That’s right folks. You are hearing it here first. I actually miss people. You know that the pandemic has gone on way too long when it’s getting to the introverts. I didn’t always feel this way. When it all started back in March of 2020 — fuck… has it almost been a full year — I was actually ok with lockdown. I can personally go many days without seeing other humans and be ok with it. I used to do it all the time when I lived alone. (I don’t live alone any longer, I have a super hot husband to spend my time with) Living alone or not, I’m now at the point where I miss humans. Ok. Let me back this up a wee bit. I have always missed my friends and my family, it’s the other humans I speak of.
What I am missing the most is being able to hug and spend actually time with my friends and family. I haven’t seen my parents in a year + and it will be almost two years by the time it’s safe (when we all have vaccines). I need to keep them safe. With regard to friends, I miss having movie nights, going the Rep Theatres (ie The Revue, The Royal & The Fox), eating in retro style restaurants, running Killer B Cinema at See-Scape, BBQs in the backyard, house parties or just sitting on a patio having a few beverages. I also can’t wait to be able to stroll along Queen street with a coffee in hand and go fabric shopping or to go into any of my favourite stores for that matter. One of the biggest activities I am missing right now is going to see my friends bands. I really miss being in a small crowded music venue listening to Toronto’s amazing musicians and bands! I can’t wait for the pandemic to be over so I can go back to supporting them.
Due to the pandemic some other plans have been put on the back burner. I fully intended to return to selling my creations at artisan markets with a few other artist friends. I can’t wait to start sharing booths and tables again with likeminded friends. There is something satisfying about having someone buy and appreciate your creations.
I could write a very, very long list right now on all of things I’m missing and consider what I want to do first, but going full circle to my original thoughts, it’s truly people I miss the most.
Raise your hand if you are over this pandemic! You know it’s gone on waaaaay too long when it’s starting to get to the introverts. Let me tell you, it’s gotten to me. I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a more personal blog (and I’m going to start doing them more regularly again), and that is mostly due to the fact that writing about b-movies has been the distraction I’ve needed. So… how are things? Frustrating to say the least. I miss so, so many things. One of the most missed, is being able to see my friends and family, especially the latter. Zoom is great and all, but it isn’t the same. It will be more than a year and a half before I will be able to safely see my parents. Why so long you ask? Let me tell you.
My parents live in a small town north of Toronto and are in the age group that puts them at the highest risk of catching Covid. Because I’m not a selfish, self-centred jerk who thinks that a) I will never get it, b) no one can tell me what to do, and c) it’s a hoax, I am choosing to not visit my parents and chance spreading Covid to them. It’s a four hour drive, which means needing to stop at least once, risking exposure. I want to keep my family safe. It’s also the other reason I haven’t spend any reasonable amount of time with friends. Yes, this whole situation frustrates me, especially when there are so many who refuse to follow recommendations. Oh, I get it, some are just over it all and have given up, but hold up, there are a large number of people who don’t think the rules apply and therefore they can do what ever the fuck they want! To them, I say grow the fuck up. If you are someone who is following recommendations and are making a concerted effort to help stop the spread, thank you.
What have I been up to? Currently, I am working on what I hope will be the final edits on my novel (as suggested to me by the publisher), I’ve also eeked out a first draft of a compilation of short stories (which I will go back to when the novel edits are done) AND, I’ve pulled The Last Single Girl back out to update and complete. I also decided end of last year, that is was time that I start selling my ready to wear, vintage reproduction knitwear/garments designs, which means I’ve been knitting and sewing a lot. I’ve been thinking about this idea for quite a while and working it all out. If you give @killerkitsch13 on Instagram a follow, you will see what I’m working on. I know that seems like a lot, but I need to keep my mind and hands occupied, otherwise I will fall into that deep cavern known as depression and anxiety. I know I’m not the only one.
Now that the vaccine is finally getting put into peoples arms, I am starting to feel like there is an actual light at the end of a very long tunnel. Every once in a while, I will run through my head a list of things I want to do as soon as it is safe and what we can do as soon as we are fully on the other side of this. Here are my lists. What is yours?
As soon as it is safe to be around other people, even though we still need to social distance:
Fabric shopping with Laurie! I need to touch the fabric! (it will still be a social distance excursion) Nature walks with Cate! A walk in High Park with Heather B AND Heather M. In warmer weather… (this will help me get through the winter) Sit on a patio with friends. Show movies in the backyard. (this helps with the deep sadness of not being able to do Killer B. Cinema) Social distance crafternoon in the backyard! Writing sessions on my own and with friends in the backyard. Coffeeshop writing on a patio. Sketching in High Park with Heather B.
As soon as we are on the other side of this:
See my parents. HUG my friends. Have a movie and dinner double date with Heather and Neil at the Revue and Skyline. Go to the theatre with Cate. Games night in person with Kevin and Lisa. Have friends over for a BBQ! Do a bat walk with friends. COFFEE SHOP WRITING (inside a cafe)!!! Holy fuck do I miss this! KILLER B CINEMA Go see live events again (local bands, poetry, artisan shows, other b-movie night events) HALLOWEEN!!!!!
In the grander scheme of things, these seem like little things, but they are things that I need to look forward to for my own mental health and I know there are many more things I want to do. By giving myself this list, I have something to look forward to and that is really important. I am fortunate that I’m not doing this alone. I have an amazing husband and even though we need to connect virtually right now, truly wonderful friends and family.
I truly look forward to a day when this is over and things go back to what ever our normal will be. What things are you doing to help yourself through this pandemic?
Well folks, I think it is time to put the Stay The Fuck Home series to bed. I’ve had a lot of fun writing it and hope I helped a few people out. Now that we are past our toilet paper and flour shortage/hoarding situation, and things are opening up again, I feel like it is time to move onto blogging about something else. So….. I AM! However, I am still waiting for a few guest posts and once those arrive, I will post them.
I am going to continue Redheads Writing In Cafes blog posts, except I will be writing from my bedroom/temporary office and occasionally the back yard. Hopefully, one day soon it will be back to coffee shops, patios and other outdoor spaces. Also hopefully I will resume writing with that other redhead Heather Babcock!
BAT ADVENTURES will continue on till late Fall! As long as the bats are out, I will be writing about them!
I don’t want to leave the Wednesday spot empty, so I will be replacing it with a new series called Queen of Schlock! I’m truly the Queen of B-movies and will be posting about them.
It’s been a blast. I hope we don’t get a second wave. Please stay safe and there will be lots more writing coming from this redhead!
When I was a kid, I used to do a lot of cross stitch and paint by number. I think a few of the paint by numbers might still be on my parent’s walls. I remember loving cross stitch and recently got back into it. One of the reasons is I want to be able to either cross stitch or embroider onto garments I am making.
One of the main reasons I love cross stitch is it takes concentration and that concentration takes your mind off of the world around you. We all need that right now! If you are interested in taking this us, below are some how to and links to free patterns.
At this point, some of us are reaching into the back of our cupboards to see what is there. Partly because we need to use stuff up, partly because we are bored of cooking, mostly because going to the grocery store is really fucking stressful.
In the back of my cupboard, turns out, I have a lot of Jackfruit. It’s time to get creative with it. I decided to turn to the 1950s weird recipes for some inspiration. Maybe you should too… or not. There is some weird fucking stuff about to be rolled out below.
Everyone has a can of Spam or it’s equivalent in their cupboards. Some may have a can that’s been their for 20 plus years. This stuff will survive a nuclear war! Click here for more…. of these recipes?
Lately, I have been revisiting my obsession with vintage campers. A late 50s Shasta to be exact. Maybe it’s because we’ve been couped up for so long and the thoughts of travelling across Canada in a little vintage ditty is exactly what my soul is screaming for right now! To make the dream complete, a shiny candy apple red 1957 Chevy, with those wing like tail lights, would be the perfect vehicle to tow our red and white chariot!
I dream of going from destination to destination and then setting up camp near lakes or vintage looking trailer parks. Putting down the awning, stringing it with fairy lights and setting up our portable BBQ. Then we would sit back with our cool drinks and meditate to the sounds of birds and other musical sounds of nature.
While we are travelling, we could visit antique markets along the way and hunt for treasures.
One of these days I will finally watch Lucille Ball in the movie The Long, Long Trailer. It looks like a blast!
You will need to excuse me while I go back to dreaming.
Why does the theme song from the Littlest Hobo keep playing in my head? Maybe it is time to hit the roads!
My all time favourite thing is pie. It can be sweet pie. It can be savoury pie. As long as it is pie! My favourite sweet pie is blueberry. YUM YUM! After that, peach then strawberry. I even like a good strawberry rhubarb pie, but DO NOT try to give me a rhubarb or raisin pie. I detest raisins.
I grew up in a household where every Sunday night we would have pie as dessert. My mom would make her pies mostly with seasonal fruit. Every once in a while, she would make a killer lemon meringue. My Mom learned to make pie from my Grandma Betty (my Dad’s mom) and I then learned to make pie from both my Mom and also Grandma Betty. My Grandma Betty was the queen of baking.
All of the below recipes can be easily veganized.
Mom’s Pie Crust! It is the flakiest pie crust you will make. The trick is and you CANNOT skip this step, is you must add the vinegar! I’m not sure about variations for replacing shortening.
This recipe makes 2 pie crusts.
2 cups of flour 3/4 cups of vegetable shortening pinch of salt 4 TBSP Cold water (the colder the better) 1 TSP White Vinegar. (this is the only vinegar that will work)
In a large bowl add the flour, shortening and salt.
In a small bowl add the cold water and vinegar together.
With a pastry cutter or two forks cut into the flour and shortening until it is crumbly.
Once it is crumbly add the water, a few tablespoons at a time. If you find your mixture too dry, add more water. Make sure you only add a bit at a time.
Don’t over mix, otherwise your crust will be tough.
There are three actors that I had major crushes on when I was younger. Harold Lloyd (silent film star), Jon Erik Hexum and Vincent Price. Yes, that sounds like a mixed bag, but they all had a uniqueness that had me crushing hard. I know… I know… you need more info than that.
Harold Lloyd had an adorable awkwardness about him. Watch any of his movies (Girl Shy, The Freshman or Why Worry) and you will get it. Jon Erik Hexum… his time travelling, swash buckling hero character of Phineas Bogg got my heart a pitter pattering. But Vincent, Vincent Price was this horror loving, spooky story girl favourite.
Vincent Price was not only the voice of many radio plays, he was a Film Noir star and a campy horror god! I’ve long been a fan of his horror movies and radio plays, but it wasn’t until recently that I have really gotten into his Film Noir movies. I highly recommend Shock!, Laura and The Long Night. Here is a link to some more of his well known Film Noir roles. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed. However, it’s his horror films that we know and love him for the most.
However, before I get to the horror stuff, I need to talk about the Vincent I remember from my childhood. If you are not Canadian you many not be as familiar with this as we are. There are box sets out there of the entire series, you need to go buy them. What am I talking about, well, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein of course! This show, along with the Addams Family were my favourite things to watch. They were dark, funny and I loved all of the characters. I also love that it is a Canadian show filmed in Hamilton.
Then comes The Last Man On Earth. This is still one of my favourite of his horror movies along with The House On Haunted Hill, The Witchfinder General, The House of Wax, The Pit and The Pendulum, The Bat, Theatre of Blood and The Fly. There are so many more, but this post will end up being really long!
Let’s not forget that Vincent also loved to cook! He and his wife Mary created a cookbook called A Treasury of Great Recipes! Oh how I would love to get my hands on a copy! My birthday is coming if anyone is looking for gift ideas!
I have a soft spot for B-movie creatures. My biggest soft spot is for King Kong, Frankenstein and the Creature from The Black Lagoon. I often wonder if I’m drawn to them because I always feel like I’m out of my element, especially when I was a teenager. I felt like I was growing up in a place I not only didn’t belong in, but was put there without my own choice. The three creatures I just mentioned, were either yanked away from their home, brought back to life against their will or had their home invaded by unwelcome visitors. All things they never asked for. All things throwing them out of their own element.
Many moons ago, while I was browsing DVDs at Sonic Boom (Toronto), I came across one of many box sets I ended up purchasing, of these beloved creatures. The first one I bought was Frankenstein, then The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Then Dracula and finally The Wolf Man. The only one I’m missing is The Mummy (again… my birthday is coming soon). I’ve watched all of these box sets over and over again, but the one I’ve watched the most is The Creature From The Black Lagoon. I tend to crave it the most right around this time of year. I’m not sure why. I tend to watch it along with the first Jaws movie. Maybe it’s my version so Summer Fever?
My good friend Carlin who passed away in December of 2019 created dolls and made me my very own Creature From The Black Lagoon. I will cherish it always.
The Creature From The Black Lagoon had two sequels, Revenge of the Creature (1955), in 3D and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), filmed in 2D. Abbott and Costello even had a comedic episode on the Colgate Comedy Hour called Abbott and Costello Meet the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Then… there was failed attempts at a reboot. I’m generally not a fan of remakes. I love when movie creatures inspire other movies such as The Shape of Water, but when a movie doesn’t need to be remade… just leave well enough alone.
Watching all of these amazing b-movies and creature features, really has me wanting to finally make one of my own!
I find some of the best cinematic entertainment, for me anyway, is b-movies. Especially, 1950s creature features and scifi. Honestly, how can you not. Not to mention how inspiring it is to hear stories about what the creators did to ensure their movies got made! Below are some really popular b-movies as a well as some of my all time favourites!
I have most of these in box sets, but you can find many on YouTube!
What are some of your favourite creature features?
(links below are a combo of full movies and trailers)
Creature From The Black Lagoon
Little Shop of Horrors
Famous Monsters The Wolf Man
Famous Monsters The Mummy
Other B Movie Creature Features I Love Below are some of my favourite b-movie creature features that I’ve watch many times over!