A Relaxing Day…

Yesterday I needed to compress from a lot that’s been happening.

Fortunately, my brother and I had a day off together for the first time in a while. I had started a new job, he got new hours, and we were never able to spend time together. Yesterday was a good day.

We sprawled blankets, we ate snacks, we played Monopoly and CAH and Diablo III. We watched Game Grumps and The Frighteners.

It was nice.

It was a day I needed.

Today, I face my problems again. But I’m better than I was two days ago.

Take moments, even in times of stress, to relax and not think about those things. Not thinking about it won’t make those problems go away, but having a moment of not thinking will give your brain a rest. And a restful brain is a more productive brain.

Take a break, then face your problems.

Hugs

Alexandra

Halloween Movies That You Might Not Think About

Guys, Halloween is two days away.

I don’t know about you, but this Halloween season has been such a dud. This Wednesday, I’m just gonna watch some movies and throw candy at some children.

But what movies?

I could say the generic Halloween movies, like Halloween, Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, Friday the 13th, Scream, etc. But I have a different list. So, if you’re looking for more spooky season films, here are some of my favorites:

  • The Frighteners–the most underrated horror movie in existence. Also known as a horror comedy, it follows a man (mid-90s Michael J. Fox) who can communicate with ghosts after the death of his wife. Love it. Can rewatch it over and over.
  • The Last Man on Earth–the original film version of I Am Legend. With Vincent Price.
  • Stay Alive–I mean, I think it is. Guys, I’m a puss when it comes to horror. I scare easily. I watched this through the cracks of my fingers. It’s about gamers, and if you die in the game you die in real life. The real question is, did this come before or after Sword Art Online? (Answer: before)
  • 1408–want a good thriller? Yes. This one. John Cusack trapped in a paranormal hotel room.
  • Stir of Echoes–another severely underrated horror/thriller. Kevin Bacon gets hypnotized, and becomes haunted by visions of a girl’s ghost.
  • Two Head are Better Than None–this is on the fun side. The Halloween special of Kenan and Kel (Nickelodeon baby here), when they are stuck in a headless man’s house.
  • Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow, and Corpse Bride–Tim Burton is known as a spook master. These three are particularly good around this time of year. I would’ve added Edward Scissorhands, except I see that more as a winter film rather than Halloween.
  • Nightmare Before Christmas–no, this is not Tim Burton, surprise. This is Henry Selick. Anyway, good for Halloween or Christmas.
  • The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror–for those who want a show rather than movies. I love these since they parody horror movies and stories. Hilarious every time.
  • The Crow–taking place in the actual time of Halloween. A man (Brandon Lee) and his fiance are murdered. On the anniversary of their deaths, he comes back to life to seek his vengeance. There is some disturbing things in this one, as a warning. Check parental guide for triggering things.

And that’s it for now!

I hope you find a new movie to appreciate this year.

Personally, I’ll be watching The Frighteners, Beetlejuice, and Sleepy Hollow. The Crow if I have time.

On the actual day of Halloween, the post (since it’s a Wednesday) will simply be a sum-up of the month. So, I’m wishing you a Happy Halloween now.

Enjoy your Halloween, everyone!

Hugs and Spooks

Alexandra

Books to Read Around Halloween

Are you a big bookworm like me? Do you want to get into the spooky spirit?

Well, let me give you some recommendations!

  • Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe. Or anything by Poe. He’s the perfect author to read around Halloween. True haunts. And a spooky list would be incomplete without my fave.
  • Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. Or basically anything by Stephen King. Much like Poe, he give you true haunts.
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker. A true classic horror.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Another true classic horror.
  • The Omen by David Seltzer. Based off the movie (like a true twist), it’s a pretty frightening supernatural horror.
  • Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie. It is not a true horror/suspense list without my homegirl. Be prepared to not figure anything out again!
  • Stardust by Terry Pratchet. A mild book comparatively, but this book has its fair share of witches and ghosts.
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. It’s a dark fantasy involving a carnival. Have chills run down your spine yet?

I have many more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with a long list. Especially since we only have a week until Halloween.

Enjoy some literary haunts!

Hugs and Spooks

Alexandra

So Your Job Won’t Let You Dress Up

I love Halloween. It’s one of my favorite times of the year.

However, my job doesn’t allow us to dress up for Halloween. Honestly, they’re missing a great opportunity for some extra fun. Everyone’s distracted anyway, throwing candy at each other, decorations everywhere. Costumes are just a nice cherry on top.

I’m not the only one who’s complained, but higher-ups stand firm. No costumes.

Well, I’m not gonna take this with a boring work-day outfit.

Here’s what you do when your job won’t let you dress up for Halloween:

First of all, black. Wear all black. Everything black! Besides being the only acceptable fashion choice, it looks spooky. Don’t have black? Guess what. Thrift stores have black! And if you like to wear it, nail polish. Black nail polish. Black makeup. Or blood red, whatever.

First-and-a-half of all, if you don’t want to wear all black, bound it up. Take a character, and create a modern, appropriate outfit for it. You wanted to dress like Ariel from the Little Mermaid, but the office won’t allow a bikini and tail? A green skirt, a purple shirt, red earrings.

Second of all, spooky accessories. Skull earrings, bat headband, Freddy Kruger belt buckle, Friday the 13th tie, I don’t know. Whatever you have that could say ‘spooky’, put it on.

Third of all, have a little fun. You carry a purse to work? Guess what. Your purse is not a pumpkin. You write a lot at work? Guess what. Your pens are now bloody syringes (available at a party store). Your computer wallpaper is now a graveyard. Your tissue box is now wrapped like a mummy. Your water bottle is now shaped like Frankenstein’s monster. Your lunch is now brains. Commit!

And most importantly, have fun. Halloween is a fun time. Even if I’m not allowed to dress at work, I’m gonna be wearing all black, with all my spooky accessories, throwing candy at the kids I work with. Maybe even some of my coworkers.

Have a safe, fun Halloween!

Hugs and Spooks

Alexandra

The Yard’s Still Not Decorated…

Today was originally going to be a Halloween DIY.

I love Halloween. But this year has been so odd and busy that Halloween seems to be a passing thought.

It actually feels like an obligation.

I don’t like that.

However, I’m working more. I’m focusing on keeping my videos and blogs on schedule. I have to prep for a couple of big events, like going to a college four hours away who offered to read my play in their Reader’s Theatre. And I still have books to read.

I haven’t watched any Halloween movies because I’m just not in the mood.

Who am I, and what have I done with the real Alexandra?!

But this happens.

All we can do is our best. If Halloween gets stuck on the wayside, then that’s just how it is. I’m sure on the actual day, I’ll feel much more in the spirit of things.

Don’t worry too much about the celebration of things. Yeah, it’s nice, but if you can’t do it, don’t be upset. I would rather let Halloween die than to have a panic attack decorating because I could be using this time to work. And if you’re able to celebrate, let’s do the Monster Mash!

Hugs and Spooks

Alexandra

Why Do I Look Like a Hoarder?

I have a lot of stuff.

And with the new trends of minimalism being the end-all, be-all of living, I wonder if I have perhaps too much stuff.

So, why do I look like a hoarder?

Well, because I lived.

Let me explain.

First of all, everything I’m surrounded by are either memories, knowledge, craft, or pleasure.

I surround myself with memories because I lived. I’ve had a long life, chock full of memorable events. I like looking around, reminiscing on the good times after so many bad times. Does this justify having a magazine cutout of a liger named Patrick on my wall? Yes, because I met him and the woman who saved him, Tippi Hedren. Use your power for good, and help all species. What about the flyer for the United Makeup Artists Expo? I was the only student in the University of Glasgow to go! What an accomplishment, and a learning experience! Look at these accomplishments, these happy moments, these little lessons. Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

I surround myself with knowledge because I lived. Learning as much as you can is what life is to me. Learning about the world, the past, the present, and most importantly, yourself. Learning how to make yourself the best person you can be. I have many theatre books, art books, textbooks of various forms, self help books, biographies. I have binders with my research, class notes, writings, articles. I have journals of self-findings, self-betterment. Look how much I’ve learned, and how much I strive to continue to learn! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

I surround myself with craft because I lived. It took so long for me to figure out what I like to do, and I like to do a lot. I’m actually still figuring out what I like to do. I make jewelry. I craft things (as you’ve seen in past posts). I make videos. I write. I draw and paint. I sew. I cosplay. And I plan. I am a very big planner, so I make that as pretty as possible. Because of this crafting that I love to do, I have lots of supplies. Everything from wire to brushes to rocks. And because organization is a passion and need, I have to have shelving and drawers to put everything in its proper place. Look at these passions, these hobbies, these moments of happiness! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

And I surround myself with pleasure because I lived. Life may not have been the kindest, but I can have kindness in my living space. I decorate with happiness. Little plushies of things I like, funko pops of characters I feel a connection with, flowers, my talented friend’s art, the teapots I’ve started to collect. Are they necessary? No. But do I like having them around? Absolutely. This space is my place of comfort and relaxation. It’s a place I can either focus on my work or take a breather and play a game. Look at this color, this beauty, this love! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with them?

Now, I am not in any way saying I don’t get rid of things. I do. Something I find is no longer of use to me, something that can be a bigger help to someone else, or even a hobby that I don’t do anymore (bye bye jazz shoes). I always make sure that I am organized and tidy. The only place that is almost never tidy is my desk because of everything I do there.

If minimalism is your style, then go for it! Whatever makes you comfortable in your own space, do it.

I love my space. And I hope you love your own space, or are on your way to loving your own space.

Hugs

Alexandra

Fears, Weaknesses, and Strengths

When I was in my undergrad, I had a Young Adult Literature class my senior year. While having a class discussion about Brandon Sanderson’s book Steelheart, we talked about fears.

Two of my classmates asked what my fears were. And I stumbled. Of course, as a human, I have fears but in this moment I didn’t know what they were. I was unaware of the term ‘trypophobia’ at the time, and I didn’t know I had a fear of the ocean.

Anyway, I answered that I didn’t know. Obviously, they were dumfounded. ‘Heights’? No. ‘Spiders’? Nope. ‘Snakes’? Nah. ‘Being alone in the forest’? Not anymore.

‘Wow, you must be a strong person.’

Um.

Does that mean that people who have fears are weak?

I just remember thinking how fears correlate with strengths and weaknesses. Here’s what I’ve come up with: they don’t. Having few fears doesn’t make you strong and having many fears doesn’t make you weak.

Don’t worry about how many or what kind of fears you have.

Hugs

Alexandra

Why I ‘Hate’ My Birthday

My birthday was three days ago. And every year, I have a love/hate relationship with it.

When my birthday comes around, I do have that moment where I say to myself congratulations for making it to 27 years old. That’s why I look forward to my birthday.

However, if anyone asks, I will usually tell them that I hate my birthday.

And it all comes down to unnecessary jealousy.

My birthday is at the beginning of September. What usually happens at the beginning of September? School starts. No one wants to celebrate a birthday when they’re trying to figure classes out. Or, most of the time, no one knows. And by the time they know or they’re settled into classes, it’s too late. It’s time to celebrate other people’s birthdays.

The time I felt the most hatred for my birthday was two years ago when I was in Scotland. I didn’t know anyone in this new country, so I didn’t celebrate (because my immature brain thought self-celebration was useless). No one knew or cared.

Fast forward a month and a half later, I check my social media to see a good friend was given a surprise party on her birthday by her classmates and friends. Wow, none of my friends or classmates have even thought about giving me a cake, much less a party.

Fast forward again several months later when we are at a party for one of my Scottish classmate’s birthday. Now that we know each other, classmates, now friends, are willing to party and celebrate each other’s birthdays. Except me.

I can hear you all: ‘why do you care so much?’

Because I want to celebrate my life.

As someone with a past of attempted suicide and still have passive suicidal thoughts, I want to celebrate the fact that I’ve continued to live. Every new year is a gift. And I want everyone I love to be part of that.

This year has been different. I’ve started to understand the true meaning behind self-celebration. I’d still like my friends to be around or to bother. However, everyone has their own agenda and my birthday does not have to be in it. So. I’ll celebrate on my own when I need to.

Hugs

Alexandra

When To Script versus When To Blog

Sometimes I come up with an idea for something to write, but I’ll stop and ask myself: Is this video worthy or blog post worthy? And lately, I’ve been having a harder time trying to figure out which medium to use. 

One one hand, writing on my blog is faster and easier. I’m able to do it on my phone, tablet, or computer. And I always get my feelings out better by writing. On the other hand, there’s more entertainment to watching a video. It’s easier for the audience to view rather than read. And I can add a bunch of animations to get my point across. 

Obviously, I can’t play games on my blog. Nor should I tell longer stories in videos. 

Now, I know I shouldn’t let this kind of stuff get to my head. No one generally cares which idea goes on which site. But, in actuality, I care very much. Which would be a better way to present the idea? Which would the audience prefer? Who am I presenting it to? Will they like it? 

Is it worth it at all?

Let me tell you: it is worth it. Yeah, I’m always concerned about should I script or should I blog. Yeah, I’m concerned about what others think about it. But that doesn’t stop me from doing it. 

Not yet. 

Do what you like, even with the concerns of it in your mind. 

Hugs

Alexandra 

How Paris Made Me Feel Okay Again

In June 2017, I took a spontaneous trip to Paris, France. I stayed at Disneyland Paris, spending two full days at the parks and one day on an excursion to the city of Paris. But I was in the middle of graduate school, specifically right off the tail of an internship and in the middle of my IRP, or dissertation. Why would I go spend so much money at such an inconvenient time?

Because it was needed.

Time for a story. When I was in Glasgow, I was in a relationship that we decided to keep on the down low. For reasons, I’ll call him Tom. He and I went out for quite a while, and things were going well. He was a great guy. Until the very unfortunate breakup. Without going into too many details, I happened upon him and his mates talking about me. The friends were wondering what he was doing with an ugly, fat person like me. And Tom’s response was that, while I was indeed ugly and fat, I had a decent personality. I pop my head out, say my goodbyes, and leave.

What an upsetting time. I already had my own body issues, I hated the way I looked but was trying to build up my confidence. And the fact that someone I loved thought in such a way put me in a really sad place. I locked myself up in my flat, trying to distract myself with my school work, hating life. Couldn’t do it. I needed a confidence booster and I needed it now.

So I sent myself to Paris.

I’ll go day by day, starting with my first day in the parks. Disneyland is a happy place. The employees there are required to make you feel special. Every place I went, ride I went on, gift shop I visited, they made me feel like a wonderful, worthy person. Also, Disneyland Paris is BEAUTIFUL. I’m sorry, Disneyland California, but you can’t beat Paris. Having a change of scenery helped keep my mind off Tom, off my work, off my own low self-esteem. The first day was just wandering the parks, getting endorphins and a happy high from everything around me.

The next day I went on an excursion (with Disneyland) to the city of Paris. This included a tour of the city, a River Seine cruise, and a trip to the Louvre. It was another change of scenery that I adored. The Louvre was actually very special to me in my depressive state. I loved seeing priceless art, specifically art that featured some chub on a lady. Ladies with curves, with fat, depicted in quite beautiful ways.

And the third day I spent in France was in the parks again. This time I Disneybounded as Jack Skellington, and I was able to go into the park an hour early to meet characters and go on rides. This was the day I felt most special. The characters were amazing, the staff was fantastic as well, even some of the park goers gave my outfit compliments. No one treated me terribly because of my size or nationality (both fears of mine when I went to Paris). I did everything I possibly wanted to: I rode all the rides I wanted, I met the characters I wanted to the most (with the exception of Belle), I ate, drank, and was merry! It was near impossible to feel bad about myself in such a place.

And the next day I went back to Glasgow, and back to my school work.

These three days I spent in Paris were important to me, and I know I’ll cherish them forever. And I have to say, I’m proud of myself for doing something like this for myself rather than wallowing in self-hate and eventually breaking down beyond repair. So, I’d like to say to you guys that you are beautiful. If anyone says otherwise, they are not worth your time. Treat yourself, and spend time reminding yourself how lovely and valid you are.

One more note, I know people who are reading this (friends and family) are gonna want to know what happened with Tom, and how I feel about things now. I’m over it, and I’m over him. Trust me, I don’t think about him much. I don’t see this breakup as something to look back on and talk about. Our relationship was kept quiet in the first place, so the breakup was in the same fashion.

Anyway, you’re beautiful, you’re amazing, you’re worthy of love. And if you don’t feel that way, work on yourself and treat yourself until you believe it. I’m still working on it, but at least I’m working.

Hugs

Alexandra