Halloween

2014 Netflix Halloween Playlist (3rd Annual!)

Everybody now: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Ahhhh. Don’t you just love Halloween? I know I do.

Fall season creeps in: candy apples and carved pumpkins, cardboard tombstones and plastic costumes, counter culture and scary movies. What I really love about Halloween is that it can look different to everybody. For me, even as a kid, I grew up watching horror. Really, I’m not sure how I got away with it. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers were as familiar to me as Mr. Rogers and Big Bird.

As I have aged I have got away from the horror genre a bit. So, now, when Halloween comes around, I enjoy packing in as many nostalgia-filled frightening flicks as I can (especially since my wife doesn’t usually watch them. Her childhood was NOT filled with grotesque, slasher movies… whatever that’s about).

Not sure what to watch this Halloween?

I made a Netflix playlist for us to enjoy. As usual it’s a mix of campy, fun, classic, horror and X-Files. I would love it if you joined me. We can discuss it on Twitter and have a ball.

So never fear (or should you? Mwahahahah). I got you covered.

Note: This list is good for either a spooky, all night marathon or spread nights before Halloween. Your pick.

Check out last year’s list too!

The Number Kevin’s 3rd Annual Netflix Halloween Playlist

paranorman2012-poster-wideParaNorman (2012)

It is always good to start out light, and I love kid-friendly Halloween movies. Monster House, Ernest Scared Stupid, for instance. ParaNorman has been on my Netflix List for quite some time. I have NOT seen it. This year, I plan on getting to it.

The Twilight Zone: Mr Garrity and the Graves (S1. E32)

TheTwilightZoneLogo

From friendly kid movie, we’ll move into classic TV shows. The Twilight Show was a favorite of mine as a child. I watched both the new and old editions (does anyone know how the newer version holds up?), as well as The Outer Limits. “Mr. Garrity and the Graves” is highly rated, and looks quite spooky: an unknown traveler who brings a small town’s deceased back from the dead.  (more…)

Kevin’s Halloween Netflix Playlist, 2013

Halloween is here, that magical time! Awww. I love it. I don’t know why. It’s just something about spookiness and scary movies and darkness that just makes me feel so happy on the inside. Is that weird?

Regardless, here are my top five Netflix pics for your Halloween marathon/partay/spookaville. BOO-ya. Get it? Boo-ya?

Side note: I meant to post this last week, but school has been crazy! I hope to get back on track next week. Thanks for sticking with me.

Check out last year’s picks here!

thefrightenersr1artpic11. The Frighteners (1996, R) Michael J. Fox, Peter Jackson. Oh yeah. This movie is so fun, and it holds up really well, too. For the most part. The opening sequence is a bit cartoonish and over the top (the special effects are atrocious by today’s standards). But it gets better; just stick with it. This movie is a really underrated Halloween flick. It’s fun, spooky, and generally creepy!

The_Post-Modern_Prometheus_TXF2. The X-Files: The Post-Modern Prometheus (Season 5: Episode 5) There are enough spooky X-Files to last me a few years of Halloween/Netflix posts. Last year’s episode was one of my all-time favorites. “Post-Modern” isn’t too far behind. It also makes for a great pairing with Frankenstein.

Unknown3. Ghostbusters (1984, PG) I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, we’ve all seen Ghostbusters. But, come on. Halloween is a great excuse to re-watch it. Some argue that one needs no excuse. Well, it’s a classic! It’s also a light hearted alternative to stupid, boob filled modern horror movies, or any horror movie for that matter.

zelda4. Pet Sematary (1989, R) File this one under “almost ruined me for life.” I was a child when I first saw it. Yeah, a kid. Who was watching me? Shame on them. Shaammme. Anyway, this movie is freaky-deaky. I haven’t actually watched it in sometime, but I saw Netflix put this up the other day; it’s on my list. If you’re looking for a generally really freaky older flick, look no further.

2-LMS-01045. Last Man Standing: Last Halloween Standing (Season 1: Episode 4) Megan and I have been really getting into this show. It’s super funny! I mean, you know, Tim Allen on ABC Family. How could you go wrong? Okay, some of the jokes are dumb, and the laugh tracks are super cheesy, but you know you want it. If you’re looking for a light-hearted “pick me up” after Pet Semetary, then put this episode on your Halloween Netflix playlist. There’s a fun, old-school Halloween cameo, and a Toy Story reference too!

That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderfully spooky Halloween. Any suggestions to add? What’s your… favorite.. scary movie?

The Hunt for Red Jobtober 2: Turning Down Work While Desperate

Job hunting is an unfortunate business. Combine the awkwardness of junior high-school dances with the continual let-down of door-to-door sales, and you start to get the picture.

“Hello, do you want to dance/hire me? No? Thank you for your time.” (Yells) I would never dance with you ANYWAYS!!

The last time I posted about job hunting, I spoke about my wife’s adventure of finding a job right after moving to Rochester. That was pretty cool. Since then, we’ve afforded to pay rent, utilities; I bought some new boxers the other day.

But I need a job too. My full-time school schedule allows for more than enough time for a part-time job. I’m sure I’ll regret this decision once finals come around. That’s okay.

My school offered me a healthy portion of money for work-study, but I couldn’t land a position with which to earn it! So far, my luck has been less than stellar. I’ve applied to Halloween stores, cafes, co-op markets, grocery stores—most recently, a music store.

Officially, I’ve been offered one job, and no, it wasn’t the Halloween store. I guess I didn’t fit their qualifications this year.

It was the local music store. Weird though, because I turned it down.

Kevie Don’t Play That

There’s just something about minimum wage that says, “If I could pay you less, I would.”  And I’m not down with that. You’ve got to value me, Sir Employer, just a little more.

The music retail situation was also unique in that the business structure was strikingly similar to what I interned at in California this year: retail, lessons, get more students, get more students, get more students. In the interview, I spoke to the owner about what I accomplished in California, and how I could grow his business. I looked around and saw a sad state of affairs, a local business in need of help, and I knew how to help it. He was looking for someone with an entrepreneurial drive to take his business to the next level, someone with ideas, spirit, and experience.

Great!

I was a damn valuable candidate, damn it. And I was on board, too, up until the point where he offered to pay me $7.25/hour to turn his business around. I told him that wouldn’t work for me, and then he offered $8.00/hour. I said I’d think about it, shook his hand, and left.

It’s so strange to turn down a job, especially when you really need it. But there’s no way I could’ve worked there. You need to be careful when job hunting. There’s a difference between undervalue and robbery.

I can work undervalued, no problem, if I have to, especially in new industries with little moral compromise. I recently read a book by a guy named Mike Michalowicz. He talks about, in business, never compromising your immutable laws, whatever those are to you. My job-hunt laws include never getting taken advantage-of and always working for people I respect and who respect me.

I mean, the music store guy had a ponytail and a gold necklace. I couldn’t do it.

So I’m left with a few open applications, an interview today. My school schedule (thanks to the last dibs I received as a new transfer student) is not very kind to employers.

But I’ve started copywriting on the side which is excellent. It’s not regular, but it’s a start. Maybe some more of that will come my way. Until then, wish me luck as I step back on to the dance floor.

“Excuse me…”

What are your immutable job-hunt laws? Any good job-hunt stories?

Netflix Treasures: Top 6 Halloween Picks

Looking for a good scare this Halloween? Too lazy to put on pants? Time to stay in! Netflix isn’t known for it’s selection, but never fear. If you look hard, there are some great choices.

Here are my six ghoulish picks for your Halloween night in.

The Fog (1980) 

I’m not afraid to admit how much this movie scared the begeebies out of me as a kid. It’s based in a small California coast town with monsters in the fog. So yes, when you grow up in a small California coast town with lots of fog, you tend to hide under your sheets between midnight and 1AM. More like, California “Ghoast” town.

It’s a classic 80’s scary movie. Directed and written by John Carpenter, staring legendary scary-movie actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Cheesy enough to watch with a group for some laughs but scary enough to watch by yourself or with one other.

The X-Files: Bad Blood (Season 5: Ep 12) Bad Blood is an incredibly original stand alone episode co-starring Luke Wilson and Patrick Renna (of The Sandlot fame) and written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. It’s seriously SO good. One of my favorite episodes of all time.

It’s quirky, dark, funny, and scary. Most importantly, you don’t need to be an X-Files nerd to enjoy it. But of course, I’ll always recommend it. It’s also a good change of pace for those sick of tasteless gore and stupid naked girls.

The Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (Season 5, Ep 3)

“There is something on the wing… some … THING.” What the Shat is on the wing!?

Thank you William Shatner. Thank you so much. There are so many good lines that just chill your spine, especially when delivered by the Shat himself. “It is real! There’s a man out there! A gremlin…” This episode, amongst a few others, is directed by Richard Donner which could be a reason it has so much staying power.

If all else fails, just throw a season of The Twilight Zone on. “Wouldn’t you at least consider the possibility?”

Scream 2 (1997) 

This sequel doesn’t get nearly enough credit. It has tons of character (and characters!) that really make the movie work. There is great humor and cheesy kill scenes. What more could you ask for (besides Scream 1?). To be fair, Scream is one of my favorite movies. In another words, the sequel may not be as enjoyable to a first time viewer of the franchise.

The final act is also pretty ridiculous and almost ruins the entire movie. The killers chosen could’ve been so much better, especially considering the great group of suspects Wes Craven presents throughout the film. Still a fun watch though.

Psych: Tuesday the 17th (Season 3: Ep 15) 

If you’re not on the Psych train yet, you need to get going. What a great show! This episode is perfect for those desiring more laughs than scares, but still want a Halloween vibe. There are some awesome throwbacks to Friday the 13th, other slasher classics, with a fun “who dunnit?” plot as well.

As if you needed another reason to watch Psych?

Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville (Season 2: Ep 2)

So we’ve covered ghosts, serial killers, and vampires. Why not leave the werewolves to Sherlock? You may have already seen this, as it is one of the best shows on TV, but it’s definitely worth a re-watch on Halloween.

I won’t say much more about the plot, as shows like this are best knowing next to nothing going in. But man, it’s spooky. If you haven’t seen this show yet, it’s worth investing your time on both seasons. The scariest thing? Season 3 is still a full year away.

 

Getting Stuck Sucks

In north Idaho, there’s a terrible stretch of the highway that runs through town: The Highway 95. It’s pure evil. I’m convinced it was created as a psychology experiment to test how many red lights a person can endure before punching their steering wheel.

For Halloween, I’m thinking of dressing up as the 95.

Everybody has a highway, freeway, or stretch of the city that terrorizes them. I’m probably reminding you of your least favorite place on Earth right now.  Sorry to tense up your back.

We get stuck and it sucks.

A few years ago I wrote a song called “Green Light District.” It was about enjoying the pause, in place of frustration, over highway red lights. Needless to say, I’m not really a fan of that song anymore. Green Light District. I wrote it before the 95 became apart of my daily driving rituals. There is no getting around it, the 95 is out to get you. 

But there is one thing I discovered and it’s crucial: Highway 95 is and always will, run slow. It’s a law. The more I accept it, the better I understand it. The more I understand it, the less likely I am to shout at inanimate objects.

Sometimes we get mad at the universe for not cutting us a break, as if the universe owes us anything after allowing us to exist. (For theological discussions, maybe substitute “universe” with God).

So it’s inevitable, the 95 will run slow. I’ll probably hit 5-7 red lights on average. You probably have a stretch that’s similar to you. Stop sweating; seriously it’s grossing me out.

Here are three steps to get you through your least favorite place on earth.

  1. Leave five minutes earlier. I’m always running late. This is probably a big reason the 95 feels worse than it really is. The more we hurry, the heavier gravity feels.
  2. Find productive use of your time in the car. For me it’s podcasts. They changed my entire outlook on driving. For others it could be an audio book. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be attentive drivers, but if you can’t listen and drive, then maybe you just shouldn’t drive. I wouldn’t recommend Sudoku.
  3. Pretend to be James Bond. Ok, maybe I just made this up because I needed a third point. But seriously, how cool is James Bond? He’s never in a hurry.

I think this whole idea of terrible traffic and/or bad stretches of highway can be a metaphor for the things in life with which we feel stuck in. Sometimes, we just need to acknowledge the obstacles in front of us and accept their influence on our lives.  By doing this, we can find an efficient way through the mess of inconvenience and simply move on through to the other side.

Poem: The Window of Fall

From the window of my frigid office, I sit and look out at a street, emptied of life, dusted with defeated leaves bested by their season. Telling end to days of warmth, and the arrival of a new cold. Here I wait, here I look.

As the fated leaves of fall drop and whither, one must wonder if their schools of thought teach hope and chance. It is in this office I fight against the change of my own skin, as I feel myself clinging. Here I wait, here I look.