Friday Night Video on a Thursday: Reverence for Radiohead

Michael and I were in the car yesterday and he accused me of “getting all judgy” because he was jamming to Brett Michaels—front-man of the 1980’s hair metal band, Poison and not exactly my poison when it comes to music (one play on words for me—cha-ching!)  Now I don’t know if I can really support or refute this claim; what does it mean to be “judgy” after all (we’ll never truly know, because it’s not truly a word), and how does one express judginess in a given context?  Planned ignoring, disdain, condemnation?  I wasn’t condemning him for listening Brett Michaels, after all; I may have simply rolled my eyes or something similar to indicate my distaste for this particular brand of rather contrived 80’s rock.  Michael’s response was twofold: First, he told me I was discriminating against diabetics, because Brett Michaels has juvenile diabetes like Michael.  Second, he shot back with a gut-punch about my “pretentious” propensity for Radiohead music.  He emphatically stated that he’s never heard a Radiohead song that he likes, that the band is “nothing” to him, and—as I stated—that only pretentious people listen to Radiohead.  “Even me?”  I asked.  “Am I pretentious?”  He paused for a minute, and we’ll let the reader infer where the conversation went from there.

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Friday Night Video on a Thursday: Reverence for Radiohead

For the Love of Horror: Tracing Origins

When I ponder my love of horror, I trace it back to this crazy fear of death I’ve had since I was a child. Perhaps most of us are somewhat afraid to die, but for me, at points in my life, the fear has been quite stark. I wrote a little essay-type piece about it, since I’m trying to memoir more about my love of horror. The piece below is a little dark, and a little personal, but I was in the mood to write at 3:30 a.m. before going to sleep, so here it is.

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For the Love of Horror: Tracing Origins

Miles to Go Before I Sleep: My Christmas Night Reading List

On Christmas morning my parents and I packed the car and headed to Ohio to visit family.  While many travelers are likely to bring a book with them on such a trip, I tend to be reading many books at once, and I always have trouble discerning what texts future Kalie will be in the mood to peruse, so I brought a bag of books, just to read in my hotel room post-Christmas day festivities.  We got back to the hotel a little before midnight, and while my plan had been to sit down and read, it occurred to me that maybe I’d like to ramble on just a little bit about what I’m reading right now, instead of picking up a book ASAP.  As such, I emptied the contents of my bag of indecision on the spare bed in the hotel room, and I snapped a picture of the books I’m going to discuss.  Since my focal areas are horror, monstrosity, and madness, the books predominantly fall under those subject areas, with considerable variation under that broader umbrella. 

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Miles to Go Before I Sleep: My Christmas Night Reading List

“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell”: An Overview

Tonight, I laughed at my imminent comp exam as I nestled in a couch corner and picked up a book of Edith Wharton’s ghost stories. Had I structured my exam differently, it’s quite possible these stories would have made the exam cut, but as it stands they’re only extra, unrelated reading that’s taking away from the time I’ve been devoting reading The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction (which, by the way, is incredibly interesting in and of itself, but a harder piece about which to write a post).  My sister bought me Edith Wharton’s ghost stories last year for Christmas, but it’s taken me an entire year to write about one for my blog. This evening I sat down to a rather chilling tale called The Lady’s Maid’s Bell, and I decided I’d write a bit about it.  According to the text’s introduction, this is Wharton’s most ambiguous ghost story, and after reading it, I think I can surmise why. Since it’s hard to write about a story in much detail without giving away the ending, this analysis will contain spoilers.  If I were a better, or perhaps a more careful writer, I would be able to produce analysis without spoilers.  But as it stands, I think I’ll have to say a fair deal about the story to analyze it.

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“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell”: An Overview

Thoughts on Scribbling from the Apple Loft: Madness and Work in Various Texts

Of Shakespeare’s sister that Virginia Woolf imagines in A Room of One’s Own, Woolf speculates: “Perhaps she scribbled some pages up in an apple loft on the sly but was careful to hide them or set fire to them.”  For some scholars of women’s literature, it’s fairly common to assume that there was a vendetta against the combination of women and work in Anglo-American history, and that stifling the ability to work– often forbidding, particularly, artistic expression – resulted in concomitant madness for oppressed women.  It’s a common trope, although there were some significant historical exceptions to the rule.  I’m not an expert on the subject, but I’ve heard that Jane Austen had to hide her manuscript whenever a guest entered her room.  And one must wonder, as VW did, what happened to the likely expansive throng of brilliant, would-be  productive women who weren’t given a voice prior to, say, the Romantic or Victorian eras – or later.  As an unrelated heads up, there will be spoilers throughout this piece!  

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Thoughts on Scribbling from the Apple Loft: Madness and Work in Various Texts

F.N.V. 4: Disappointment on a Winter’s Eve: My Spotify Letdown

        The overcast, early December day had lapsed into an opaque blue sky arching over a frigid winter night in rural southwestern Pennsylvania.  The lights shining out the window of the warm apartment in Indiana PA sliced through the tranquil darkness, penetrated the night. Inside the apartment, I reclined on a plush, brick-red chair while drinking tiny cup after tiny cup of Arabic coffee and conversing with a friend, and a friend of a friend I’d just met.  The conversation, initially engaging to me, started to lapse in and out of English,veering off into a tongue that I could not understand, much less speak myself.  As I listened to the melodic cadence of words, beautifully spoken but beyond my grasp, I instinctively did what any good,self-centered American would do; I reached for my phone, and started doing “taktaga,” which is an Arabic phrase (and some of the little Arabic I know) for the act of busying oneself on one’s smartphone. I planned on ejecting myself from the conversation for only a short moment or two, but as this story will demonstrate, the best laid plans are often not those that come to fruition.

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F.N.V. 4: Disappointment on a Winter’s Eve: My Spotify Letdown

F.N.V. 3: Songs of my Early Thirties: Part Two

Having not blogged in a long time, a week ago I put up a post about my top five most listened to songs of 2017, according to Spotify.  And I’ll be honest: I really enjoyed writing the post.  I will always love horror, but sometimes it’s an exciting sort of relief to blog about music, and the moments that add meaning to certain songs.  I enjoyed writing the piece so much, in fact, that I decided to do another installment.  Instead of writing about the top five most listened to songs of 2017, I’ll write about the next set of songs – my sixth through my tenth most listened to songs of that year. Music is one vehicle through which I create memoir, and I’m just self-centered enough to fathom that there are a few people who might care what songs I was listening to last year.  More horror posts hang on the horizon; they will be posted eventually.  But right now, I want to talk a little more about music.  So, here they are, my sixth through tenth most listened to songs of 2017, and the memories that accompany those songs.

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F.N.V. 3: Songs of my Early Thirties: Part Two