Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween - Wrap-Up

Gabriel dressed as a wizard this year for Halloween.
Here he is protecting the kingdom from evil with his magical staff.

The front yard was decorated and our giant skull filled with goodie bags for all the trick or treaters we hoped would come by.

Trick Or Treating didn’t start in earnest until about 7:30 PM and ended at about 9:30 PM. We had a pretty good turn out. Guessing from the treat bags we had left over at the end of the night approximately sixty kids came by the house.

We went up and down the streets in the neighborhood and Gabriel had fun collecting a huge amount of candy Trick Or Treating.

Season also took Gabriel down to the community center to attend a Halloween Carnival. They had games and were giving away candy and prizes. Gabriel won a German chocolate cake in the cake walk, but didn’t take a prize in the costume contest. A Rubix Cube won.

I also didn’t win any prizes for the costume contest at my work.

Instead of my awesome costume these others were picked...

This guy won "Most Creative Costume". First, it's a pre-packaged costume. How is that even remotely creative? Secondly, this costume has to be among the top ten racist costumes sold. I think the HR representative must have missed a few of her own sensitivity courses letting that costume win anything other than an e-mail asking him to change clothes and leave for the rest of the day.

This was the winner of the "Spookiest Costume" prize. She should have been awarded the creative prize. At least she made an effort and created her own costume. Spooky though? She looks like a goth girl who had an accident with a cotton candy machine.

The "Best Costume" prize went to this guy dressed as V from V For Vendetta. Another pre-packaged outfit consisting of black wig, gloves, shirt, pants, boots, cloak, a Guy Fawkes mask and fake knifes. That’s the best costume? Seriously? A character from a 2005 movie dressed all in black. Who the heck was judging this thing?

I put together my own costume. I had a real sword!

It's cause I'm a virtual employee right?

You didn't want to pay the postage to mail me my prize.

Fine, Happy Halloween! You bunch of ding-dongs!

The Voice In The Attic

There was an old farmhouse that, until it was torn down, stood in the middle of a three acre plot of land in Mansfield, Texas.

The land belongs to Season's parents, who had purchased the otherwise barren expanse with the intent of building a home on the northwest edge of the property closest to the main road. The home was built, the perimeter fenced, and the rest of the land used to hold the many pieces of heavy equipment that Season’s step-father, uses for his sand and gravel company. After toying with the idea of renovating the sixty year old farmhouse and turning it into a guest house, they decided against it and now only used it for storage.

Last summer, Season received an invitation from her parents for us to spend a few days at their home, so we packed our overnight bags and made the four hour drive from our home in Oklahoma, looking forward to a pleasant weekend.

For the record, Season and I share an interest in the paranormal. We both enjoy horror movies, scary novels, and the occasional worthwhile spooky documentary. We’ve also tried our hand at "ghost hunting" once during a ghost tour in San Antonio, Texas.

What really captures our imaginations; however, are EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) audio recordings. Some of the anomalies that we had heard on these recordings could easily be written off using more earthbound than otherworldly explanations, yet there are some that even a rational mind must admit are beyond the scope of common experience and understanding.

In any case, beyond having heard or read about such occurrences, we had never had a personal experience involving a disembodied voice.

Not until the weekend that we spent at Season’s parents' home, in July of 2007.

We arrived in Mansfield late on a Friday evening, and after a little catching up, we decided to turn in. Laying awake in bed talking, not quite able to sleep just yet, our conversation turned to the old farmhouse that stood about fifty yards off the south side of the house. I was as much enticed by the farmhouse's seemingly ancient, decrepit beauty as I was impressed by its subtle yet unmistakable air of foreboding. I mentioned how creepy it had looked to me under the light of the moon as we approached the house, and how perfect a setting it seemed for the types of hauntings I was so fond of reading about on dark wintry nights. I asked what it was like inside and she responded by telling me she didn't know, she had never been inside.

"My step-dad never let me inside." "He says it's not safe in there."

At breakfast the next morning though, the notion that I'd planted in her head was alive and kicking and she broached the subject of the old farmhouse with her step-father.

"It's a dangerous place, there's bats in the attic and I don't want you poking around in there," was all he would say when asked about it, attempting to turn the conversation from the subject at hand by asking if we wanted to ride the four wheelers after breakfast.

An hour after breakfast, Season informed me, with a mischievous grin, that we would be "investigating the old farmhouse" just as soon as her step-father headed into town on some errands. Gabriel had gone off with his grandmother to a water park so we would have the whole place to ourselves.

The sun was straight overhead as we approached the doorway of the old farmhouse. We hesitated at the entrance, casting a glance back at the house to ensure no lectures about venturing into unsound structures would be delivered over dinner that night. The door less entryway opened up to a fairly large room crowded with cardboard boxes and a large worktable stacked with various grease stained engine parts. To the right, there was yet another doorway that led into a much smaller room. The way into this room was made impenetrable by more stacks of boxes and crates. Off to the left, I saw an even smaller doorway that exposed a rickety flight of stairs leading, presumably, to the attic above.

The interior was fairly well-lit and we were both engrossed in our own thoughts and busily exploring when we heard the thump overhead.

I wish we'd had a video camera to record our reactions to this sound, because we both nearly jumped out of my skins.

I started to mutter "Did you hear that" when Season cut me off with a swatting of her arm and a sharp "Shhhhh!" Dead silence ensued for the next thirty seconds as we stood there until I finally spoke again in a whisper. "Could be the bats Buddy warned us about?” The noise came again, this time more distinct, not directly overhead but further toward the back, as of something in the far corner of the attic above our heads. Immediately our heads turned toward the doorway to our left, the doorway leading to the short flight of steps into the attic. Season was about to say something when it came a third time, actually loosening dirt from the rafters and punctuated by a dragging shuffle on the floorboards overhead.

I said "It sounds like there's someone up there..."

What we heard next was a voice, soft and low, muffled by the rafters and the overhead floorboards that separated us from the attic and it called the words:

"David, is that you?"

One moment we were in that dark, stuffy farmhouse, the next we were out in the bright sunlight with the breeze blowing in our faces as we stepped lively through the tall grass back toward the main house. It was that quick, that synchronous.

Once away from whatever danger we may have been in or imagined we were in, within the safety of sunlight, you'd think that we would have found ourselves a safe space somewhere and sat talking about what we had heard, or what we thought we had heard, but we didn't. We simply turned heels quickly, left, and not another mention of the experience was had that day until we found ourselves in bed again late that night, unable to sleep and unable to forget.

I brought up the topic and we discussed what we thought we'd heard, and danced around a million different possible explanations for what it could have been, but the explanation that occurred to me as we lay there in bed, sleepless, was a bit more frightening.

"Maybe there's someone living up there that nobody knows about..."

The idea sent shivers up and down my spine, offering up images of escaped mental patients creeping onto unsuspecting people's properties in the dead of night and it alarmed me to the point where I actually got out of bed, stood at the window looking out onto the property offering a clear view of the moon washed farmhouse, and actually considered either going out there with a weapon from the house or calling the local police to check it out. We could have been mistaken in what we heard though and the last thing we wanted to do (apart from admitting to her step-father that we had betrayed his wishes to keep out) was call the police to investigate the overactive imaginings of a young couple.

So we determined that in the morning, we would go out to investigate yet again. This time as we approached the farmhouse (not having mentioned our concerns to her parents for fear of causing undue worry) I was armed with a baseball bat I'd found lying on the grass and Season, perhaps not entirely convinced the sounds had come from something living, with a long-handled flashlight and a mini-cassette recorder she found in the house.

Our second entrance to the farmhouse proved to be a lot more ordinary than my imagination had fancied it might be, and the notion that someone may have actually taken up residence in that ramshackle old home was quickly put to rest on a second look. Also the likeliness that anyone attempting to climb up the flight of stairs leading to the attic would most likely crash through the rotted wood and break a leg, or worse.

We stood listening in silence for what seemed like an eternity.

Nothing, no sounds except for the occasional crack of the old wood settling. We decided that since we had come this far, we were damned if we were going to leave without a good and thorough search and so we set about the task of figuring out a way to ascend the steps leading to the attic.

I'd spotted a fairly fresh plank of wood about six feet long, two feet wide, and three inches thick, lying in the yard of the farmhouse as we approached, so I came up with the idea that perhaps we could lay the plank lengthwise across the top of the steps to crawl up.

Once we had constructed the ramp and after another five minutes quietly arguing over who should be the first to go, I went up the length of the plank. By this time the sun had emerged and the sunlight cast through the holes in the roof was good enough so that I could see everything. As I stood on the floorboards of the attic, determining if they were in well enough shape to sustain my weight, I scanned the large area before me, baseball bat at the ready.

When I look back on it I honestly don't know what I was expecting to see up there in the attic, but whatever it may have been, whether flesh and bone or otherwise, there was nothing to be found. Only a severely rusted bedspring, an equally old mattress leaning askew against the near wall, a scattering of crates, and a decrepit rocking chair that sat in the farthest corner of the attic facing the wall.

I stood there staring at the back of that chair until Season's voice, directly behind me, startled me out of my daze. "It’s empty." I turned around to find that as I'd stood there taking an inventory of the space before me, she had made her way up the plank and into the attic.

She was aiming the beam of her flashlight and scanning the attic. "So much for our stranger in the attic theory." I added, motioning to the inch-thick layer of dust that covered every visible square foot of the floorboards. If anyone had been in the attic, it was a long, long time before we had ever arrived. I'm not sure how long we stood there, but it was long enough for the two of us to determine that none of our explanations fit what we had heard.

As we turned to begin our descent back down our makeshift ramp, Season stopped and fished a blank cassette out of her pocket and inserted it into the recorder. I said something like "Hey, don't bother, let’s just get out of here." but she informed me that she was going to leave the micro-cassette behind in RECORD mode. She set it down on one of the floorboards just inside the attic entryway. "Just to satisfy my curiosity," she said and we left.

We never did tell anyone what we had been up to that day, or the day previous. We were set to head back home early the following morning and we both agreed it was far better to exchange pleasantries on the final evening of our visit rather than to choke the air with questions about previous tenants, the history of the land, or the possibility of spirits that linger after death. According to Season, things like that didn't go over too well with her step-father.

We realized that in order to retrieve the cassette recorder Season had left behind, we would not only have to brave the rickety ramp of our invention once again, but we'd also have to make it out there early enough so that her no one would see us. We also decided that it would be best to take down the makeshift ramp, so proof of our actions wouldn't be discovered. We resolved to wake up half an hour before dawn and sneak out to the old farmhouse one last time.

When we got there, this time stepping our way through the dark with the aid of a flashlight, everything was just as we'd left it. No signs of any ghostly disturbance, no violently overturned boxes, no footprints in the dust other than those we'd created ourselves. I cautiously but hurriedly crawled my way up the wooden plank, reached a hand into the darkness, and retrieved the cassette recorder which was in the exact place we had left it the day before. I made my way down and we took down the ramp.

I was patting the dust and dirt from my pants legs when it came again. The same sudden, sharp thump that we had heard two days prior. My first thought was that Season must have heard something moving up there before the thump sounded, because when I looked at her, her head was already turned upwards and her eyes were fixed on the attic entrance directly above us. My eyes followed her stare and I looked up, but there was nothing discernible in the darkness beyond the threshold. Season had just began to ask me if I'd heard it too but her words broke off when another thud, this time more jarring than the first, almost violent in its force, sent a fistful of dust shooting from the rafters. The horrible, sickening shuffling sound came next, and the image that entered my mind then was that of someone, or something, dragging itself across the floor almost directly over our heads, approaching the attic entry.

In an instant the two of us were stumbling through the dark toward the front entrance and within five seconds we were back out into the cool predawn air. As we passed through the doorway of the old farmhouse for the last time, we heard the voice again, this time much closer, coming from atop the attic stairs where we had stood only seconds ago, this time much clearer, raspy, nearly gravelly, calling after us. And the words it said were:

"David...don't leave me all alone!"

We stopped about ten feet short of her parents' back porch and tried to regain our composure. Season suddenly remembered the micro-cassette recorder, checked it out closely and announced "It's turned off…halfway through the tape.” “As if someone shut it off on purpose." I tried to reason that maybe the batteries had run out, but she quickly dispelled that notion when she pressed the REWIND button and it kicked immediately into life. It only took a few seconds for the tape to reach the start of the spool, and just as she was about to press the PLAY button, the back door swung open and Season's mother, Charla, was standing there in her morning robe.

"What are you two doing up so early?" she asked. "Oh, just getting the car situated" I quickly replied and we darted back inside the house to have breakfast.

It wasn't until we said our farewells, and hit the road once again; all the while warily eyeing the old farmhouse as we made our way down the long gravel driveway headed for the main road with Gabriel safely conked out in the back seat; that we were finally alone and able to listen to what it was that may have been recorded.

I wasn't certain that anything would have come through on the tape, but I wanted to be able to listen without having to strain to hear over sound of the engine so as soon as we'd gone about a mile, I pulled the car off to the side of the road under the shade of a tree and shut the engine off.

The first sound head on the tape were Season's own words ("Just to satisfy my curiosity"), then the creaking and groaning of the floorboards and the racket of our footfalls as we made our way down the plank and exited the farmhouse. Five minutes of silence ensued, only the occasional sound of the old structure settling in on itself, then another five or six minutes, then the sound of an airplane flying by in the distance, then more silence. Just as the tape was about to reach the point where it had mysteriously stopped on itself, I heard something...

On first impression it sounded like someone breathing in short, shallow breaths. I was opening my mouth to ask Season to stop the tape and rewind it, when I realized the sound was only getting louder. I could tell by the expression on Season's face that I was not, in fact, hearing things. She was hearing it too. What came next, though, sent shivers down my spine and made the sounds we'd heard in the farmhouse, frightening and inexplicable though they were, seem like nothing more than a precursor. The breaths seemed to be getting louder, and although no sound of movement could be heard, I got the distinct impression that something was drawing nearer to the microphone. It frightened me to think that the very cassette recorder Season now held in trembling hands could have come so close to, or may even have been touched by, whatever it was that was causing that horrible sound.

The breathing faded, almost abruptly, followed by approximately ten seconds of absolute silence.

Then the singing began. It was quite unmistakably, and most distinctly, the voice of a woman and although I could not make out the words, she was singing something. A lullaby, perhaps? To this day I am not sure, even though we've listened to the tape hundreds of times since and have tried amplifying the sound through various means. It is certainly not a melody I, or Season, or anyone else we've shared the recording with, are familiar with.

It isn't that horrible breathing or the faint yet undeniable strain of song delivered by that mysterious voice that still, to this day, haunts my mind in the quiet dark before sleep overtakes me. Rather, it is the final three seconds of that recording that will always stay with me, and will always serve as proof to my mind that despite our best efforts to argue to the contrary, there are things that happen in this life that are beyond the bounds of rational explanation.

The singing voice stopped abruptly and was replaced by a dry, hoarse giggle. A hideous, insane laughter that erupted into a cackle just as an invisible finger reached out, brushed against the microphone, and pressed STOP.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Work Halloween Costume Contest

Gaze upon the glory that is this year’s entry to my employer's Halloween costume contest! Laugh all you want, but wish me luck!

Note the gleam of just barley contained Feng shui energy emanating from my finger tips?

Back off or I will rearrange all your furniture for negative qi!

Since I am no longer a cubicle dweller and work from my virtual office here at home I just e-mailed in my submission. This is a lot better then wearing your costume at work all day and trying to be all professional and taken seriously. Well, I suppose the sword could have played a good part in rectifying that aspect though.

I definitely prefer my home office compared to being cubicled.

My usual attire is pajamas, until about noon.

No daily commute, which equals big savings with the high gas prices.

No office politics or gossip, although I sometimes feel out of the loop when I am told about things going on at the NY offices.

Self-discipline and good motivation are the most important part of being a virtual. You won't (and can't) be ‘micro-managed’.

Your efficiency is in your hands and obviously I've spent a very productive work day with getting that picture ready to submit and then blogging about it. Working from home rocks!

Frivolous Fun: Use/look for the Halloween Candy Code tomorrow

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Art Contest...

This series of artwork depicting Jason Voorhees dancing comes from a Halloween art contest held over at X-Entertainment...
You can click some of the images to see a larger version.

"It’s The Great Pumpkin, Jason Voorhees"

"Death Dip"


“The Watusi”

Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Perfect Place To Die - Part Five

The Perfect Place To Die
Part Five
Tamiko was keenly aware of the rapid pounding of her heart. The blood thundered in her ears. Her breath came in labored gasps and perspiration beaded her upper lip. Irrelevant thoughts crowded into her mind, distracting her and sending her off course. She was desperately trying to get out of the forest when she twisted her ankle on some moss covered rocks that jutted up out of the ground.
Miko went crashing to the forest floor and found herself struggling in swathes of sticky colored plastic tape, like a buzzing fly in a spider’s web. She remembered Mamoru’s grisly explanation that scavengers looking to loot dead bodies in the forest used the tape to mark the routes they were searching.
In that moment she felt helpless and without power, a victim of the forest. She was completely at its mercy. Gazing up into the dense, greenery overhead, she saw a notice in red letters nailed to a trunk.
Please Reconsider Before You Decide To Die
She didn’t want to die.
Tamiko could hear foot steps slowly and methodically approaching her. After reading the note grasped in her dead husband’s hand and running she had at some point picked up the knife again. She could still hear the sickening sucking noise that it made as it came out of Mamoru. The cold forest floor seemed to be draining all the energy from her body. She willed herself to get up and keep moving.
She had to find a way out.
Entering The Woods
When they had arrived at the entrance to the forest the sun had briefly gone behind a cloud and a cold wind had gusted through the trees. Miko had looked up at the sign and felt a shiver run down her spine. She tightened her grip on Mamoru’s hand. One would never have guessed that a place of so much outstanding natural beauty could camouflage such a site of death and misery.
“Are you certain you want to go in there?” Tamiko asked.
The breeze sprang up and the leaves on the trees quivered and shook. They rattled in the branches and Miko fancied she could hear voices whispering to each other on the wind. The twigs creaked and snapped. She remembered the tales she’d heard about the Yūrei, the spirits of the dead that haunted the forest.
The dead were supposedly jealous of the living and not very friendly.
Mamoru gave her a strained smile.
“Yes, let us walk for a bit in the seems such a peaceful place...a perfect place to...” Mamoru broke off and tugged her across the archway onto the path.
They walked on in silence each absorbed in their own thoughts. She kept having the reoccurring feeling that they were being watched, but they hadn’t come across anyone else on the path for about ten minutes now. She was not enjoying herself at all.
When she looked up at Mamoru there was a light sheen of sweat on his forehead and his face was pinched in a frown.
“Mamoru, you really don’t look well...we should go back.”
He stopped abruptly a scowl coming over his features that caused her to let go of his hand and step back.
"What is wrong Mamoru?” “Why do you look at me like that?”
Instead of answering her Mamoru reached into his right pocket and thrust a slip of paper at her. It landed between her feet and even though it was badly crumpled she knew exactly what it was.
A note from Andrew that read:
My Dearest Miko
I am staying at the usual hotel. I want you to come to me there as soon as you can. I believe that we only have one life and we must follow our hearts. I know you are the only woman with whom I can be truly happy. My room number is 850. I am waiting for you.
Much love
She had foolishly slipped it into her her Japanese-English dictionary, forgotten about it and somehow Mamoru had come across it.
This was terrible. What could she say?
Before she even had time to finish that thought Mamoru quickly brought his hand out of his left pocket producing a very large, sharp knife and took a step towards her.
“I can’t believe you would dishonor me so!” he shouted at her.
“I have done nothing, but work hard to provide for you and this...this is how you repay me?”
Tamiko took another step back and put her hands up in a warding off gesture. She could not believe the how in moments things had changed so drastically.
“Mamoru…stop…what are you doing?”
She took another involuntary step backwards.
“I’m were never there...we grew is over between Andrew and I though...that note...he gave that to me in the hopes that I would leave you...but I told him it was over...please Mamoru...I’m so sorry you found that note...I wanted to start over with you.”
She had never known Mamoru to be a violent man, but that knife.
What was he going to do with that knife?
The arm grasping the knife fell limply to his side.
“You wanted to start over?” he asked incredously.
“Yes.” She whispered. "I broke it off with him."
Tamiko took a step towards Mamoru. “Please, drop that knife.”
A multitude of emotions crashed across his face. “I was going to do something stupid...perhaps...yes...perhaps we can start over.”
His gaze then settled on someone behind her. Mamoru began shaking his head. “No, wait...there is your Andrew...your English teacher...there he take you away from me...he won't stop!”
“What?” Miko asked in disbelief.
Tamiko followed Mamoru’s stare, but did not see Andrew at all.
Mamoru raised the knife, yelled an obscenity and charged.
Miko screamed and closed her eyes.
Air rushed past her as Mamoru ran off the path and into the forest.
Leaving The Path
Tamiko called after Mamoru and after a brief moment of hesitation went after him.
She hadn’t realized how deeply into the woods she had gone after Mamoru until she was hopelessly lost. She picked her way over the lichen covered roots that twisted along the ground, trying not to look too closely at the remnants of leather wallets and rusted keys gleaming dully from under the decaying mounds of leaves. She glanced down and noticed a long length of string near her foot.
She guessed it was someone’s strategy to ensure that they got out of the forest. She hoped they were successful and began to wonder if she would ever get out.
Her mind was still teeming with unbidden thoughts when she came upon Mamoru.
He lay face down with his foot was caught in between some lichen covered roots. Miko rolled him over into a sitting positon with his back against a tree. It appeared that he had tripped and fallen onto the knife. She reached out and touched his face. His skin was ice cold. It seemed all life had left his body long ago.
She knelt down and pressed her warm, moist face against his clammy, pale cheek. “Oh Mamoru.” she whispered.
Then, as if in a grotesque reply, shockingly, he fell forward and released a gush of air. Mamoru coughed into her face, spraying her with tiny droplets of blood. She reared back in terror, her whole body quaking.
Mamoru roughly grabbed Miko. “Go!” “They feed on your sadness.” he sputtered.
“Don’t believe them…they are not what they seem…go!” a bubble of blood formed and pooped on his lips and then the light extinguished from his once kind, mild brown eyes.
Miko sat there a moment in stunned disbelief trying to puzzle out Mamoru’s cryptic last words. She forced herself to remain calm. Fighting back her revulsion she slowly and deliberately, she put a trembling hand on the handle of the knife and drew it out of his body.
She then noticed the piece of paper in Mamoru’s hand, gently extracted it and read:
My darling Miko
If I am successful, this will be my final letter to you. Do you remember when we were first married and Yamitsui sent me on all those courses so far away? I wrote to you nearly every day. I missed you so much. We were so young and carefree in those days. I still miss you. I miss the sweet Yoko who showed me so much love and affection. When I saw the note from Andrew that dropped out of your book I knew I had failed you. I knew that you could not love me any more. I have lost you, I have lost everything and I am nothing.
Tamiko groaned with realization.
The knife had never been meant for her.
The sounds of voices were closer this time.
She got to her feet and called out. “Help us!” “Over here!”
What Tamiko saw approaching her and the dead body of her husband through the trees caused her to flee in terror.
She stumbled out onto the path scrambling to get to her feet. She didn’t think the knife would do her any good, but she stubbornly held onto it as she lurched to her feet and started up the path. Her ankle throbbed and she kept looking behind her sure that her pursuer was close at hand. As she dared another glance backward she didn’t notice the figure on the path. Miko slammed straight into it, fell onto her back, started to scream and began slashing the air in front of her from side to side with the knife.
The forest ranger jumped back just in time.
When he finally calmed Miko sufficiently so that she stopped screaming and relinquished the knife the first thing she uttered was:
“We have to get out of here...spirits of the least the spirits of the dead were once human...that thing though...that thing...” she then promptly passed out.
Time may improve it, she can and does hope for that. Time may fade the memory as it has faded the scratches and bruises she obtained while running through those cursed woods. In the meantime, though, she sleeps with the lights on so that she will know at once where she is when she wakes up from the nightmares. She is still haunted by those cold, hungry dead eyes and the slobbering, mewling voices as they bent over the corpse of Mamoru...and began to feed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Politics Of Dancing...

The presidential candidates show off their mad dancing skills…

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Boo Who?

We all know Boo Berry as the lovable spokes ghost for General Mills' Boo Berry cereal.

Since he is a ghost, I can't help but think about the fact that he's dead...or more specifically, that he is the ghost of a dead man.

This raises a very curious question:

Who was the person that died to become the ghost of Boo Berry?

No one would argue that Boo has lived a rich after-life as a corporate shill, but who was he before that and for that matter, how did he die?

Was he crushed by an unusually large blueberry bush?

Did he slip on a blueberry and take a fatal fall down a flight of stairs?

A candy mishap while on a visit to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory?


Unfortunately, the world may never know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where Beauty Eats Braaaaiinns...

My Zombie Pin-Up “Where Beauty Eats BRAAAAIINNS”

Just in time for Halloween is this 1950’s style pinup calendar featuring lovely decaying female zombie models for each month.

This thirteen month calendar is stuffed with more dead sexy girls than you can fit in a shallow grave. They dug up the idea of the vintage 1950’s pin-up and hit it over the head with a shovel.

Let yourself get infected by these bloody gore-gous women who are just dying to get under your skin and at your tasty prefrontal cortex.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Girl's Costume Warehouse...

For all your sexy Halloween costume needs visit the Girl's Costume Warehouse located in Hackensack - Exit 16W off the NJ Turnpike.

Forget about it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Halloween - Theme Song W/Lyrics

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Perfect Place To Die - Part Four

The Perfect Place To Die

Part Four
Tamiko was a bundle of nerves as they pulled up in front of the hotel. She sat on in the vehicle for a moment enjoying the spring sunshine, glad that the sunglasses at least shielded her eyes from Mamoru. She watched as he leapt from the car and hurried around to the passanger door, offering his hand to help her out. Managing a weak smile, she got out of the car.
“Isn’t it beautiful Miko?” She followed his gaze and took in the beauty of Mount Fuji rising grandly above the clouds. “We’ve finally made it!” He took up their suitcases and offered her his arm. She smiled and took his arm as they climbed the steps to the hotel foyer. Mamoru, so sweet and considerate, always a gentleman…Andrew. A wave of nausea and apprehension came over her causing her to stumble. Mamoru strengthened his hold of her arm. “Are you okay?”
“Yes, it’s just that I’ve got a small headache.” It was true. As she thought of her last meeting with Andrew the inside of her head felt like a sponge with waves of pain seeping through the holes.
While Mamoru checked them in at reception Miko sat on an elegant sofa watching the arrival of guests coming in through the revolving doors with her Japanese-English dictionary on her lap. Most of the guests were arriving for the Cherry Blossom festivals which were just beginning. The hotel was busy with tourists from all over the world. Her mind kept wandering back to Andrew. He had been so angry.
“Are you ready?” Mamoru’s voice startled her back to the present.
Mamoru slipped the card into the slot and pushed open the door of their room. Tamiko let out a little gasp of surprise. The door opened onto a large, airy room with two enormous picture windows looking out over the forest to the snow capped Mount Fuji. Bright mid- morning sunlight splashed onto the cream linen sofas with chocolate cushions artfully arranged. The gleaming wooden floors were covered in strategic places with thick beige rugs. A heavy oak coffee table stood between the sofas.
Miko walked over to the huge picture window and gazed out over the tops of the trees to the lake, shimmering in the sunlight. In the distance she could see Mount Fuji, starkly white against a dazzling blue sky; Shining and omnipotent. A group of pink flowering cherry trees coming into blossom provided a natural arch on the terrace outside the sliding glass doors.
“Mamoru, this is so very lovely!” she breathed.
”You like it?” “I’m so glad” Mamoru murmured. His expression of relief was hardly concealed as he gave her a warm smile. She had not expected such splendor, such beauty. “This is wonderful, it's more beautiful than I could have ever imagined” She wandered into the bedroom and noted the large single bed. Mamoru came up behind her and tried to kiss her neck affectionately. She moved abruptly towards the bathroom. “After that long drive a warm bath sounds inviting.” He tried to stifle his disappointment with a grin. “That’s fine, after your shower we could go down and have lunch.” Miko tilted her head to one side coyly; her sleek black hair fell over one eye. “Sounds like a good idea.” The door closed gently against all further communication. Mamoru stood looking at the door for a moment longer then with a sigh, he turned to unpacking the suitcase.
Tamiko sat gazing through the restaurant’s window, her food hardly touched. Wracked with guilt she had dressed to please him in a simple red silk dress which accentuated her hips. ”You look so wonderful” he breathed. She turned to him “Mamoru, you’ve already complimented me several times.” “Well, it’s true.” “It’s that dress...the color, it's...well, it’s so sensual” he murmured shyly.
She blushed. "I wasn't sure…I haven’t worn it for years.”
“You don't think it's too young for me?”
“No, of course not!”
"You know Miko; you still look as beautiful as when we first married.”
He gazed into her eyes, but she couldn’t maintain eye contact with him and quickly turned to look out the window again.
“You’re very quiet tonight, you seem preoccupied.”
“No, it’s just…we haven’t spent time alone like this in a long time.”
“I know I haven’t been an attentive husband.” “I let my work come between us.” “I thought it was for the best at the time, that we would be better off, but now we have a second chance.”
She couldn’t stop the tears from welling up in her eyes. “Mamoru…”
She wanted so badly to tell him, but he was so sensitive and he didn’t even suspect anything. At first she had believed their marriage would endure forever. Then the stark reality of boredom and routine set in. Loneliness and isolation quickly followed. Then she met Andrew.
He reached across the table and took her hand. “I love you.”
She gripped his hand tightly and smiled at him as the tears rolled down her eyes.
“After lunch maybe we can take a walk through the forest…”
“Yes.” She said, suddenly wanting to please him, wanting to make him feel good.
“First I’ve got to go to the ladies room and clean myself up though.” She laughed and excused herself from the table, quickly making her way to the restrooms.
He poured himself a generous glass of wine and took a large drink. His eyes glittered with a feverish hope that Miko was about to cross the barrier that had divided them for so long. Perhaps she was coming back to him. He glanced back towards the rear of the restaurant, eager for her to return. It was then that he noticed a slip of paper on the ground by her seat. It must have fallen out of that dictionary that she carried around. She was always eager to practice her English. When they had entered the restaurant she had struck up a conversation with two Americans while waiting for their table. He merely watched on in proud amazement as the Americans, glad to speak in their own language, patiently babbled on with her. He fondly recalled that she had only referred to her book once. He bent down and picked up the piece of paper. Tamiko had certainly come a long way from the shy young girl he had married.
Mamoru unfolded the paper. “Perhaps there will be some words or phrases that she has translated.” He thought to himself. “I will surprise her with one when she comes back to the table.”
“Where has he gone to?” Tamiko stopped at the table and started looking around. “There he is.” She noticed him leaning over the sushi counter. “Mamoru...” He slowly turned toward her. He looked ill, his face was pale and he seemed to be sweating. She hurriedly made her way over to him. “Are you all right?” “You look sick.”
He gave her a gruesome smile. “Oh...seems something I ate didn’t agree with me.”
Putting her arm around him she started guiding him towards the door. “Let’s get you back to the room Mamoru…”
“No, I think I’ll take that walk...the fresh mountain air will do me good.” He said breaking away from her.
“Okay...” She reached for his hand and after a moments hesitation he took it.
“Looks like he had a little too much wine.” The waiter winked to the hostess who was watching them. They walked towards the entrance of the forest holding hands like two happy lovers. She smiling contentedly and he walking a little stiffly with his other hand thrust deeply into his pocket.
That was the last time they were seen together alive.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Perfect Place To Die - Part Three

The Perfect Place To Die

Part Three

She could hear Mamoru moving around the house quietly, trying not to disturb her. Tamiko entered the bathroom to brush her teeth. She was a woman of thirty-five, narrow waist, almond eyes, fair skin with high cheek bones framed by luxurious shiny black hair. She smiled to herself in the mirror and her perfectly even white teeth twinkled between her parted lips.

Andrew always complimented her on her smile.

He was an English teacher at The Language School Tamiko attended. When he had had come across her after class in the almost empty parking looking forlornly at a flat tire on her car, she had welcomed his help. "Thank you so much Andrew-san" she murmured shyly and turned to get into the car, but something made her turn around. He was still standing there, watching her. He was smiling. Then she heard herself saying, “Perhaps you would like some tea? There is very good teahouse near here. I go...we go there.” “My friends and me.” He had laughed softly and accepted her invitation.

It had all started so innocently, but soon it was like a raging forest fire between them. Their emotions had taken them both by surprise. Things were now coming to a logical conclusion.

She rinsed her mouth, put the toothbrush back in its holder and went out to the kitchen.

Mamoru had laid the breakfast table with great care. Gleaming porcelain bowls and sparkling silverware were nestled on a snowy white damask tablecloth. In pride of place stood the large white teapot with the bamboo handle, a present from his parents. Near Miko's plate he had remembered to place the jar of English marmalade that she had suddenly started having with her toast.

Miko greeted her husband and took her place at the table. "What is the occasion?" "Have you been offered a new job?"

"Not yet...I thought I would surprise you with breakfast and a little holiday." "We could take a trip up to Mount Fuji and then there’s the Aokigahara forest." "There are many beautiful and rare trees."

Tamiko looked up, "The Aokigahara Forest?" "Isn’t that the place where people go to die?"

"Yes, I’ve heard the stories; it sounds like an interesting place."

"How morbid", she shuddered.

"I remember we almost took a trip there once, but I was called away on business and we couldn’t go…well, now we can make up for that."

"That was a long time ago Mamoru." She whispered.

Tamiko quickly added "What about my English classes?" "Mr. Andrew is preparing us for the exam in two weeks time."

"We could leave tomorrow afternoon and return next Saturday." "You'd be back in plenty of time for your exams!"

She gazed out at the terrace where the weeping cherry he'd planted to mark her thirtieth birthday was smothered in a froth of pale pink flowers.

She sighed heavily and tried one last lame excuse. "It will be very crowded; it always is at blossom time."

"It will be crowded with gaijin." "Come on Miko." pleaded Mamoru. "We need a little holiday." "We need to spend some time together." "I thought we would see each other more since I have been at home, but I hardly ever see you." "You are always out."

She lowered her head guiltily over her teacup. Then she raised her eyes level with his.

"Mamoru, I have great respect and admiration for you." "You've worked so hard to give me everything, but surely you can see that our lives have changed."

He looked at her keenly, "What do you mean…changed?"

"Surely you didn’t think I actually liked being left alone in the house after preparing your Bento box and seeing you off day in day out."

"I thought we......"

"Did you think that we would have children to occupy me?" "But we didn’t..." her voice trembled, hovering on the edge of tears. She shook her head slightly. "I have my own friends, hobbies and interests now Mamoru." She stopped abruptly. He looked hurt and confused.

Mamoru reached across the table and took her hand. "I’m sorry Miko..." "I thought it was a good idea." His eyes rested kindly on her face.

She gave his hand a little squeeze. This was not the time to get into a more protracted explanation. "Alright, when I come back from my English class I'll pack some things." "As you pointed out, there'll be lots of gaijin to practice my English with."

He smiled widely at her like a trusting child. "That's settled then."

Part One

Part Two

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Halloween Masks Predict Elections

For the last seven presidential elections, since Ronald Reagan's first victory, sales of rubber Halloween masks caricaturing the Republican and Democratic candidates have predicted the next president.

Seven in a row. That's quite a spooky coincidence.

Typically, the highest volume of mask sales are purchased in the last one to two weeks before Halloween.

Each week, McCain has been slowly closing the gap between himself and Obama in terms of mask sales.

To find out who the mask sales predict will be the 44th President of the United States, sign-up for weekly Spirit Halloween Presidential Index updates by e-mailing

If I actually thought the correlation between mask sales implied causation though I might have gotten in line to buy a dozen or so masks of my favorite candidate. Instead, I'll just make sure I vote in November. Besides they don't make a Montgomery Brewster mask.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Alien Attack Prank

The Truth Is Out There...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Perfect Place To Die - Part Two

The Perfect Place To Die
Part Two
When Mamoru opened his eyes the room was so completely black, that he thought to himself “This must be the way a person who is going blind must feel.” There room was filled with vague shadows without shape, form or color. He lay there for a few seconds, eyes wide, taking comfort in the darkness. After some time he breathed a heavy sigh, cautiously got out of bed, made his way over to the window and gently raised the blinds.
As his eyes adjusted to the light he wondered why he didn't dream anymore. He used to dream vividly every night and took great pleasure recounting them, in great detail, to Tamiko the next morning. These days, his sleep was broken and troubled and Miko often slept in a different room. Mamoru watched desolately as outside the street was already busy with commuters hurrying to catch the Tokyo express which would speed them to the city and their jobs.
It had been a shock when his boss had called him into the office and had given him the news that he was to be let go at the end of the month murmuring something about “restructuring”. Outwardly he had been calm and reasonable, refusing to betray the turbulent emotions that churned within. He finished out the day in a daze and after work shared the bad news with his friends at a nearby sake bar. They were sympathetic, but they had worries of their own. There were rumors that the “restructuring” was far from complete, in fact two of them had meetings scheduled with the boss already.
On the train home Mamoru sat staring impassively at the floor. Even after drinking many glasses of sake he wasn’t drunk. At least he felt sufficiently anesthetized to tell Tamiko that after twenty years of service he was no longer going to be employed by the Yamitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company. Although this was less attributable to the sake then to his state of mind. Mamoru was in shock.
He had been with the company since he graduated from the university. Soon after joining the insurance firm it became his life. In his first year Mamoru had secured a new contract for every month. His diligence and determination were rewarded with several promotions. With the promotions came additional responsibilities and more demands on his time until he was working late every night. It became routine that he would arrive home so late that Miko would already be asleep and when he awoke early in the morning to go back to work she would stir briefly to tell him to have a good day and fall back asleep. Frequently their weekends were also sacrificed as he would attempt to conduct important business deals while playing golf with potential clients.
He wondered if by surrendering his will so completely to the company he had sacrificed some part of his relationship with Miko. He had only wanted the best for them though. That is why he had worked so hard for so long. He wanted them to have a large house unlike the modest apartments their parents had which were so small and cramped. He wanted to provide her with every material possession she could possibly want. He imagined if he could make division manager his stability within the firm would be assured and then he could spend more time at home.
That was not going to happen now.
He stood there shrouded in silence, clenching and unclenching his fists, overwhelmed with feelings of impotence. He shivered once and turned away from the window, got dressed quickly and padded into the kitchen.
Tamiko had taken the news well if a little apathetically. She tried to reassure him that it would be okay. They had plenty of money put away and with his work ethic he was sure to find another job in no time, but her words came out lacking sentiment and he wondered if she was in shock too.
To combat the loneliness and boredom Miko had taken a part-time job and also attended numerous classes. Now that he had more time at home it was her turn to not be there. He could hardly expect her to just drop everything now because he had lost his job though...right?
Mamoru had to admit that they had been leading separate lives for many years; they were like strangers sharing the same home. All that could change now though. Mamoru had cashed in his accumulated vacation days and thought that perhaps if they could go on a little holiday they might rekindle the flame that once sparked their love.
When they had first married Miko had wanted to take a holiday to Mount Fuji. He had booked a room at the hotel for them, but an emergency had arisen at work and he was called in. He could not refuse. The firm took priority over his other commitments. They did not go and she never mentioned Mount Fuji again.
The sound of a door quietly sliding shut broke into his thoughts. He could hear Tamiko moving around the house. Mamoru decided to prepare breakfast for her as a surprise. He would tell Miko of his idea while they ate.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Perfect Place To Die - Part One

A short story inspired by events in The Suicide Woods of Japan.
The Perfect Place To Die

Part One

Tamiko looked unbelievingly down at the object in her hand. It was a simple chef's knife. She blinked twice and turned it over carefully in her hand. “Yes.” she thought to herself. “I used one like this very same knife in my home only yesterday.”

Then, it had been stained with the blood of a fish she had been preparing for dinner. Now, human blood dripped from the sharp point and stained the leaves of the low growing bushes around her. Similarly as the fish’s blood had stained the white enamel of the sink in her kitchen.

Except for the sound of the wind rustling through the sea of trees, the forest was silent. The great trees of the Aokigahara forest strained upwards towards the sun, but their lichen covered roots writhed all along the floor like an ocean of snakes. Tamiko looked down at the body. Her mind wouldn't allow her to give it a name. The body, wearing a white short sleeved shirt and blue jeans, lay slumped awkwardly against the base of a tree. The white shirt was marred by a dark red stain which was rapidly spreading across the stomach. The face, with it's terrified expression and sad eyes, had thankfully fallen forward and was now hidden from her view.

The patches of sky visible through the trees were grey. A chilly breeze moaned through the woods making the branches snap and creak. At that moment a fine drizzle started to fall; filtered through the green canopy overhead as it was; it nevertheless quickly began to soak her thin blouse. She stood indecisively, her body trembling. Suddenly she let out a cry of despair that sliced into the stillness, echoing across the forest until it was swallowed up and a resounding silence descended. Tamiko gazed at the blood spattered knife in her hand as if she were seeing it for the first time. She began to shake uncontrollably and finally let it drop.

Tamiko fell to her knees beside the body and was suddenly startled by the sound of voices. She looked around wildly…They were quite far off the path, who else would be out here? Should she call for help? Would they understand? As these thoughts rapidly crossed her mind she realized there was nobody there. “It was only the wind.” she whispered. That is when she noticed the crumbled piece of paper which was clutched in the lifeless hand laying next to her thigh.

Jem - They

I always thought this song sounded kind of ethereal and that the lyrics were about a schizophrenic who is having paranoid delusions about the mysterious and malevolent "They" who are all knowing and issue all the rules that the masses must follow unquestioningly like lemmings. She believes she is the only one who can see through the lies and is trying to warn people, but no one will listen.

That’s my interpretation anyway.

Makes it kind of fit the Halloween theme that way.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sorority Girls From Hell

Thanks to Big Daddy over at Bon Jour, Pee-Wee!

I wonder how the rest of their date went...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Suicide Woods

I had never heard of this place until I watched Destination Truth last night and they investigated this allegedly haunted forest.

The Destination Truth team hardly ever finds anything remotely resembling evidence for the bizarre creatures they set out to investigate. It’s usually just a trek to some remote area to check out folk tales told by people living far from civilization and technology.

I never expect them to actually find anything and I tune in because Gabriel and I usually get a good laugh out of the show. The content is presented by the host, Josh Gates, in a funny and light hearted way while still trying to maintain a degree of legitimacy as rational “scientific” research.

Last night was a little different though...

Sheltering below the glacial beauty of Japan's great Mount Fuji is the ancient Aokigahara forest.

It is a mystical place full of myth and legend.

It is said that because of the magnetic composition of the soil, compasses do not give accurate readings; and many campers never find their way out of the sea of trees.

It was also described as "The perfect place to die." in Wataru Tsurumui's bestselling book The Complete Manual of Suicide and countless people have traveled there to end their lives in the roaring silence of those archaic woods.

The sad and senseless evidence of wasted lives can be found throughout the woods. Partly decomposed bodies hang from trees and others are found strewn across the forest floors like so many broken, discarded dolls.

The Aikogahara council has posted many anti-suicide signs with slogans like "Please reconsider" and "Think about those you will leave behind", but these deterrents have done little to stop the determined so the council makes regular forays into the forest to collect the bodies, where they are removed and laid to rest.

When we saw The Grudge I yelled out loud and punched at the screen (yes, it's embarrassing, but true) during the scene when a lump forms underneath the covers and the lady lifts the sheets only to find herself staring into the face of a ghost, so you can imagine how creeped out I was when the Destination Truth gang recorded what appeared to me to look like Kayako Saeki manifesting herself and then disappearing beside a tree.

I couldn't find a video of it to post, but trust me, it was freaky.

Season and I have talked about traveling to Japan someday, but if we ever do I am not going anywhere near those evil freakin' woods!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I love this time of year.

The air has picked up a crisp freshness and the leaves have all these great colors – vibrant oranges, sunshine yellows, deep reds and all these wonderful different shades of green.

The temperature is finally starting to drop which means instead of sweating my butt off mowing the lawn it will soon be time for lazy evenings bundled in a blanket in front of the fireplace with my sweetheart and a good book.

All that delicious seasonal food will be coming around to attend a great big party in my tummy.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.

Then there is my favorite...Halloween.

It’s so much fun decorating the house, carving pumpkins, going to haunted houses, reading horror books, watching scary movies, telling ghost stories, dressing up in our costumes and of course going trick or treating. Candy! Candy! Candy!

We’ve already gotten Gabriel’s costume and it looks great on him!

Unfortunately the costumes Season and I purchased over the internet were absolute crap, so we turned around and sold them on eBay.
I'm working on a substitute though.

So, in honor of Halloween for the next month I am going to try to post something holiday appropriate.

Horror stories, paranormal experiences, videos and I am also going to work on a spooky story I started a while back and hopefully get that posted by the thirty-first too.

Stay tuned!