream, not in real life, but the uneasy feeling lingers, making me feel miserable and depressed for the rest of my life. Well, at least for the rest of the morning. And I know they say your dreams are linked to your subconscious, so whatever you’re dreaming about must have been on your mind to begin with. But I disagree, because I dream about situations and people that I couldn’t give two shits about anymore all the time (which is really quite annoying, because then I’m just reminded of them when I had forgotten them in the first place. So thanks for that, subconscious. You suck.). So they are wrong (whoever “they” are).

This is the part where I could lapse into some convoluted ramble about dreams and why we dream about what we dream about and get into that whole overwhelming debate about “what it all means” and what’s the bigger picture, but I’m not going to. Because I don’t care (well, mostly I just don’t have the energy to write about such abstract ideas because I just woke up from a shitty dream and my brain is busy trying to get over it). And besides, that isn’t what this post is about, anyway. It’s about the brilliant idea I had about how to control our dreams.

Someone should create an app for it. There, that was my big idea. Thanks for reading. Bye.

No, but really, I wish there was a machine, or more preferably, an app that allowed you to control what you dreamt about each night. It would be fairly simple, actually. All you would do is input the information the dream requires to exist, such as setting, characters, plot; much like writing your own short story, only you could change and rewrite it every single night for the rest of you life, if that’s what you wanted. Only the data entered into the machine would be allowed into the dream, so you’re guaranteeing no shitty thoughts seep through. The app would then plug directly into your brain’s central command center (I’m thinking we get some WiFi happening there, and hook it up wirelessly, because it would probably hurt a little bit otherwise), and your brain would receive directions from the app on how to construct the perfect dream (at least the perfect dream for you, everyone’s will be different obvi). And that’s it, your brain would only create dreams that were designed specifically by you, easy peasy. And if for some reason you didn’t want to dream that night, you just set the app to its standby setting (because everything has a standby mode, why would this app be any different?) and your brain would allow a soft blanket of blackness to wash over you as you sleep, with no dreams to interfere with your perfect slumber.

So there. I’ve put the idea out there into the cyber-verse, now some tech geek please come along, steal my idea, develop it and send me the first prototype so I can start having more pleasant dreams. About rainbow dinosaurs. Living in a tropical paradise. Where it’s Halloween year round.

My app will crush this app. Although Apple will probably develop & sell my app for me. So I guess I'm competing with myself. Damnit.

My app will crush this app. Although Apple will probably develop & sell my app for me. So I guess I’m competing with myself. Damnit.

I’m also going to pretend I didn’t just Google “apps that make dreams better” only to find Apple already created a dream-controlling app. Mother fuckers. Mine will still be better. So you can suck on that, Apple. Oh wait, you’re probably going to be the ones who monopolize my buying audience, so I guess I should be nice. No, screw you for stealing my idea. I hate you. But really I love you. I’m going to go purchase this app right now. Let you guys know how it turns out.

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From the strange minds of children

We’ve been heavy into FCAT the last few weeks at work, so I figured I’d give my kids a break today with a fun writing exercise. Basically, I gave each student a different story start and they had about 5 minutes to continue the story. When it was time to switch, they each had to continue the stories their peers had started until it was time to switch again and finish the stories. So they got to collaborate on different stories in a fun way. Working with elementary students, I can usually expect to get silly responses when it comes to creative writing, but there are always a few that are especially goofy and make even me laugh when the kids are presenting. Here are two of my favorites:

When I got to school today, there was a new girl in my class. I walked over to her and asked her what her name was and I asked her where she was from and she said she was from Mars. Then I just ran away because she was an alien. She was sick so every time she coughed on someone, she turned them into an alien. Then there was a new kid in the other class named Eliot. Eliot liked her and kissed her. Eliot turned into an alien. Everyone was shocked. But then her father came and said “come on dear” and then he saw Eliot and said “what a handsome boy you are and you and my daughter will get married and we will have a lovely feast and have a party.” The end.

When I was walking home from school, I saw an elephant in the middle of the road. Then there was a BMW coming toward the elephant, then the BMW hit the elephant and he went to Uranus and he had a broken leg. Then Sacajawea popped out of his head and said “the wind will carry you to the place.” The elephant was very hungry and thirsty so Sacajawea had some food and water but the elephant was still hungry so he ate Sacajawea. The elephant was highly trained but it destroyed Mars, and Earth. The end.

It may not be award-winning material, but these kids sure know how to entertain me.

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A few of my (ever-delightful) theories on Christmas (that are sure to piss off the Catholics)

Now that Christmas is fully upon us (it’s Christmas Eve already? WTF), it’s time to clear up a few things about the popular holiday. There are more than a few lies going around about this whole Christmas business, so of course, being my typical opinionated self, I figured I’d dabble in my own theories on the joy and wonder that is Christmas.

Santa Claus is supposed to be mysterious and unseen, not ho-ho-hoing at me while I shop for overpriced gifts. I’m all about the real Santa but I’m not too fond of the idea of getting a picture taken with some creepy wannabe at the mall. If you think about it, every department store Santa whose lap you’ve ever sat on was just some creepy fat guy who put on a red suit and fake beard (unless he had a real one, which is more likely these days). Without the red suit, he would just be some creepy fat guy and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t let my kids sit on the lap of someone who is probably a pedophile. Just saying. I wonder if the department store Santas have to endure a rigorous screening process before being hired?

And even if I did agree with the idea of letting my child sit on some strange man’s lap, doesn’t that kind of kill the magic of Santa Claus? Because that child is going to believe one of two things. 1. They are going to think the creepy man’s lap they are sitting awkwardly upon is the real  Santa Claus, thus ruining the magic. You aren’t supposed to see Santa, you’re just supposed to know he’s there and he’s always watching (also creepy, what about when I’m on the toilet? I don’t want him seeing that). Or 2. they are going to know he isn’t the real Santa, because c’mon, how many fake Santas do you see over the course of about two months? They clearly can’t all be the real Santa, so then you have to wonder why are there so many impersonators? And if this is an impersonator, and you are acknowledging the fact that he’s not the real Santa but simply a fraud, what the hell are you doing sitting on his lap? This is just going to confuse kids and make them resent their parents, who have forced them to, essentially, cuddle up to some strange, smelly man they don’t know. Clearly why most photos with Santa end up looking like this:

scared santa

Retail stores invented the idea of gift-giving. Just like most holidays, I’m convinced it’s the retail stores that somehow incorporated the idea of spending money at Christmastime. I like buying people presents; nothing delights me more than watching their faces light up when they unwrap that thing they’ve been hoping for all year. But we live in such a consumerist society that it makes me vomit in my mouth just a teeny bit. I turned on the news this morning only to hear about mass graves in South Sudan, meanwhile people here in my country are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to buy last-minute presents for people who probably don’t deserve them anyway. If we’re going to spend money and give gifts, why not give them to the people that actually need them? A few years ago, I suggested to my family we no longer buy each other Christmas presents. As the baby of the family, it seemed a bit silly to be buying presents for each other when we could be putting that money spent to better use. For the last few years, instead of buying friends and family presents they really didn’t need, I’ve been buying presents to donate to Toys for Tots. So the next time you’re about to ask someone to buy you something for Christmas, maybe think about how lucky you are to have the things you already do have and ask them to spread the wealth, instead.

And for that matter, if you want to argue that the idea of gift-giving came from the idea that three kings (it was 3, right?) brought baby Jesus presents on his birthday, which is “supposedly” why we celebrate Christmas in the first place (tell that to anyone who buys Christmas presents), well then why does everyone else get presents? Shouldn’t we just be buying them for a tiny, baby-Jesus-like person? Or just leaving them in a barn somewhere?

I’m going to hell for that one. Moving on.

Anti-environmentalists started the tradition of the Christmas tree. I think it’s pretty obvious that anyone who hates the environment would decide to chop down an Evergreen and put it up on display in their living room. Now don’t get me wrong, my family and I used to cut down our own tree every year when I was younger, and it was one of my favorite traditions. The lights,  the ornaments, the smell of the pine needles permeating the house. But I would still mourn the loss of that tree’s life, especially once the season was over and we had nothing to do but haul the dying tree out to the woods to rot. It’s very similar to the idea of mourning the turkey I eat on Thanksgiving. I’m still going to eat it, and it’s still going to taste delicious, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor bastard, simply because someone long ago decided a turkey would be the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite in your eyes, but I don’t really give a tiny rat’s ass. Besides, this post isn’t about my hypocrisy in life, of which there is probably an abundance, it’s about my theories on Christmas. Anyway, I can’t imagine why people are so eager to destroy the plant and animal life around them, without ever any regard for any other living thing but themselves. It’s like when I am constantly yelling at my students for ripping the leaves off of trees, reminding them that they wouldn’t like it if someone pulled their fingers off one by one. Oh, you don’t want me teaching your child? Get over it.

cat ate birdChristians clearly feel the need to one-up the Jews. Think about it. Jews have 8 days of Hanukkah while Christians feel they need to have Twelve Days of Christmas. Who invented that song, anyway? What the hell is a partridge doing in a pear tree, and why would anyone want that? If you ask me, those are terrible gifts to receive.

I have so many more theories about Christmas, life, the universe, everything… But I think that’s enough to get your own brain thinking as you tear through your presents tomorrow morning. Or at the very least, I’ve given you something to bring to the dinner table tomorrow when you can’t take anymore of your great-aunt’s cheek-pinching or your baby cousin’s crying or your uncle’s inappropriate comments.

Until next year, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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