Monday, December 23, 2019

Farewell, My Heart

On Friday, the 20th of December, I had to say goodbye to my Samhain, my Sam, Sam the Man, Sam-Sam. I am crushed beyond words, so I'll try to spend a minimal time on the sad, and share some of the cherished memories.
Our last photo on Friday afternoon.
Sam had been fighting Hemangiosarcoma since sometime before the end of March. Just before my birthday (which seems to be the time for things to collapse to utter garbage), he was diagnosed with splenic Hemangiosarcoma, and had the splenectomy.
Friday, after a very good day at work, the dogs got their dinner. Within a short time, Sam started showing the symptoms of bloat, and I rushed him to the emergency vet. (My dad was very brave and didn't scream once as we were racing to the vet and weaving in and out of traffic!) The vet confirmed my apprehension, and said she thought there was another tumor which had possibly caused the bloat. Sam had thrown up a few times in the past few weeks, which was unusual, and putting that together with the bloat, I felt the time had come to let him go. He was already six months past his prognosis, and putting him through a surgery would not have been the kindest thing to do for him.
There are a bunch of posts about Sam here (a couple popped up in search that don't have anything to do with him) which go back to the very beginning, when he was a newborn.
Last week at the office, helping out in the archives
He was there for me when those I trusted most, loved most, left. He was always ready to play, ready to cuddle, ready to go for an adventure, ready to hang out and watch movies. He loved people so much that he was the unofficial greeter of the UPS store next door to the office. People went nuts over him. 

The kids this past Hallowe'en were telling other kids and parents that there was a "really awesome dog" at my house that they had to meet. The babies thumped him hard on the head and he just gave them tiny little kisses on their chubby legs. The toddlers threw their little arms around his neck and he stood still so he didn't knock them over. The teenage girls fawned over him and called him handsome, and he preened and gave them mighty slurps and giant, full-body wags. The moms and dads were amazed at what a good boy I had.

He adored them, one and all.

And he was good to the newest addition of our family, even though she's a terrible brat and does not care about pleasing anyone, unlike my Sam, who was crushed to report he had, in fact, tipped over the trash can.

I don't know what I'm going to do without him.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Hallows 2019

Hallowe'en in L.A.! The fires we've had have made the traffic so bad!
How bad was it?
It was so bad, people were just dying to get out of their cars when they got home!
I didn't do very much decorating this year. I sold some props last year in the hopes that when my Hallowe'en Spirit finally returns, I can make new and more beautiful props than ever before.
A few favorites still showed their faces to good effect, and honestly, everyone who came to the door last night was just as delighted as if I'd put up my full graveyard with all the pneumatics, like I used to.
Dad graciously carved the pumpkins this year, and I was really impressed with the faces. I thought he did a great job!
I even put my own, handmade cbeeswax candles in them which was pretty gratifying!
My beautiful Sam (not pictured) was the doggo of the hour. Sweet and gentle with the tiniest of Trick-or-treaters, he was convinced that everyone had come to see him! It even got around that there was a sweet and beautiful dog at our place, and people came just to pet him.

I'm so grateful to have had him for one more Hallowe'en! I hope he'll make it to next year's.

Anyway, Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had the most wonderful of Hallowe'ens! 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Hallowe'en!

It's that most wonderful of days! Enjoy it!

Happy Samhain, all! Happy Hallowe'en!

Saturday, October 26, 2019


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Click on the pic...

Friday, October 18, 2019

And Tonight - He Comes for YOU!

Artist unknown. If you know, please contact me so I can give credit!
The Hessian. The Headless Horseman. Fiend of our nightmares, because the only thing worse than losing your head is to have it used for a demon's amusement!
Artist signature is too small for my old eyes! If you know, please contact me so I can give credit!
Alberto Chuqui Art

Bob Kehl
Susan Henke

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Pumpkin Liqueur is Almost There!

Since I had some time on my hands, I decided to make another batch of Pumpkin Spice Liqueur from the Halloween Drinks Blog.

I did the older version of it, the long-steep method. I started a couple of months ago, and to be honest, I got tied up with life and pushed off completing it in exactly the time Scott recommends. I also spaced on the ground ginger, so it will be sweeter, rather than spicier.

I found out he developed a one-hour recipe, too! I may try that in the future.

In any case, I'm in the final filtering phase. Unfortunately, since my life is still in storage, I don't have access to a couple of the things I used for the straining and filtering process, so it's going really slowly right now. I did order a strainer/funnel set, which I think may work fairly well with the gold coffee filter and paper filters I'm using. If I ever decide to do this with any regularity (doubtful, but possible), I'll invest in a better straining and filtering system, like this Buon Vino system. I just can't justify it right now, since the last time I did this was probably six years ago!

In any case, I'll let you know how it turned out!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Hallowe'en Playlist
Click on the pic for a fine and spooky playlist!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

ShellHawk's Favorite Flicks For Hallowe'en

EDIT: I STARTED THE DRAFT OF THIS POST A FEW YEARS AGO. I haven't changed it much because I'm busy with adulting!
Don't shame me. It's been a tough few years! Lol!

As you know, it's been interview season for me-if you can call two interviews a "season," that is. Both interviewers asked for my top horror films, and I could only give a few. With characteristic delayed intelligence, I thought of a few more after the interviews were over, and I thought I might share these with my fiendish readers. These are in no particular order, and possibly reveal me as a child of the 1980s. 
Christmas Ape, or Chris Aype to his Facebook friends, mugs at his favorite movie location.
  1. The Fog (1980) Those of you who have followed me for awhile know how much I love this film. The Fog was John Carpenter's second major release, and the initial cut of the film just didn't work. He and producer Deborah Hill went back through the movie, added some scares, and re-shot many scenes. The film begins with a fabulous scene of John Houseman telling the story of the doomed ship, the Elizabeth Dane, to a group of kids by a campfire. It is the centennial year for Antonio Bay, and legend has it that the dead crewmen of the ship will come for their revenge on the "twenty-first of April." Of course, they do.

  2. Halloween (1978) Does anyone not know about the ill-fated babysitter's tale? This is the one which taught us never to drink, do drugs, or have sex if we wanted to survive the night!
  3. Poltergeist (1982) Such a beautiful, happy, normal family in a lovely suburb. The Freelings thought they had it all, until little Carol Anne hears voices coming from the TV set which shouldn't be there. (I love this one even more, now that I work for the man who did the visual effects for the movie!)

  4. Jaws (1975) The movie that started the feeding frenzy of all things shark! Amity is terrorized by a hungry Great White during the height of their big tourist season, and the town sheriff is forced to enlist the help of a marine biologist and a grizzled fisherman to hunt down the man-eater and end its reign of terror!

  5. Shaun of the Dead (2004) The first installment of the Cornetto Trilogy, Shaun of the Dead is a landmark zombie comedy! One must watch it multiple times to uncover all of the layers of this gem!
  6. The Legend of Hell House (1973) A perfect Gothic ghost story for those who love them! A scientist is hired by a wealthy old man to discover if there is life after death, and takes a crew with him to a very haunted house.

  7. Dracula (1931) Arguably the second vampire to show his face on the screen, this one gave us the iconic formal-dress blood-drinker we've come to know and love! Bela Lugosi stars as Count Dracula, newly arrived in town to seduce young women and drain them of their blood!
  8. Trick 'r Treat (2007) Never released in theaters, but don't let this straight-to-video tag put you off! It's a tightly-written, gripping, horror anthology set in a sleepy little town which comes alive on Halloween night with serial killers, werewolves, vengeful zombies, and the Spirit of Halloween, incarnate!

  9. 1408 (2007) As a Stephen King fan, I have to say this is one creepy and terrifying offing from one of my top five masters of horror. A young writer demands to stay the night in the Dolphin Hotel's haunted room 1408. What follows is a mind-bending and mind-rending tale of terror.
  10. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) A lawyer is contacted to defend the life of a Priest who has performed an exorcism on a young woman, with fatal consequences.

  11. The Omen (1976) An American diplomat's young son seems to have a strange effect of those around him. Could he be -- SATAN?

  12. The Changeling (1980) A chilling story of a man, haunted by the tragic death of his wife and daughter, who moves into an empty, old house when he starts his life anew. Strange events reveal there's a child ghost in the house, and he will not rest until his story is known and his revenge is complete.
  13. Ghost Story (1981) Deliciously frightening, Ghost Story brings to the screen Peter Straub's terrifying story of a vengeful ghost who has seduced the son of one of her murderers.

  14. Sleepy Hollow (1999) Tim Burton's twist on Washington Irving's classic short story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," finds Ichabod Crane, a budding New York detective, searching for the culprit in a series of grisly beheadings.

  15. Alien (1979) Ripley and her friends are awakened from cryo-sleep to go on a rescue mission, but when they arrive on the planet, they find only a strange and predatory creature has invaded their ship.
  16. The Haunting (1963) Eleanor Vance is contacted by an ESP researcher to spend some time in an old New England house with several other test subjects. The house has plans for Eleanor, though, and things start a sideways slide into insanity from the moment they arrive.
  17. The Exorcist (1973) One of the all-time most terrifying movies ever made, about the possession of poor little Regan, and the man who would exorcise the demon from her.
  18. House of Wax (1953) An arsonist destroys a talented wax sculptor's life's work, driving the artist mad. He soon discovers a way to re-populate his wax museum.
  19. An American Werewolf in London (1981) A pair of backpacker best friends cross the moors of England and are attacked by a wolf on the full moon. One is killed, and the survivor must discover what, exactly, has killed his friend. 
  20. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Clarice Starling, a student at the FBI academy, must interview Hannibal Lecter, a charming cannibal, in order to track down the killer, "Buffalo Bill" before he kills again. A psychological thriller, this movie is the one that changed the horror genre forever, and is not to be missed!
I hope that gave you a nice list of things to watch when you're alone. In the night. In the dark...

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Sky is Falling!

The adorable Lucas has a new Fall episode out! Click on the pic to watch!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Has Halloween Become Overcommercialized? A ShellHawks Nest Tradition

Click on the pic to see a serious and thoughtful analysis of America's shameful commercializing of the most sacred day.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Halloween Schlock-A-Thon! Hauntcast is Here!

Episode 79: Halloween Shlock-a-thon -- featuring Chris Birkett of Haunted Graveyard AZ, Amanda Ravange of Amanda Reevenge Haunting, and Halloween Carols from Kristen Lawrence. 

PLUS: Theater of the Mind with Revenant, News From Beyond with Jeff Doan, Something Wicked with Ed Gannon, The Darkest Web with Morbid Mariah, and Shocktails with Johnny Thunder.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Legend of the Scarecrow - A ShellHawk's Nest Tradition
Click on the pic for a sweet autumn story.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Women's Costumes? Sure!

I hate most of the selections of women's at most Halloween stores. I admit it freely.

How much imagination does it take to shorten skirts so they barely cover your hoo-hah and call it a great costume, based on _______ (insert character here). None. At. All.

Look, I'm all for looking luscious for Hallowe'en, but can we get with the program, here, and create some gorgeous looks for women? Is it too much to ask that those of us who have kissed our twenties (And thirties. And forties.) goodbye should have better options than the old sexy Alice in Wonderland? Ugh. 

Let's get with some mystery. Let's get a little sapiosexual, if being sexy is an option.

Let's get smart, alright? Let's leave them haunted by beauty. Let's leave them terrified of your wrath. Let's leave them begging for your heated glance.
Oh, yes, witches. Let's ensnare them, like this mysterious sister, above. A hint of a Moaning Lisa smile is accentuated with that scrummy candy-apple red, right on the kisser. Inexpensive fabric draped over a black hat gives you something to flirt with, the book suggests your study of the dark arts, and those black gloves? What could they be hiding? Claws? Maybe. A rich black velvet coat or loose top completes the look if thrown over black, wide-legged, dress pants.

Anne Bonny, notorious Irish Pirate, gives the opportunity for a comfortable, yet strong character. She was a marauder of the Caribbean way back when women pirates weren't "allowed."
If you're not worried about offending folks, you might consider going to your costume party as the sexy and dangerous biblical character, Salome. Stepdaughter of Herod, Salome once asked for the head of John the Baptist, and got it. Be sure to leave enough room on the platter for your drink!
If you simply must dress like an exotic dancer, consider The Mata Hari, WWI spy. 
If you're fuller-figured, embrace it! Mae West surely did, and she was the toast of Hollywood in her day. 

There are other wonderful options out there, ladies. Please, don't be Sexy Mr. Rogers!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Tivoli Halloween

It looks like Copenhagen in October has made it onto my bucket list!

Tivoli Gardens does an off-the-hook display and is populated by the most horrifying of monsters during the month of October!
See the GloBuzzer pics here.