The Dog Days of Summer have arrived. It’s odd to acknowledge that these uncomfortably hot days are part of the Halloween season. In fact, these lingering summer days and their accompanying heat waves are the queue – the starting point for the best season to come. I’ll admit, I was hopeful that Halloween 2021 would begin similar to the seasons of the past. I daydreamed of catching up and kicking off the season at Midsummer Scream’s: Awaken The Spirits. It seemed all was on track for me, and my family, to head down to SoCal as I had planned, and thought I had foreseen.
Then people started getting sick. Again.
Not only sick, it was revealed that even vaccinated people can carry and transmit the Delta Variant. I became more concerned when I started hearing about break through cases. I always knew that the vaccine was a shield, a protective measure. I knew it wasn’t a cure. But, it was still unnerving to hear that even with proof of vaccination being required in some of my favorite spots in the PNW, a break though case emerged. It’s a good thing my family and I never stopped wearing masks in public. Even still, I get anxious if Ikea or Target has more people inside than I am comfortable with. A traffic jam took my breath away the other day. I have been doing so well, I don’t want to trigger the panic attacks, again. I also don’t want to be the one who possibly is a carrier of the delta variant and pass it on to an unvaccinated child. I watched and read updates for weeks…
I have decided that I will not be attending Midsummer Scream’s Awaken The Spirits. I am grateful to those who I have told. You all have been understanding and respectful of my decision. This really fucking sucks for me. I feel like a flake but, I don’t want to be naive and think I can handle a large scale indoor event, only to spend 16 plus hours in a car just to have a panic attack twenty minutes in. I also don’t trust myself to refrain from punching someone who doesn’t abide by the mask mandate.
In addition to preparing for Autumn, I am also gearing up to send my kids back to school. In-person. For now. My kids are fully vaccinated and avid mask wearers. But, they are not alone in the anxiety of going back to school. However, my kids are dealing with social anxiety and attending brand new schools in an entirely new State. I have to focus a majority of my attention on helping them work through this stressful new beginning. I talk more about coping with the monsters that anxiety creates in my upcoming blog, Niffirgs & Their Honyacks.
These slow and sticky days aren’t all “blegh”. I actually remind myself to be present. Hell, I have the time! I had a blast with my friend and her kid who came up from SoCal. They spent five days with us. We hung out by a creek, visited the heart of Portland, picked lavender and just relaxed. The visit inspired even more riverside visits and the desire to cook some yummy foods. My ass has been kitchen witchin’ and I am quite proud of the meals I have made. All of which I’ve thrown a bit of protection, healing and positive producing ingredients into. I am finding ways to use what I have to create spooky decor before I buy something new. I feel like I am creating balance within myself and I hope to inspire my kids to try to do the same.
There is so much to do. Some days, theres so many options, I throw my hands up and retreat with one of my books. But, since school starts for my kids in a few weeks and all of their SoCal friends are about to go back to school, I strive for us all to do one thing to find our happy, at least once a day. While we’re all upset and disappointed about not coming to SoCal this week, it will give us the opportunity to ease into school preparations which leads to me being able to ease into the Halloween season. We will now be able to visit a “Ghost Beach” and enjoy a few more days swimming in the river and a few other PNW adventures I’ll share.
Now that means I am counting on you to take great pictures, support our favorite vendors and take care of each other at Awaken The Spirits. I don’t encourage anyone to punch those who will surely feel entitled to take their masks off but, I do encourage you all to be as safe as possible. While this event is a Halloween Season kick off, we have an entire season that’s about to begin. Let’s do our part to ensure the Halloween season remains in tact- as planned.
– Michelle Halloween
Like I said, I’ve been writing. Poetry is becoming easier to work into my daily routine.
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What I’ve Been Watching
American Horror Stories & Anticipating the new season…
American Horror Stories has been a hit or miss for me. The intros to the show have always been my favorite thing about the shows since AHS was introduced. A few of them have been better and more alluring to watch than their accompanying seasons. Regardless, during AHS promotional campaigns, I always delight in the anticipation because each season there’s hope for a new favorite or another add-on to the list of wack – ass seasons.
The first two episodes of American Horror Stories – Rubber(wo)man: Part 1 or 2 didn’t capture anything spectacular for me. I had just finished the Fear Street Trilogy and that was hard to match. I actually watched Rubber(wo)man to slow the adrenaline rush from Fear Street. Both parts of Rubber(wo)man felt like coffeehouse horror. (Is that a thing?)
Now, Drive-In and Naughty List were a fucking great time! The clever writing was there! “Welcome back Brad and Ryan!” Is what I think I screamed. Drive-In was so much fun and it felt like it was written for the Halloween and Horror community with the references to Fangoria, DreadCentral and Blumhouse. Seeing Adrienne Barbeau is always a terrifying delight. That woman gives me all of the good willies. I blame her character as Wilma Northrup. Naomi Grossman and John Carrol Lynch were also cast. The energy these two AHS legends gave made me fan ghoul.
Then, AHS was like, “You liked Drive-In, huh? ok, I got another one for you.” Naughty List was a banger! It started off so bad, the Bro’s were so awful and they got their asses handed to them. Danny Trejo is one of my favorite horror actors. Dude, is so versatile, so bad ass. The fact that he’s got one hell of a life story and heart of gold makes him so much more loveable. I also love how there is more attention being drawn to Christmas Horror and this episode should be at the top of your Christmas Horror list. Mr. Halloween and I are are already planning to replicate that tree scene at the end.
After Drive-In and Naughty List, I couldn’t wait for the following Thursday. It seemed like American Horror Stories was on a roll…
That was until I watched ‘BA’AL’. I could have spent that hour reading.
Oh well, theres always next week and I am definitely anticipating AHS: Double Feature.
Even if it’s only for the promo art and unsettling intro.
What I’ve Been Reading & Upcoming Book Reviews
What I’m Listening To
In hopeful preparation for their shows in PDX, I’ve been listening to alot of ACTORS & Twin Tribes. Like, alot more than usual. if that’s possible.
It was Bandcamp Friday on 8/6/2021
ACTORS listed their highly anticipated album” Acts of Worship” for pre-sale. Visit their website and do yourself a favor, listen to this banging band. I can assure you, they will uplift your spirit in the darkest way. https://www.actorstheband.com/
Look what I got in the mail from my Swamp Boys – The Creature Preachers! You need more spooky surf music in your life. Start with these creeps and visit alteredstateofreverb.com
Unmask From The Routine And Make It Halloween Everyday