Tag Archives: Thaddeus

Don’t go in the basement.

11. The Ridge – Lisa W. Cantrell

“There’s something evil underneath the house” is the theme of both Lisa W. Cantrell books I’ve read. The third one I have, which attracted me entirely because of the evil pumpkin gnawing on a banister on the cover, is also about something evil underneath a house, well, a “manse.” This time the house is a monastery for black magic monks. The black magic entities do not like this young girl named Sara who has an assassin for a father, who now must take care of her since the rest of the family died in the black magic accident; which makes it sound like maybe we’ve got a case of The Professional meets Amityville here- it’s more like Grosse Pointe Blank meets Ghoulies, but, worse than that would actually turn out. This assassin has less than half the charisma of John Cusack, for starters, I don’t care how many braided belts he has.

Thaddeus, awaiting anything actually scary happening in The Ridge under a pillow. He’s got a long wait. Through all the pages. All of them!

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She got Swayzed.

35. The Secret Bedroom – R.L. Stine

Every time I switch towns I eventually run into the same old story – there’s that creepy house where somebody got murdered. And you know, in Mississippi, it was my house. It was drugs. No unfinished business. Lea of The Secret Bedroom is not so lucky. I mean, it could’ve been drugs, but, it wasn’t mentioned specifically if drugs were involved in the 100 years ago murderage, so… Lea is not so lucky in many ways. She falls victim to the many tropes – she’s a new kid who spills on the prime bitch at school, then gets asked out as a joke but she doesn’t know until she gets stood up, in her wallowing she hears footsteps upstairs in the boarded up bedroom, the girls she ends up being friends with are either too popular to keep up getting to know her or they found a boyfriend and no longer cared (Friends!), AND her parents keep leaving her alone in their haunted house (Thanks, Lea’s parents.) and she would be okay with it – if it was being haunted by Patrick Swayze. Patrick Swayze, gateway ghost.

Mixtape –
1. School – Nirvana
2. Misery Keeper – Electric Citizen
3. Zero – Smashing Pumpkins
4. Phone Call – The Faint
5. Mother Father – Swans
6. Sick, Sick, Sick – Queens of the Stone Age
7. My Dreams – Electric Six
8. I Only Said – My Bloody Valentine
9. Lost Boys and Girls Club – Dum Dum Girls
10. Your Sins Will Find You Out – Eli “Paperboy” Reed
11. Everybody Dies – Those Poor Bastards
12. I Dreamt – The Black Angels
13. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths
14. Love Can Destroy Everything – The Raveonettes
15. Noorus – Chelsea Wolfe
16. Ripe – Nine Inch Nails

Pammy and Thaddeus chomp down parsley in an attic bedroom. There’s no corpses in there or anything. Also no Swayze or Swayze-related materials. They’re like the wind.

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Woo! Lab exposition!

34. Parasite – Mira Grant

Mira Grant likes to write about what people are eating for breakfast. I noticed it in the Newsflesh trilogy, and I noticed it in Parasite. Also, she likes to include the possibility of cold cuts, luncheon meats as they are known in some circles, as a possibility for breakfast, which for me is as alien as the idea of eating a tapeworm to remain healthy…which is also a very basic way of describing the source of dramatic conflict in this book. The tapeworm has already been eaten, but, the person who ingested it has an entirely different personality than they did before the car accident that caused them to eat it for survival and indebted them to a giant, creepy corporation that wants everyone to have tapeworms. Gross. Post-accident Sal (nee Sally) is super scared of cars even though she doesn’t remember her accident. She also enjoys the luncheon meats and having other conflicts of personality that make her vacillate between being a super lame scaredy cat and an ingenious detective as a character. I had a hard time with this. I also had a hard time with many of the other characters. They felt manipulated to me- perhaps by their own tapeworms. Also, this book is, like, super long and it shouldn’t be.

Pammy and Thaddeus enjoyed a nice carrot, some pellets, and a helping of hay for their breakfasts. Thaddeus whistling for me to dish out said breakfast at 7:30 AM on days when I did not have to be up that early was more thrilling than the cliffhanger ending of Parasite.

Pammy and Thaddeus enjoyed a nice carrot, some pellets, and a helping of hay for their breakfasts. Thaddeus whistling for me to dish out said breakfast at 7:30 AM on days when I did not have to be up that early was more thrilling than the cliffhanger ending of Parasite.

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“He is so annoying, he is so frightening, and he doesn’t wear a shirt.”

65. 99 Fear Street, the House of Evil: The First Horror – R.L. Stine

Moving happens. Moving into haunted houses happens. Moving into angry haunted houses that spurt green vomit from the sink happens…in this book. Plus, the ceiling drips blood. It seems as though Glenn Danzig was the house’s preferred tenant as opposed to the Frasier family – although he wants the blood to run UP the walls, which is a tall order. Anyway, I guess the lesson for this family is that they never should have left New York.

Thaddeus and Pammy moved with me three times. We never managed to move into a haunted house.

Thaddeus and Pammy moved with me three times. We never managed to move into a haunted house.

Mixtape:

1. Life Fades Away – Roy Orbison
2. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
3. Thea – Goldfrapp
4. The Clerkwell House of Detention – Gallon Drunk
5. Blade in the Black – UNKLE
6. Dead Sound – The Raveonettes
7. Funeral for a Great Drunken Bird – All Them Witches
8. Too Young to Love – The Big Pink
9. TV Set – Spoon
10. I Think I’m Paranoid – Garbage
11. Evidence – Faith No More
12. Home – Hanni El Khatib
13. Lost in the Supermarket – The Clash
14. A Perfect Place – The Raveonettes

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“Become a part of the NIGHT WORLD. Enter to win a flower pin.”

12. Soulmate – L.J. Smith

I did not know of the Night World series, or any other L.J. Smith series, actually, until I found a bunch of Night World books in the detritus of a closing book store’s YA section in 2014. I was looking for 1970s, 80s, and 90s YA as I usually am and the 1990s editions of the series have the most amazing covers. They’re paintings (of course, like I’d really be attracted to photography-based covers in YA…so 2000s…) of the main female characters (sometimes with special guests) surrounded by flowers and weird monster and demon faces and one face that really looks like wolf form attacking Lucy in the rain-Gary Oldman-Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and ravens and black cats and this one has a candlestick and they are bizarre and awesome pieces of book coverage. I know that this one was published in 1997, when I was a freshmen in high school and had moved on to reading Interview with the Vampire and Silence of the Lambs, but if I had known about this series when I was a teen I would have totally loved it. The female characters are well drawn and considering these are always romances, they’re feisty enough to not drive me nuts with their romantic angst (they’re certainly not swooners or “rape me and I’m yours” types) and I know I would have totally related to them –minus opportunity- when I was younger.

Soulmate concerns a romance throughout the ages, kind of like what Gary Oldman-Dracula is trying to imprint upon Winona Ryder-Mina in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and by the way, I dug that movie quite a bit when I saw it as a teenager (surprise surprise); you know, “I have crossed oceans of time to find you” and all that other shit vampires say to not look like pedophiles to high school girls who don’t recognize them for the creepers that they are. Anyway, Hannah aka vampire dude’s soulmate, current body edition, is seeing a psychiatrist and it brings up repressed memories of her other lives with said vampire, and how said vampire murdered everyone she knew when they first met (and her) and it’s an interesting path to reconciliation. I know that the soulmate concept has a bigger part to play in the Night World, but I don’t have the whole series and I haven’t read all the ones I do have yet, so I have no idea where it’s going. Hopefully not a sad, couple filled kegger. Maybe Thunderdome for couples. I do know that I shelved the re-published, multiple books to one volume, covers featuring bland black and white photographs of random, staring girls versions of these books when I worked at the public library and I was not even remotely intrigued to read them. That was a shitty re-design, people. A shitty re-design. Those lonely, staring girls do not say “I have charisma and well constructed female characters inside.” They say “You will be alone forever inside the black void.” I, like, already know that.

Thaddeus knows Pickles is not his soulmate, that would be Pammy, but they still enjoyed each other’s company without dramatic protestations and no prehistoric villages had to be slaughtered.

Thaddeus knows Pickles is not his soulmate, that would be Pammy, but they still enjoyed each other’s company without dramatic protestations and no prehistoric villages had to be slaughtered.

 

Mixtape –
1.    “Seventh Wave” – Devin Townsend
2.    “Satellite” – TV on the Radio
3.    “Freya” – The Sword
4.    “Sweet Leaf” – Black Sabbath
5.    “Schyssta Logner” – Witchcraft
6.    “Night City” – The Sword
7.    “All Black” – Hanni El Khatib
8.    “Long Time Coming” – Droids Attack
9.    “Mouths of Madness” – Orchid
10.    “Moonchild” – Fields of the Nephilim
11.    “Satan/Dance You Fukr” – Zydepunks
12.    “Bruane Brenn”- Kvelertak
13.    “High Road” – Mastodon

 

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Trapped in Paradise without Nicolas Cage.

62. The Changeling – Joy Williams

If anyone walks up to you in a bar and tells you they’re taking you to their island – don’t go. Even if they offer you cheese logs or to validate your stated love of clowns (Ahh!). You will end up drinking yourself into a stupor by the pool every day while children play around you and then have weird daydreams about stone rooms and wooden animals. It will be confusing.

I did not know what I was getting into with this book – there was no dust jacket to tell me that it’s not actually the novel version of that movie with George C. Scott. No dust jacket! I could have been warned! I still don’t really know what I think about the whole thing. Too many big bad wolves and syrupy delusions. Side note, my research into the George C. Scott version let me know there is no novelization of the film because the script is based on the screenwriter’s personal experience, which is unfortunate.

Thaddeus cannot be coaxed out by cheese logs. Also, he will not be drinking by your pool or becoming anyone’s de facto drunk babysitter. Ever.

Thaddeus cannot be coaxed out by cheese logs. Also, he will not be drinking by your pool or becoming anyone’s de facto drunk babysitter. Ever.

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‘Please, use the word….”hamburger time” when speaking to us.’

Ah, Metalocalypse. So useful. So helpful. I’m not reviewing Metalocalypse, which is in some respects basically a lifestyle/aspirational show to me; I’m also not reviewing any books in this entry. It’s the year-end for this blog, and it’s been a rather shit year for me and the pigs, and that seems to happen a lot…anyway, I couldn’t post about either of these events when they happened because they hurt too much and frankly, they still hurt too much, I hate losing pigs. I hate hamburger time. This year hamburger time struck in April and October and could strike again at any time for my little Merricat.

P is for Pammy, who died of a massive amount of interior tumors. She was five years old and knew every single one of the pigs in my “I’m going to start keeping guinea pigs again” herd of late 2008, which is one small reason why I miss her so much. She had a little star-shaped feetsie (Mischa!) in every incident, every epidemic, every happy moment that herd went through. And she was also super cuddly and quite a bit classier than all the other pigs (sorry, other pigs, it’s true and you know it). She was my first teddy bear pig, she lived in three states, she went through an amazing amount for a guinea pig and I thought she was actually a Terminator. She was not. Or maybe she was. First generation guinea pig Terminator. She probably was.

Pammy with baby Twiglet.

Pammy with baby Twiglet.

Snuggling with Thaddeus, the Romeo to her Juliet, including balcony scenes.

Snuggling with Thaddeus, the Romeo to her Juliet, including balcony scenes.

Pillow-napping, with her squirrely buttskirt on full display.

Pillow-napping, with her squirrely buttskirt on full display.

Like I said previously, she wasn’t eaten and she never will be. She did have free reign to investigate the mixing bowls though.

Like I said previously, she wasn’t eaten and she never will be. She did have free reign to investigate the mixing bowls though.

After Thaddeus passed at Christmas, she was stuck with Ozy and Danger Crumples to follow her lead. Thankfully, they all got along together quite nicely.

After Thaddeus passed at Christmas, she was stuck with Ozy and Danger Crumples to follow her lead. Thankfully, they all got along together quite nicely.

O is for Ozymandias, and once again I say fuck bladder stones.

I found Ozy after Mortemer passed away. He had been returned to a place where I bought hay and guinea pig food, and when I stuck my finger in his cage, he sniffed me and immediately popcorned. I took that as the sign that he was meant to join my herd. He wanted Belvedere to love him, and was sort of okay with being friends with Danger Crumples most of the time (they did seem to enjoy solving mysteries together from my chair), he loved Pammy and was a good companion to her in her final months; most of all he was a sweetheart of a teddy bear pig. He took over a lot of Belvedere’s duties after he passed, like sitting behind me on the chair and checking on me every so often by suddenly appearing right next to my right eye and chewing on the bars to let me know he was still alive when I got home. He passed a stone shortly after I got him, which was really odd and a very surprising thing in my experience – Pickles’ stones were huge, Bel’s stones were huge, I don’t know how Ozy “lucked out” with smaller stones for two years – and I altered his diet completely to try to save him from more stones. It didn’t work forever, but it worked for almost three years. I miss him and his mournful vocal tone dearly, he was the last of my teddy bears.

Ozymandias with the blanket that only he was ever allowed to use.

Ozymandias with the blanket that only he was ever allowed to use.

Here he is cuddled under Mark Sandman.

Here he is cuddled under Mark Sandman.

Solving a mystery in a new room with Danger Crumples.

Solving a mystery in a new room with Danger Crumples.

Charming the ladies, as always, with Miss Peregrine, his last little girlfriend.

Charming the ladies, as always, with Miss Peregrine, his last little girlfriend.

Danger and Ozy, still trying to get somewhere other than the couch.

Danger and Ozy, still trying to get somewhere other than the couch.

Finally, M is for Merricat, who isn’t dead yet. Merricat is about one year old, I adopted her with Peregrine after Pammy passed, and she has been diagnosed with liver cancer. She and I have a very strong bond, so, of course she has craptastic-genes. We evolutionary mistakes have to stick together. I decided against chemotherapy because she is so tiny and I want her to enjoy what’s left of her life and the prognosis for a runt is not ever going to be great. So far, she has been demanding, territorial, runs around purring, and gazes out from under her log bridge like a tiny demon in the morning. She’s glorious. It’s possible that by the time this posts she’ll be gone and I’ll have lost three pigs this year and it will still feel like I’ve lost three million pigs. No more hamburger time!

My tiny demon.

My tiny demon.

Her antics occasionally tired Pere out.

Her antics occasionally tired Pere out.

Danger Crumples and Merricat are tired of being photographed.

Danger Crumples and Merricat are tired of being photographed.

Merricat, Peregrine, Ozymandias, and Danger Crumples. They were an excellent mini-herd.

Merricat, Peregrine, Ozymandias, and Danger Crumples. They were an excellent mini-herd.

And now, a song for my little ones, courtesy of Dethklok (the Toki ones are always the best):

 

 

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My favorite movie about abandoning a baby is Willow.

17. Hush Little Baby – Caroline B. Cooney

I’ve never been a person who has wanted to have children, so this was quite the horror story for me to read. When you stop by your father’s house and your ex-stepmother shows up, about the last thing you’d expect her to do is run away and leave you with her child. Before embarking on a wacky game of twists and turns taking care of the ditched baby, narrator Kit makes it very clear that her ex-stepmother is not the smartest. None of the characters in this book seemed to be particularly smart though, they made very strange decisions. It did remind me a bit of the end of Drive Angry. I enjoyed that movie quite a bit, but felt very annoyed about the “here, have a baby!” ending. The girl’s stuck in the middle of an abandoned prison, she just left her job and her living space with her stupid fiancee, and Nicolas Cage destroyed her car to help rescue said baby, and now she’s got a baby to take care of forever. Not Nicolas Cage, who, granted, is not really in a position to take care of a baby at the end of that movie – but who is? Wacky.

Mixtape 7:

1. Livin Thing – ELO

2. Bedlam – Gallon Drunk

3. Hold Tight! – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, & Tich

4. Everybody’s Going Wild – The Detroit Cobras

5. 96 Tears – The Stranglers

6. Infected Girls – Electric Six

7. Heads Will Roll – The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

8. Halfway Home – T.V. on the Radio

9. Willow’s Theme – James Horner

10. I’m Your Villain – Franz Ferdinand

11. Don’t Play With Guns – The Black Angels

12. Plowed – Sponge

13. The Seeker – The Who

14. Burnin’ In – Spirit Caravan

15. Heavy Soul – The Black Keys

16. Mister Mental – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster

17. Sucker – Peaches

Thaddeus’ little face looks so cute and so hopeful in this picture. He could have been in Willow.

Thaddeus is about to climb the ridge of this pillow and see if there’s a baby on the other side. Pammy turns her back on any potential babies. She was spayed. She took care of her little one already.

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I will forever wonder if Liz, narrator and eater of mostly pudding, has ever had $240 worth of pudding.

77. Eleanor Rigby – Douglas Coupland

There’s something about Douglas Coupland’s books that feels empty in an off-puttingly helpful way for me. Whenever I read his work I find something that I can relate to that I didn’t know I needed when I started reading and sometimes I’m not even aware that I’m getting all existentially conflicted before I pick up one of his books and after I read them I feel better…about something or some things and it’s never easy to pin down why or what happened in my brain. He doesn’t write the most relatable characters or situations and sometimes he doesn’t even use words like in JPod with those pages of nothingness (I haven’t finished JPod. I started it in 2008 while working customer service for a gigantic and horrible retail conglomerate – three weeks in I found out I wouldn’t be joining the email team and would only be providing service over the phone, I said I had a migraine and never went back. I don’t regret that.). That said, Eleanor Rigby did not provide me with any existential assistance and I found that very disappointing. I’ve spent significant periods of time alone and there was all this talk of loneliness on the inside cover and it’s named after the lonely people song and I got nothing out of it except for mild irritation about the ending. I guess that’s what I get for going in with hopeful expectations based on previous experiences.

I was looking at reviews of this one and it was mentioned that Liz the narrator made decisions that didn’t make sense, didn’t “ring true” as writing critiques tend to say and I have to agree. In fact, I agree with that from practically the first chapter on. I don’t really expect Coupland books to follow any kind of linear, sensible trajectory, but it still seemed off and then slightly more off and then suddenly we were in Europe and it was even more off than before. Now I want to read The Gum Thief and now I’m all nervous about it. Life After God is turning out to be really useful though, so we’ll see. Maybe I read this one at the wrong time; I don’t think that realization changes anything. Ahh!

What was her name again? Moonbeam? Something like that. I can’t remember all the important things about The Neverending Story’s film version, The Nothing is my most consistent take-away from that movie. The Nothing and I are like BFFs on occasion.

Pammy, Pammy, Pammy. She’s been lonely without Thaddeus. Danger Crumples and Ozymandias have been annoying her as much as I’ll let them, but neither of them has proven to be a suitable constant companion for the little empress of my herd.

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That’ll do.

27. Pronto – Elmore Leonard

Thaddeus and Harry Arno have some things in common – they both had ornery dispositions in their old age (although, really, sixty-six and possibly five [I’ve never been able to figure out how old Thaddeus was when I got him, but I had him for four and a half years] are not all that old), they’ve both traveled, they both had girlfriends, and they were both protected by people whose names begin with “Ra.” Granted, I am no Raylan Givens, but I could potentially be for Halloween, and Thaddeus wasn’t skimming off the books of Jimmy Cap and pursued to Rapallo, Italy. This is the first novel of Elmore Leonard’s to feature Raylan as a major character and several incidents from it have ended up on Justified in some form. I have to say though, I did not know that there was a television version of Pronto until I was double checking that this is the first Raylan book and Wade Messer from Justified was Raylan! It’s very hard for me to picture, so I’ll have to track that down. Apparently his hat was not right though. That’s an important detail. Of course, Olyphant’s hat isn’t right either, but it looks good. And I like James LeGros as Wade Messer, he and Dewey Crowe are seriously amusing together.

As far as I know, being in captivity and finally getting to live with Pammy prevented Thaddeus from a life of guinea pig crime. Living with me did not stop him from whistling louder than any other guinea pig I have ever had at seven AM to be fed, enjoying large amounts of Swiss chard, and establishing himself as pig-in-charge when Belvedere passed away. He was an excellent successor to my first family of guinea pigs and he was certainly a big part of the second since he made it obvious that he loved Pammy very, very much. He and Pammy had been in a cage together where Mr. Cheese and I used to buy our guinea pig food and they clearly remembered each other when reunited at my apartment, although they did not get to live together until a few months after Pammy was spayed (she had ovarian cysts, I wouldn’t have bothered with major girl-pig surgery just so they could live together, they were already touching noses through their grids). Thaddeus weathered pneumonia, being covered in essential oils to fight off two fungus situations (he was referred to as “Jersey Shore Thaddeus” during that time period because of the shiny, overly perfumed pig he became), and he is the second guinea pig that I’ve had that was allowed by the universe to die of just old age. On Christmas night. He also had an excellent sense of irony as in 2012, I thought he might not live through Christmas because he had begun losing weight rapidly around October. I managed to sort him out mostly then, and for all of 2013 he was off and on the weight loss train but always, always peppy and interested in eating his food, his treats, and his supplemental Critical Care. Always. He was pretty demanding. On Christmas morning, I knew he didn’t look like himself. I’d been debating about whether or not to put him down once he really couldn’t keep any weight on and started to have some trouble getting around; and just like several pigs before him, he made the decision for me. Thaddeus was a glorious pig.

I will always miss how sweet and comforting he could be.

Here he is with Pammy behind him, adorable as always.

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