Here is my obligatory first post for NaBloPoMo 2019, where I tell you once again that I’m going to try really hard to do all thirty days, but am only committing to weekdays and in 2018 I bailed before even accomplishing that. I may also throw some posts up on weekends, too, but let me not get ahead of myself here.
I’ve been doing this a few years with various blogs of mine, and it has always been a struggle. Last year (I think) I decided to only commit to weekdays. I did bail last year, but I feel like committing to weekdays is still a good goal. I do have more to say this year, and I will probably also may re-issue some of my posts from past blogs (especially The ReInVintaged Life) in order to get posts I don’t want gone forever on this blog.
Can I do it? Will I do it? Who knows? But I’d like to try. For the first time in several years, I find my thoughts and words coming more freely. They may not always be funny, entertaining, informational, or significant, but they will always be authentic.
This post from ashadornfest.com pretty much sums up why I’m hoping more people will start blogging again, and she made this really cool graphic to promote posts:
Are YOU participating in NaBloPoMo this year?
If you are, grab the graphic from Asha’s site, leave your link, read and comment on the other participants’s posts, and spread your own on social media with hashtag #NaBloPoMo2019! Also, I am thinking about compiling a list of participants – if you want your blog shared here and on the Storms and Stardust FB Page, leave your link and a short description of your blog or your niche, or whatever you’d want readers to know about it, and I will share!
Happy Halloween, folks! With warm-ish temps, overcast skies, and rainy, windy weather, the end of October has not let me down. My nerves have needed calming for a while now, so I am very thankful to have some of “my” weather. The above photo was taken today in the parking lot at work – wet pavement, an oil slick, and fallen leaves.
The prompt I chose for this week’s Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop is “Write about something you’re looking forward to.” I wanted to write about all of the prompts, honestly, and I could probably have contained each one to a paragraph, but…nah…I’ll come back to those topics another time, maybe. I chose this one because there is something I’m really, really looking forward to in particular.
Wednesdays are usually my double shift at work, and I thought I’d be working open to close tonight. But the schedule got changed and I didn’t notice, so I ended up with the nice surprise of being able to come home unexpectedly at 3. My double is now tomorrow, so the torture of contacting more people about my aunt’s estate that I was putting off until tomorrow had to be done today. I’m four hours away in another state, so the errands were all phone errands, but still, I hate it. I don’t hear well, so I have a hard time understanding people. And today I had to talk to people about her quarterly homeowner’s insurance, and her property taxes. After about 30 minutes on the phone altogether, which seemed like much, much longer, I now have resolution to those issues. Thank goodness.
I don’t think I can express how much I am looking forward to having all this estate business done. As far as I can tell, I have mostly everything done that needs to be done. I don’t expect much will be left of her estate funds by the time all these expenses are paid up and sorted, but at this point I don’t care. I just need it done. And barring hearing back from her life insurance company (where either I will be determined the beneficiary of the policy or the Estate – also me, as the only surviving legal relative of hers) and getting the house in my name so I can sell it, I think we are in the home stretch.
Oh, who am I kidding? We still have a house full of stuff to have the Salvation Army come pick up, and we were going to try to have a yard sale, but with my sister’s schedule and mine, I’m not sure we can actually pull that off. (She and I both work retail, and our busiest season is now upon us, so getting together on a weekend is going to be tricky). Still, if you could see where we started and how massively much has been done…I guess we really are close to being done.
But I have a buyer lined up for the house, with whom I am extremely happy, and that is a huge relief. I am also looking forward to what will hopefully be a restful, peaceful winter.
This weekend has been just what my soul needed. It cooled off a bit, and it was rainy and so windy. Perfect October weather! I had originally planned to do a huge Halloween playlist (or at least dig one from the past up, dust it off, and pass it off as new!) for Music Monday, but like plans of mine often do, they never came to pass. Mostly because I spent the weekend enjoying my favorite weather, catching up on reading for a book review, making some more household cleaners, and getting boatloads of post drafts made for my (triumphant?) return to Battle of the Bands one of these days.
What I have for you instead, is a collection of ten scary songs – some are Halloween-related, some spooky, some outright disturbing, most are rock (this is still #RocktoberMusicFest, after all), and I tried to pick a few that don’t usually end up on Halloween playlists.
Johnny Cash – “Ghost Riders In The Sky”
A herd of cattle with steel heels, red eyes, black horns, and horses snorting fire thundering through the sky? Paints quite a picture.
Gerard McMann – “Cry Little Sister”
From The Lost Boys soundtrack, this spooky, moody song was easily one of my favorites of my Senior year in high school.
The Cure – “Burn”
This is another one from The Crow soundtrack (I shared Nine Inch Nails’ cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls” here). The lyrics seem *to me* to deal more with devastating loss than being spooky. But it’s pain, and pain is scary.
Warren Zevon – “Excitable Boy”
You can find a wealth of information on Warren Zevon from his Wikipedia page. He has worked with an astounding number of top-notch musicians, and in my humble opinion, is in that category himself. I know everyone is already familiar with “Werewolves of London” – also fitting for a Halloween/Spooky playlist – but Zevon’s vividly compelling songwriting combined with his deep, smooth voice make all of his music sound pretty spooky to me. And if the lyrics to “Excitable Boy” aren’t scary and disturbing, then I don’t know what is!
Jane’s Addiction – “Sympathy For The Devil”
I know this is a cover, and the reason I’m using it instead of the Rolling Stones original is because a) it sounds spookier than the original, and b) I actually like it better than the original. I put this up as a contender for a Battle of the Bands face-off against another band (can’t think of who right now) at one of my other blogs, and I seem to remember this one winning by a landslide. This song was also featured in Sons of Anarchy.
Type O Negative – “Black No. 1”
One of the funnier selections for this list! I couldn’t leave out Type O Negative. They always toured around Halloween, and their shows were part of my Halloween and autumn celebrations.
Donovan – “Season of the Witch”
I don’t really have anything to say about this one, just that I love the whole vibe!
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put A Spell On You”
This was some really ground-breaking performance art for the 50s, and this is a show I would love to see even today.
Led Zeppelin – “Battle of Evermore”
This one always makes it onto the scariest/spookiest song lists, and I can see (and hear) why.
And last but not least…what would Halloween be without The Rocky Horror Picture Show?
The cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show – “The Time Warp”
Ministry – “Every Day Is Halloween”
…and that’s it for me till next Halloween! What is on YOUR Halloween playlist?
I’ve been longing to travel for SO LONG now, and other than road trips to visit family and heading to Atlanta a few times a year for concerts and to visit friends, I just don’t get to. I am hoping to change all that in the coming year, and these are some nearby cities that I’d love to explore over a long weekend:
New Orleans – I haven’t been in over twenty years, and I would love to revisit. And if the Voodoo lineup is good, it would be fun to do Halloween down there.
Destin/Ft. Walton/Panama City/Pensacola – I’m really, really needing a trip to the beach. It’s been nearly a dozen years; it’s past time.
Nashville – Just up the road, and I go every now and then for day trips. It would be nice to get a hotel, spend a few days, and do more exploring, though.
Boone, NC – I have a friend in the area who insists I would love it, and I know she’s right. Maybe one of these days I can make it up there!
Galveston, TX – I’ve never visited this city before, but have wanted to move there, sight unseen, for years now. I figure I could at least vacation there and see what the place is actually like!
I know, I know. I’m getting entirely too creative with post titles, right? Sometimes I think about NOT titling them, and just typing my first sentence into the title bar. I know you need something intriguing enough to inspire someone to read your post, but I can’t tell that titles have actually helped me all that much.
She has a YouTube vid to go with hers, but I’m not set up for YouTube, so I’m just answering the questions:
Chocolate candy or fruity? Depends on my mood, but probably chocolate
Witches of Vampires? Witches
Trick or Treat? Treat, please.
Halloween Party or Scary Movie? Scary movie
Skeletons or Zombies? Skeletons
Trick-or-Treat or Hand Out Candy? Hand out candy
Hay Ride or Corn Maze? Hay ride
Scary Costume or Funny Costume? Scary
Pumpkin Seeds or Pumpkin Pie? Pie. Always pie.
Bottle Feed A Baby Zombie or Walk Alone Through A Dark Forest? Walk alone through a dark forest
Bats or Black Cats? Both are adorable.
Pumpkin Spice or hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate
Celebrate in your neighborhood or at the mall? Either/or. My kids and I have done both.
Now, for today’s RMF music:
Nine Inch Nails covering Joy Division‘s “Dead Souls”. An amazing cover, from one of my favorite movies (The Crow). I still listen to this soundtrack regularly, and in my humble opinion, it’s one of the best movie soundtracks ever recorded. I still love mine after 25 years! But I am biased; I love this kind of music.
What is YOUR favorite movie soundtrack, if you have one? What is YOUR Halloween This or That?
Hello, Music Monday-ers and 4M-ers! I am freshly back from my Mississippi/Memphis trip, where I got to briefly visit family, and got ever closer to the finish line on my Aunt’s estate. (where I have never seen so much stuff in my life – and I have seen a lot of stuff!) I am enjoying my Monday, having gotten up early to tend to the dogs and clean a bit of house while listening to your selections. I’m normally at work today, but since it’s inventory I’ll be working a long shift tonight instead. This is something totally new for me, so I hope I do everything right. I’ve spent the entire past week preparing myself and my department for it, so there’s really no reason for things not to run smoothly.
It’s a freebie this week on Monday’s Music Moves Me – which can be seen at Cathy’s, Dolly’s, and many of the other participants’ as well – meaning a song of your choice. Rocktober Music Fest 2019 is still going on over at Mary’s, so my post today is doing double duty. I’m working on my spooky playlist for Halloween, and I think I’ll share a selection from that:
As many of you know, I’m trying to find my groove in book blogging again, and it just so happens that one of my favorite authors, Karina Halle, released her latest novel, The Royal Rogue (link is to the book’s Kindle page), this past Saturday.
I’ve been really lax about pushing myself to do “Five for Friday” posts here lately because they’ve all been in bullet form and since I don’t always follow a particular theme and it’s not an actual hop (YET?), I don’t always feel all that compelled to post. Then I feel bad that they’re usually just random things, though not always. But then I realized that it’s totally okay to post five random things, or five similar things, and that it’s okay that they’re in bullet form, and it’s totally okay that the posts are usually pretty short and sweet.
And just like that, the block lifted, and I’m no longer over-thinking it.
My Five for Friday: Life from Friday – Monday.
There will possibly probably be radio silence here on the blog till Monday, maybe longer if I don’t get a post finished and scheduled to go up Monday. So basically? The same any other week.
Heading out of town to visit family. I should probably be focusing on my podcasts and a playlist.
Heading up to Memphis to do some more work on my aunt’s house, then hopefully back up to The Lookout at the Pyramid, but this time at sunset/early evening. I still haven’t posted my pics from my birthday trip, but why not go back and take more anyway?
I’ll have lots of tv-watching to do when I get back on Sunday.
It’s inventory at work Monday, so I’m scheduled for a rare closing shift + later hours.
My featured photo is one of the images that popped up during a Pixabay search for one of the (first) names my parents were considering before settling on the one they gave me. That name was Gabby, to be short for Gabrielle. Gabby would have been a really good fit for me, since I always loved to talk a lot – at least for the first half of my life.
But Gabby was not meant to be, and neither was another name they were considering: Penny, to be short for Penelope. If we’re being totally honest, I really wish they would have given me this one. I love the name Penelope, and Penny would have been an amazing fit, as when I was younger (and through a good portion of my young adult life), my hair was the color of a brand-new shiny penny. The copper weathervane may have been what popped up for Gabby, but the fact that it was copper was not lost on me.
In case you’re wondering, my hair didn’t turn gray when I got older, it just dulled down to a really mousy brown. And that’s why I bottle it now, but I’ve sadly never been able to recreate the color. Still, I consider myself a natural redhead, and always will.
What were YOU almost named before your parents settled on the name you have now?
First up is “Fell In Love With A Girl” by the The White Stripes.
And next is a cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” by a band I’d normally be going to see around this time of year, Type O Negative. People tend to either hate this cover or love it, but I think it’s absolutely amazing.
After all these years, I still can’t believe Peter Steele is gone. I met so many great friends through this band and had so much fun at their shows, and I can’t even put into words how much I miss it all.
It’s Sunday, and I didn’t get any of my weekend plans or errands done. Not only was I going to make cinnamon oil so that I could make a homemade Snake-Away spray, but I also needed to get my car serviced and wanted to get it washed/cleaned. I was going to make more homemade dog food, as the dogs are almost out. Not to mention, I needed to do some shopping for the coming week. Instead, all I managed was laundry (at least it was a good bit of laundry, though) and a headache and a nap. I’ve been feeling run-down all week, and my health issues struck again today. But the nap seems to have taken care of the bulk of it, and I’ll just do the other stuff later.
Oh, and I moved some book-related posts over from The ReInViintaged Life, got myself a NetGalley account (you bookish types should check it out!), and watched a few episodes of Insatiable. Is anyone else watching? I absolutely love that show. It’s dark comedy, and so cleverly written!
This week’s theme at Monday’s Music Moves Me is “songs about taking a journey. It can be an actual trip, or a trip into the imagination, or even an emotional journey.” For that, I’ve selected this song because it always stirs my emotions. It’s about an actual journey, but manages to take me on a metaphorical journey as well – I find myself getting really nostalgic for my younger days, when I could just jump in a car and GO…somewhere…anywhere. Just run. Even though I have firmly planted roots both in my current home and my family’s home elsewhere, I’ve always had a Gypsy soul that longed to travel to other places, and a heart that has always had a strong need to start over elsewhere. This line from the lyrics still manages to nearly bring tears to my eyes all these years later:
“All by myself
I can see it like it’s right before my eyes
By myself time goes by
It was so long ago
It was a long time ago”
This band had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the late 90s-early 00s on alternative and college radio. I still think they’re incredibly talented and am surprised that that was the peak of their commercial career.
Black Lab – “Time Ago”
I guess that’s another week in the books, and another busy one about to start! What are YOU listening to this week? What songs take YOU on a journey – emotional, imaginative, or bring up memories of an actual one?