All posts filed under: Strange Thoughts

Creature Feature Starring Autumn Arachnids

Before I moved to North Carolina four years ago one of my co-workers gave me a warning: “It’s nice down there” she said, “but all the bugs are bigger.” I should have known that warning would apply to the spiders as well. Since I arrived here in Charlotte, I’ve noticed the brightly colored arachnids known as fall spiders emerge each September, spinning large webs spanning up to three feet in height and usually a foot across. I’ve always wondered why these creatures seem to appear at the beginning of fall, only to disappear again by November. A quick search of the internet reveals a slightly unsettling explanation. It turns out that these spiders are around all year, and are just more active during their mating season, which starts in September. This is actually true for many species, including house spiders. In fact, if you think you notice more spiders in your home during the fall, you can rest assured knowing that they are actually there all year round, and are emerging from the corners and …

Point and Click

During a study break my senior year of college I noticed a link to an online game that a friend had posted on Facebook, and gave it a look out of curiosity. Although, calling it a game really doesn’t do it justice, 99 Rooms is really more of an interactive piece of art. Developed from photography of abandoned spaces in East Berlin and released in 2004, it is an atmospheric point and click game that has players complete a task to advance through each room. It was the perfect distraction after a long week of tests, simple to play, but eerie and immersive. In my search to find more games like it, I stumbled upon the game review website jayisgames.com. It was a huge resource for online games, with reviews, tips and walk throughs. By combing the site I found many other unusual games to play, and I was hooked. Some were simple “on the rails” point and click experiences, and others were more challenging and interactive with multiple outcomes. I was hooked. When writing …

Dr. Goodnight

No matter what I’m doing, I’m listening. Especially at work. I can type an email, answer a call, fill out a report, and eavesdrop on a conversation with ease. And since I have an unusual job that includes high level work, like overseeing the debt collections efforts for 15 managers, and the more entry level task of manning a reception desk at the same time, I overhear a lot. Last week an executive waiting for the elevator turned to the colleague he with and said, “I think this meeting is going to go well, but it’s a shame Dr. Goodnight couldn’t make it.” Dr. Goodnight? Who the hell is that? I have mentioned before that I can’t name the gigantic corporation I work for, but I can assure you, we are not in the healthcare industry. And what a name, fit for a Bond villain, or perhaps an assassin. Now I want to name every villian I write in a story Dr. Goodnight.

Lunch Break Playlist

This summer I’ve been locked in a battle of epic proportions with my building’s management company over the air conditioning. Despite the fact that everyone in the office is walking around and sweaters, I can’t get them to raise the temp above 69 degrees. It may not sound very cold, but it feels frigid after sitting at a desk for eight hours! Consequently, I prefer eating my lunch outside on the patio, headphones on, catching up on blogs I follow while I enjoy some fresh air and thaw out. This week I’ve been listing to a witchy playlist inspired by Netflix’s The Chilling Adventure’s of Sabrina, which I’ve been catching up on in the mornings before work. It’s definitely making me pine for fall and Halloween! Check out my playlist, and comment below if you have a witchy song you would add!   Witchy Playlist A Little Wicked, Valerie Broussard I Put a Spell on You, Brigitte Wickens Teeth, Lady Gaga Suspiria, Goblin Cry Little Sister, Marilyn Manson Circles Out of Salt, Snow Ghosts Black Magic Woman, VCTRYS The Way That I Feel, Danielle Parente Empire, Shakira Bad Things, Jace …

When Words Fail

Every time a mass shooting occurs, I try to write a poem about how I feel. It never works The words never come together. The next best thing I can do is go someplace peaceful, preferably near water.  I find the sound of gently lapping water soothing, as many people do. It’s not quite enough to soothe the empty hollowness I feel every time I see another news story, but it helps. ********** I started writing this on Saturday after reading about the El Paso Texas shooting. I woke up on Sunday only to discovery there had been another in Dayton, Ohio. I didn’t have the heart to finish. I think my feelings at this point are best summed up by Conan O’Brian’s reaction to the Las Vegas shooting in 2017:

Four Reasons to Go to the Movie Theater this Summer

The amount of people heading to the movie theater has dwindled noticeable since the early 2000s, and the reasons why can be boiled down to four major ones. Prices for tickets have gone up, the amount of good movies being made has gone down, the emergence of streaming services, and increasing quality of television shows. But there are still really good reasons to make the trip to the movies this summer, here are the four that keep me buying tickets. Ticket sales determine what movies get made next.  It can be argued that movie theaters are flooded with remakes and sequels, but among those, original, inventive movies are still being released. A few examples from 2019 are Us, Midsomer, and The Farewell. But if you want to see more original films, you have to see them in the theater and essentially vote with your money on what type of movie you want to see made next. Although in defense of sequels and remakes, it’s also been argued that there are only 7 basic plot lines that all stories are based on. …

Three Genres to Read if You’re Burned Out This Summer

I have been bemoaning my lack of reading for months. No matter what novel I leave on my nightstand, it seems that between my full time office job and writing for this blog, I’m too tired to focus. So I’ve gone back to my bookshelves for books that are easier reading, and came up with three genres to read if your brain is a little burned out this summer. Graphic Novels The illustrations of a graphic novel make them easier reads when you’re tired, but that doesn’t keep them from touching on complex or darker themes. V for Vendetta and The Watchmen are both great reads if you need an easier read that still has adult storylines. Through the Woods is a beautifully illustrated anthology with darker stories. Photography/Art Books Books that center around a specific artist/photographer, magazine, or museum are great, because you get a lot of beautiful images and a little background on each one of them. I just picked up Elephant House, a photography book dedicated to the home of Edward Gorey, …

Plot Twist (Update)

I’ve finally gotten everything squared away with my insurance company after my accident last week. Unfortunately my car was deemed a total loss, but they are giving me a much bigger payout than expected! I was able to pick up the check and buy a new car today, and will be back to my regular writing schedule this week. ********* Unfortunately I was rear ended last night and will be sorting things out for a few days. Hope to be back with good news soon! Luckily the other driver and I are both ok.

How Haunted Houses Prepared Me For Emergancies

Every time I visit a haunted house, one thing inevitable occurs. No matter how big the group I walk through with is, I always wind up taking the lead at some point.  Usually this occurs during the dreaded pitch black room/maze/hallway that most haunted houses feature. Everyone freezes, as I slowly edge forward and feel for the wall. This is undesirable to most, since each dark room has the possibility of a hidden ghoul waiting to pop out. Some of the really sly houses leave it empty, and let the anticipation heighten exponentially as you move further in. Occasionally the floor has been altered and sinks, or fishing wire is hung from the ceiling (to simulate spider webs). The sudden surface changes and sensations are very disorienting. But I love pushing ahead to see what hidden scares are in the dark rooms. Until 10:30 am on Friday, June 8th, this was not a skill that had real life applications. That morning, I was kneeling in front of a filing cabinet in a storage closet searching …

The Butcherbird

There are a few zoos and parks in the Charlotte area that I visit repeatedly, and every time I go back to one I tell myself the same thing. I am not taking pictures this time. But I do anyways, unable to ignore the compulsion to document every place that I visit with a photo essay. My last visit to the Carolina Raptor Center was no different. I promised myself that I wouldn’t leave with 40 pictures of birds I have already seen multiple times, and a few hours later there I was, angling for the best shots of my favorite vultures. At one point I realized I had been left behind by my husband and sister, and hurried around a corner to catch up. I found them in front of a new display housing a new bird, no larger then a sparrow, hopping around on a thin branch. “Who’s this cute little guy?” I asked. “It’s not cute”, my husband solemnly intoned. “Read the sign.” “Fun Fact” the sign chirped. “We impale our prey!” It turns out the …