Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tarot for Tips

Friday night I was lucky enough to be invited to read cards for donations at the Neil E Dee Danger Thrill Show at Lana Lou's. The venue is actually really nice, and has the bonus of having booths in the back so that I could give readings in a fairly private environment.

The crowd was super fun, friendly, and generous. Not gonna lie, I was expecting to make enough to maybe pay for my drinks, but I walked away with enough to finance a little shopping spree and also two free glasses of wine. The evening was almost totally enjoyable.

Almost because of this one fucking guy.

So, a surprising number of people got their readings done with another person present - friends, partners, whatever. This one lovely goth chick came in with her handsome fella and I did as I do and asked her which deck she would like: the Rider or the Thoth?

Her fella, I realised, was quite drunk. He reached over and tapped the Thoth deck. "That one. That's the real one."

She seemed happy with the choice so I figured, fuck it, not going to ask what the fuck that's supposed to mean. I did ask him if he were a magician, thinking maybe this was some sort of metaphysical dick-swinging contest because he was an OTO freak or some shit, but he said nope, he wasn't.

All night long, I'd been doing Celtic Cross spreads with additional cards thrown if the client had additional questions. This is because when reading for strangers, I tend to read pretty fast - 90% of them do not give two shits about what the symbolism in the cards means, they want to know if they're gonna get laid or make it rich. So I laid out the cards and I realised the dude was frowning heavily as I turned them over.

"I don't do reversals," I told them. Which is true - I don't. The fella voiced his opinion that he believes cards fall rightside up or not for a reason, and I smiled and said that that is totally valid, but it's not my method. I've used reversals before in my fifteen-plus years reading, and to be frank I find they don't really offer a lot to a reading provided you're using a decent spread. His girlfriend sort of brushed him off and he subsided... but then proceeded to roll his eyes and make noises for the duration of the reading.

I've read for a lot of people. I've read for genuine nutcases, people who don't believe in divination (this actually happens more than you'd think), and the cataclysmically wasted. But I honestly don't remember ever having someone so aggressive sitting at my table before... and it wasn't even his reading! Throughout the entire encounter I tried to only focus on the woman, and stay as friendly and open as I always do. But holy bejeebus was it hard. One of the cards he was pissed I had flipped around I actually turned upside down for his benefit and said, "okay, so if we read this reversed it means this..." which considering the position, was basically what I had fucking said in the first place anyway. I figured if I played nice maybe he would back off and let his lady enjoy herself, but no.

When the reading was over, the woman went into her purse. Her fella looked exasperated, but thankfully got the fuck out of the booth so I could lean over and tell her NOT to give me money because I was thrown off and consequently felt that I had done a shitty job. She told me no, she was going to pay me if only for my patience. I actually have a feeling she overtipped me because she was embarrassed. At the time I would rather have had her keep her money, but whatever, it means today I got to buy a sweater so I guess it all worked out in the end. Dude probably didn't get laid that night either, since she seemed pretty pissed.

I'd been slammin busy all night, but I got lucky and had a few minutes to chill out and get back in the right headspace by drinking a little more wine and focusing on the High Priestess card for a bit.

I got home around one thirty in the morning. I probably could have stayed later and made some more money, but I was frankly exhausted by that point. Saturday I kind of slugged around too , still feeling drained. I slept in today which helped, and tonight when I go to the gym I think I'm going to make a point of visualising sweating out the icky vibes, then come home and do a proper cleanse. (Catching up on my blog reading I see Deb has a timely post regarding that.)

Overall though, I would totally do the event again. I just might ask dicks to wait outside next time.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Maps

NYNY Prompt: Maps.

This week’s prompt is for you to go some place that is sacred to you and to use the experience to guide you in your work. Look for signs and omens everywhere...

My first apartment in Vancouver was next to the beach. The apartment itself was small and very narrow, with windows that let in the afternoon sun and roasted us alive in the summer. The bathroom sink once fell off the wall and wasn't fixed for a full week, and there was a crazy woman obsessed with traffic cones who would scream at anyone who idled their car in the turnaround in front of the building. It was the sort of shithole that's perfect for your first place in the big city in your 20s. And again: it was by the beach. I could walk to the ocean at night and let the waves break over my toes. I could stand at the edge of midnight in the dead of winter anytime I felt like it.

The sea has a way of claiming you, once you've heard the waves.


The moon is waxing now - the night of the Scorpio new moon I did work to release some leftover bullshit in my head. After you've hollowed yourself out is a good time to visit the shoreline, I've found - you can feel the vastness of the ocean better. It's so much bigger than you, and it can swallow you whole and forget your bones.

You will drown. At some point, we all do. Not literally, but there will always be a time when you are swept away, pulled down, lost. And it doesn't matter. Not really.

It's been stormy this past week, with today being the first truly clear day in a while. The winds, however, stay strong - the remnants of Hurricane Ana. Consequently as I walked beneath a sliver of early evening moon, the waves were hurling themselves against the sand with real violence.

They will take everything away if you let them.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dot dot dot.

Did some catching up with myself today, when I wasn't sleeping through the flu. I realised I'd all but abandoned the New Year, New You prompts. I went back through them and checked the original prompts on Deb's site, figuring out exactly where I am in the process.

Some things I've already done without being prompted and just failed to write up. Others I have not, and so I think what I will do those rather than repeat myself and waste time. So, the next prompt on my list is this one:

Go some place that is sacred to you and to use the experience to guide you in your work.

This may have to wait a few days for the weather to permit it.



But right now I'm just going to crawl back into bed with Frances.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October.

IT'S OVER.

FubarFoto documenting yours truly right before the bloodshed.

Well, AbraCadaver is, anyway. October is still just beginning, and thank all that is dark and spooky for that. The show was a huge success (I heard we had three walk-outs this year, which may be a new record) and the feedback I've gotten so far indicates people thought it was our most sophisticated production yet. I am truly blessed to work with so many talented and passionate people - it means we can keep scaring the living bejeezus out of people year after year.

The last act this year involved my darling little sister murdering me horribly on stage. My cousin was in attendance and she said that while the people around her reacted to our fighting with winces, she could only snort and think "sisters." Indeed, I think it would be hard to fight more convincingly with anyone BUT Voodoo - we've been play fighting for years, after all, and if we slip and actually hurt one another we won't be all that angry. And hurt ourselves we did - I cannot begin to tell you how many bruises I have, and my left knee is missing most of its skin. Worth it. However, these bumps combined with the physical exhaustion of both setting up and taking down the stage dec this year has left me pretty fucking sore.

This is not entirely a bad thing - it is a reminder that we live in the body. And some of us have not been looking after those bodies as well as we should.

October marks one of the traditional Witches Sabbats that I hold dear - Samhain. Halloween has always been my favourite holiday (and my favourite costume as a child was a bat, so we can see that goth is apparently a disease one contracts early on) and the spiritual side of this day is one that I have not been able to ignore with any great success even in my most secular phases.

Many people consider Samhain to be the Witches New Year. It's the final harvest, and as such acts as the death knell for the year.

Also a character on the old Ghostbusters cartoon.

I've come to approach the holiday as time to clear old old junk in order to set new patterns over the winter, and this year feels like a good one to really stop fucking around in. A lot of my plans over the past year started strong and fell flat, and that's a problem. I think I've learned ways to avoid the usual obstacles I create for myself, and now is a time when I truly have no excuses left to keep me from doing my shit.

And man, do I have shit to do.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

AbraCadaver 2014: Deal With the Devil


So that was LAST year.

This year, the theme of the show is 'Deal With the Devil' and oh boy oh boy, am I ever excited about it. Obviously I won't divulge too much - the show is this Saturday, and for anybody who happens to be reading this you can get your tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets dot com.

This year my involvement has been primarily offstage, much as it was last year - I'm a co-producer of course, but I'm also a writer and it's there that I have the most fun. I wound up doing a lot of research into the history of witch trials for a piece, and I have to say... what the fuck, why are dudes so scared of people stealing their dicks? Like, come on guys. Grow up.

One of the things about writing for shows is that you get to hear some pretty unbiased stuff - you're not on stage, so people don't necessarily know your involvement. I think it was the second year of AbraCadaver that had what some people called 'the rape monologue' and what I referred to as "the demon possession monologue."

Now, certain topics are triggering for some people, and I'm not about to slam anybody for that. But what I have considered about that particular show is that in my piece rape was alluded to, while in another piece about a guy chaining up a zombie and fucking it it was considerably more explicit. The latter piece was preformed by a man, and mine by a woman. I feel this may have been a factor in one being more upsetting than the other. I don't apologise for my writing in general, and while I'm sad to have upset people I also feel that that's good. You SHOULD be upset by that shit.

At any rate, the horror continues this year. Because it is a horror show, not a Halloween show - a distinction Voodoo and I have been careful to make in the past few years. Halloween shows may have spooky skeletons, pumpkins, black cats. A horror show will try its hardest to disturb you. There will be blood... and maybe the Devil himself.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Spooky Ways to Waste Your Time

So, yesterday I stayed home sick, and since you can't sleep ALL day, the hours when I was not huddled in beed I was sat here with Miss Frances on my lap, playing spooky games online.

This is the face of love.
I found all of these on GameShed, because that means they were free. I also stuck solely to the ones I didn't have to download because that seemed like too much effort at the time. I'm a big fan of point-and-click games, mostly because I suck balls at real controls, so these are all of that sort.

Except this one: Little Phobia. You're a little boy who has to pee in the middle of the night. It is adorable and probably not hard for someone who has mastery over their motor control functions.

Whispers Room 6 has some extremely awkward grammar, as you might guess from the title. In it you play Mr. Johnson, whose wife and child go missing inside a spooky hotel. I'm sitting here trying to remember more about it besides the accidentally funny text, but I can't. So we'll say "you can waste time with it, sure."

The Insanity 2 has you play a reporter investigating an old asylum where a crazed doctor is fusing animals and people together. I had more fun with this one than I thought I would. The monsters are pretty cool, and trying to kill them was annoying enough to get the cat off my lap. Three stars.

Ghostscape 2: The Cabin is one of those 'walk around and find a bunch of shit' games, so if you hate those give it a pass. That said, I liked it because a) the Ankou is something I read about as a kid and b) it didn't have stupid jump scares and the puzzles made sense.

Q - You don't PLAY this so much as WATCH it. but it's pretty groovy if you consider it more of a vaguely interactive short film.

60 Seconds to Live - Exactly what it says. You have a minute.

Earl Gray is not remotely a horror game, but it has ghosts in it. You can treat these ghosts nicely or terribly, which was something I thought was quite fun. This is one of those "if I had children in my life that I could stand I'd play this with them" sort of games.

The Ugly sucked. It's like a choose-your-own-adventure in that every other choice is instant death. What's truly weird about it, however, is the graphics - everything is sort of hand-drawn like in an indie graphic novel, but then the gory shit is 'realistic.' It would have actually been creepier visually to just have everything keep that "I can sorta draw" aesthetic. Contains rape, and a dumb name for a serial killer. ('The Ugly'? Seriously? 'The Garrote Phantom' is better than that, jeez.)

Dreamgate Escape was fun. It doesn't seem to matter that you die, so I suppose it's a bit low stakes. I dunno I played that one right before I went to sleep again so my memory is a bit hazy but I seem to recall going, "oh, that was neat!"

These sucked, and all for the same reason:
The House 2
Real Horror Stories
The Halloween

Those three were some examples of the worst sort of point-and-click 'games' - you just tap on shit repeatedly until something happens, usually some shitty jump scare. That's not even a game, man. That's just tiring out your finger in a decidedly unsexy way. Two flippers down.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Annabelle.

I'm not sure if I ever recorded my thoughts on last year's haunted-house movie The Conjuring, but in case I didn't I'll sum it up here: it was half of a good movie.

(The first half, to be precise - the 70s vibe was funky, the haunting was creepy, and the characters weren't horrible. Buuuut then we got old grandma leaping off a wardrobe like Spider-Man and the super casual glossing over of "oh, the original house owner was a witch who KILLED HER BABY FOR SATAN and hung herself" and I was just done.)

In the film, our first introduction to our 'demonologists' is when two 20-something girls are explaining that they are being terrorized by a haunted doll. Apparently someone thought that this was scary enough to warrant its own movie despite the doll not being voiced by Brad Dourif.



Now, like The Conjuring and indeed The Amityville Horror, this movie - Annabelle - is supposedly based on a case investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Ed and Lorraine Warren were, by most accounts, full of shit.  More so than your average ghost hunter, even. Ed has been described as a bully, and was clearly not remotely interested in any serious research - apparently he had a copy of the Simon Necronomicon in his Occult Museum, and would tell people it was one of the oldest and most evil Books of Shadows.

Oh yes, the Occult Museum in The Conjuring is real. And Annabelle the haunted doll lived there! Here she is:

Image source. Oh yeah, baby.
It's a motherfucking Raggedy Anne.

Have you SEEN the doll they're using in the movie?


THAT'S PRE-POSSESSION. While I understand that the idea of Raggedy Anne chasing you down a hallway is pretty goddamn stupid, who in their right mind buys that terrifying piece of shit for his unborn child? If the father of my child walked into the nursery with that thing I'd be like, "fuck, I might be having a moron child because its dad is so stupid..."

Trailer here. Like, really dude? And she keeps the thing. I realise this is set in the 60s or 70s, but no WAY were you high enough to think that monstrosity was appropriate for a newborn.

At any rate, the film will no doubt continue to cast the Warrens as intelligent do-gooders instead of the attention whoring nutbags they were. (Lorraine, let's not forget, went on to appear on Paranormal State as Ryan's mentor. No wonder every case turned demonic.) I'm not going to list the accusations against the Warrens, because other people have done it already! Here a few podcasts which feature some people who are more in the know than I:

Monster Talk - the Warren Omission

Irreligiosophy - Ray Garton Interview.

Seriously, though. Fuck that doll.