A blog for all things personal, informational, educational, and fun.
Here at my personal blog Thoughts & Things, I share a wide variety of, you guessed it, thoughts and things. Anything that sparks my interest is up for discussion. For those who are uncertain of what that might cover, I'll generally talk about reading, writing, books, movies, music, games, history, current events, and feminism. I talk about my personal emotional and health struggles from time to time. I'm also a big fan of lists.|
This is the place here at WDC where you can get to know me best, as I talk about the things that interest me, impact me, and amuse me.
|I completed a lot of books in 2017. 131 to be exact. In reading so many books, I have found many books that I loved. This list will contain every book I read in 2017 that I rated 5 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I have broken them up into smaller categories to make them more easily readable. Any books that were part of the same series have been put together.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Cold-Hearted Rake and Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas
Stepping Stones by Margriet Ruurs, art by Nizar Badr
Amina's Voice by Hena Khan
George by Alex Gino
I Am Not A Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland
Night by Elie Wiesel
Bone Black by bell hooks
I Came As A Stranger by Bryan Prince
Flesh & Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Here We Are edited by Kelly Jensen
Turtle Island by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Early London 1826 - 1914 by Jennifer Grainger
Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools by Melanie Florence
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Fatty Legs and A Stranger At Home by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes
When I Was Eight and Not My Girl by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Short Stories, Poetry & Plays
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker
October Mourning by Leslea Newman
Pig Girl by Colleen Murphy
Dreaming In Indian edited by by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Leatherdale
Comics & Graphic Novels
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Ms Marvel Vol 1 by G. Willow Wilson, art by Adrian Alphona
Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Vol 1 edited by Hope Nicholson
Monstress Vol 1by Marjorie M. Liu, art by Sana Takeda
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 1 and Vol 2 by Ryan North, art by Erica Henderson
|I'm a bit late for a new year's post, yet here I am making one anyway. Many people like to make resolutions. Many people refuse to make resolutions. I am firmly on the fence, and I refuse to climb down.
I can understand why people make resolutions. I think most people want to be the best version of themselves. I also think that it's hard for most people to be their best selves without a reason. It makes sense that there is a time of year that people broadly consider remaking themselves. That said, most people assume that their best self is far from their current self, and set goals that aren't attainable, at least not in the short term.
I can understand why some people are wholly opposed to making resolutions. Why set a goal that you can't achieve in a short time frame, or maybe not at all? Why assume that your best self is so far away? I can understand why many people would not want to follow the pack to defeat when they could keep on living exactly as they are.
The truth, for me, lies somewhere in the middle. Setting an unattainable goal is just disheartening. Setting no goals at all leaves me without a path to follow. I am a competitive person, but I mostly like to compete with myself. Attainable goals allow me to do that. I won't have to suffer defeat when I fail to reach goals I could never manage in a short time frame, but I have a path to follow, and goals to achieve.
This year, my goals are quite similar to last year. Not because I did poorly with them, but because I know I set myself down the right path. I set myself down a path that makes me feel good, and brings me joy. It's a path I want to continue down because I know it will lead me to my most content self.
I want to continue taking care of my medical needs. Staying on my medications that help me function on some level. Visiting doctors to help me get answers that will help me to eventually get better, even if not 100%. Taking care of myself so that when I try to do anything physical, I won't do myself harm.
I want to continue reading as much as I have. Being on sick leave means that I have a lot of free time, and I am often too unwell to do much of anything. 2017 had me reading more than I have read in years. This year I set my goodreads goal to 75, but I hope to increase that goal if I advance on it too quickly (which I am on track to do). I want to try to finish (or get close to finishing) the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I have participated every year, and never done much more than half. I find that even half helps me to broaden my mind in the best way though. I am already up to having completed three tasks out of twenty-four. I want to listen to more audiobooks and read more ebooks. I want to continue reviewing everything I read. My life has always been books, but this is truer than ever as I live a life where books are one of the few things I can almost always manage.
I want to write more. I feel like 2017 was a really good year for writing for me. I entered a number of contests, I kept up with my blog, and I stayed active here on WDC. That said, I also faltered at certain points throughout the year. 2017 was a bad year for me in so many ways. I lost my grandmother and my father, had a lot of related drama (which makes me sick to even think of), and my health was (and is) incredibly poor. January so far has not been a great writing month for me. But I want to pick this up. I want to write, and so I will. I will enter contests (and I already have), I will keep my blog up to date, and I will stay active.
I want to help make the world a better place. This may seem like an unattainable goal, but there are small things that can always be done. I volunteer weekly with children at the library. I attend rallies and protests when I am physically able to (and I have an amazing group of supportive friends there with me each time to ensure I am not hurting myself). I speak out on social media, and share important information with others. If there are other things I find I can do that I am physically able to do, I will do them. Community involvement is the first step in improving the world around us.
I don't plan on making 2018 about a new me. I just want to improve me. I have attainable goals, and I plan on sticking to them. I plan on doing more of the things that make me happy and healthy. I can see why people would or would not make resolutions. But for me, it's about making goals, and the new year just happens to be the best time to reset those.
|At this point in time, there are endless lists of which tracks in Hamilton were the best. It's easily the biggest new musical this decade, and accessible in a way that many musicals are not, so it's no surprise that everyone has an opinion. Obviously when I say "best" I mean my own personal favourites. Every song in Hamilton is so great that it's impossible to name songs that are good or bad, you can only manage favourites. I have arranged them in alphabetical order, as I honestly can't rank them at a certain point. I have also included explanations for their appearance on the list, but I have kept it brief.
1. Aaron Burr, Sir
Leslie Odom Jr. is an incredible actor and singer, and Aaron Burr is a fascinating character. It seems appropriate that he get an introductory song that gives us real information while also providing us with as many rhymes for "Burr" as possible.
2. Alexander Hamilton
Being the opening track, Alexander Hamilton has to set the tone for what's to come, introduce the story, and introduce the main character. It does everything it should, and it does it incredibly well, particularly thanks to the fantastic ensemble cast.
Burn comes into play much later in the musical, and serves as one of the solo tracks of Eliza Schuyler, Hamilton's wife. Phillipa Soo sounds absolutely incredible, and pours her heart into it. Easily one of the best solo tracks in Hamilton. (Also worth noting that there is an unrelated performance of this song by Lea Salonga, who happens to be one of my all time favourite vocalists, which is a nice bonus).
Phillipa Soo is probably one of the most talented vocalists in cast that is absolutely dripping with talent. Helpless is such an adorable love song that it is irresistible. It recalls early 2000s RnB pop tune duos like Ashanti and Ja Rule, while blending with a showtune feel, and it ends up as one of the best standalone tracks in the show.
5. It's Quiet Uptown
It's Quiet Uptown serves up pure emotion as the Hamiltons struggle to deal with the loss of their son. The vocals are raw, and the lyrics will split your heart open. This song has personally touched me on so many levels, especially recently.
6. My Shot
My Shot has become the song that basically represents Hamilton as a musical and Hamilton as a character in that musical. One of the most fun and memorable rap tracks in the show, it represents the spirit of it all in the best way. Lin-Manuel Miranda absolutely shines in this performance.
Non-Stop is easily one of my favourite ensemble numbers in Hamilton, and I think it's genuinely underrated. Each individual piece fits together flawlessly. Nothing gets me as pumped to write as hearing the exclaimed, "Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one!"
8. The Reynolds Pamphlet
The Reynolds Pamphlet represents a serious turn of events in the show and in Hamilton's life, and it manages to have this dark energy, a twist in the music for a twist in the plot. It's a song that will make your heart beat faster, and give you a cool beat to jam to while it does it.
9. The Room Where It Happens
Leslie Odom Jr. showcases his vocal talents once again to a song written from the perspective of a person who isn't even at the events in questions. It shows us more of Burr, and it's one of the most unique songs musically in the show.
Renée Elise Goldsberry gets her big solo in Satisfied, showing off her incredible singing and rapping. This song is the epitome of unrequited love, but also of sisterly love. The lyrics will blow you away, especially when Angelica breaks down the three reasons she cannot have Alexander.
11. Say No To This
Jasmine Cephas Jones also plays Peggy Schuyler, but she shines the most vocally as Maria Reynolds in her performance of Say No To This, where her voice is like that of a fallen angel. With a darker tone to it, it sets the mood perfectly for Hamilton to stray from his wife.
12. The Schuyler Sisters
As both an ode to New York City and an introduction of Eliza, Angelica, and Peggy Schuyler it succeeds and surpasses all expectations. I can never not sing "We hold these truths to be self evident / that all men are created equal / and when I meet Thomas Jefferson / I'mma compel him to include women in the sequel."
13. Take a Break
Take a Break is a genuine break. Amidst all of the turmoil in the plot, it feels necessary. The glimpse at Philip Hamilton feels precious. Eliza begging Alexander to take a break feels so genuine. Angelica's turmoil over whether the comma in "My dearest, Angelica" was intended or misplaced is the most relatable moment in the entire musical.
14. Wait For It
Wait For It is definitely one of those special songs that has a beat so captivating that it stands on its own. The lyrics reveal more of Burr, but are also easy to relate to. I can't help but move when the song comes on. Leslie Odom Jr. is at his absolute best here.
15. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
This song follows the death of Hamilton, and brings Eliza back into the story (after she "erased herself from the narrative" in Burn) as she tells of all the things she did in the decades following her husband's death. I die a little every time I hear her sing "I live another fifty years."
16. Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)
Yorktown represents another of the best ensemble tracks in all of Hamilton. It represents the soldiers in battle, the winning of the war, and even life on the home front to perfection. It also features Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan in a genuinely exciting and explosive performance.
17. You'll Be Back
King George III has some of the most unique tracks in the entire musical, featuring a completely different style and tone, and a genuine bit of hilarity. Jonathan Groff's vocals are on point, and his delivery of the lines brings extra laughs every time. This is easily the best of the king's three tracks. Particularly notable is the line "I'll kill your friends and family to remind you of my love" followed by some jaunty "da da das".
|Beginning to read feminist literature can feel a bit intimidating for those who are less experienced with it, even if they identify with feminist ideals. Even with a few books under your belt, it can feel intimidating. The "classics" of nonfiction feminism are often quite lengthy (such as The Second Sex), or perhaps more applicable to to a bygone era (such as The Feminine Mystique). It can also be hard to know beforehand if a book is a bit too academic for the casual reader--no one wants to get into a nonfiction piece only to discover it was designed to be used as a textbook rather than for pleasure reading. After reading through a number of feminist books, I have created this list (with brief explanations) of nonfiction feminism books that are suitable for anyone who is new to feminism or new to reading about feminism, whether they are a teenager or an adult.
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World
Edited by Kelly Jensen
Here We Are is targeted towards teenagers, but is absolutely still accessible for adults. It contains essays, lists, and comics from dozens of different people, all addressing different feminist issues. It is probably the most inclusive introductory feminist book I have ever read. It includes well known figures such as Laverne Cox, Mindy Kaling, Laurie Halse Anderson, Roxane Gay, and many more, as well as many lesser known writers.
by Roxane Gay
Bad Feminist is a collection of essays, all written by Roxane Gay, that deal with different feminist issues. It examines her own life, the political, and the cultural, with many well thought out ideas shared within. It addresses the issue of feeling like an imperfect feminist, and it is a very accessible read, usually more casual than academic.
Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
by bell hooks
bell hooks has been a brilliant voice in feminism for decades, and Feminism is for Everybody is a perfect example. It does get a bit academic in its language at times, but it addresses a number of feminist issues and is a short read. Despite being one of the oldest books on this list, it was incredibly ahead of its time and remains a helpful read.
We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Both of these books from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are individual essays in book format, and won't take much time to read, even when read back together. The former offers many of her thoughts, adapted from her TED Talk, on feminism and how it can work for so many people. The latter offers feminist parenting advice, that is generally good advice for anyone regardless of their status with children.
Men Explain Things to Me
by Rebecca Solnit
A fairly short essay collection, the highlight of Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me (although the entirety of the collection made interesting points), is the titular essay. Solnit describes the issue of having men over explain things to her, even if she is the more qualified party in the conversation. She is occasionally credited with coining the term "mainsplaining" although she herself states that she did not create the term and does not use it. The collection occasionally gets a little bit academic, but never becomes too overwhelming.
Introducing Feminism: A Graphic Guide
by Cathia Jenainati, illustrated by Judy Groves
Introducing Feminism is primarily short blurbs, accompanied by simple images. It deals with the history of feminism, as well as highlighting the definitions of feminist ideas. It makes good light reading for anyone interested in having more background information on history and terminology before diving into modern concepts.
|Where I come from, the children's author Robert Munsch is considered to be quite the big deal. I have been reading his books for as long as I have known how to read (and I can't recall a time before learning to read), and definitely still have quite a love for some of his books. I thought I would share a select few of them, in no particular order.
The Paper Bag Princess
I've always loved stories where princesses are the tough saviours, and this one is no exception. After being attacked, the princess goes in to save the day, uses her brains to outsmart the dragon, and then ditches the prince when she realises he's not a good dude. To top it off, we both share the first name Elizabeth.
Purple, Green and Yellow
This hilarious little story always had my sides aching as a child. I loved watching as a little girl grew more and more adventurous with her colouring until she became a bit too adventurous. This became even funnier to me when I got a little brother who quite enjoyed colouring on himself.
Stephanie's Ponytail always appealed to the nonconformist in me as a kid, and I still find it hilarious as an adult. The mayhem that ensues over the rights to a particular hairstyle just tickle me in all the right places. The ending brought me so much joy as a child.
As a Canadian, there is something about snowsuits that I find especially annoying. Now and as a child. Reading about a kid who never wanted to put his on was relatable. Watching his teacher and principal try to force him into with comedic results has always gotten me giggling.
Love You Forever
This one is perhaps one of the most obvious ones to include on such a list. Honestly, it seems to resonate with more of the adults I have known than with the children I have known. It's an incredibly touching story about the love between parent and child, and one that has grown on me with each reading.
|After an unexpected month in the hospital, my dad passed away this week. The funeral is over with. I can move on with my life now. But can I? Earlier this year (late May), we also lost my grandma (my dad's mum). I am still grieving for the loss of my grandma, and I can't imagine that going away any time soon. Now I don't have my dad either. To say this has been a rough year for me personally would be an understatement.
I miss my dad. When I was a little girl, we were very close, and I adored him. When I was twelve, he went to Afghanistan, and he wasn't the same dad after. My teenage years with him were incredibly painful, and I think there was a lot of regret on my side and on his. Now that I am in my twenties, we have had a much easier relationship. It's not the relationship of my childhood, but it has been comfortable. (As a side note, my mum practically shared custody with my grandma all through my teenage years because after my parents split my dad wasn't really around, which is part of what made losing her so hard).
I am glad that my dad and I have been closer over the last few years, and especially the last few months. I am hurting for him that his last few weeks were so hard. He went into the hospital for abdominal pain and a fever, and ended up needing surgery for an intestinal perforation (a hole through his intestine). When they opened him up, they found that he had severe infection, a tumour the size of a cantaloupe in his colon, and smaller tumours in his liver. They couldn't even close him right away due to swelling, and his surgical incision remained open for over a week following the initial surgery. He had four surgeries total. He began to have complications that caused kidney failure and breathing trouble. Initially we had hope for years. Then months. The complications took him from us in less than a month from the time he entered the hospital.
At this point, I think we are all still processing. Grief has led to poor actions on the part of many, which has left me feeling a bit rejected by much family, particularly by my dad's wife and his sister. We are all just trying not to fall apart.
I am remembering many things, especially from my childhood, very fondly. I inherited photo albums from my grandmother, so I found some lovely photos of myself as an infant and as a toddler with my dad. I remember watching cartoons with him. I remember the best foods he made. I remember going camping. I remember learning first aid (he was an instructor). I remember snorkeling over a ship wreck in Georgian Bay. I remember the post cards he would bring me or send me from all the places he went to with the military because he knew I collected them. I remember watching endless superhero stuff with him.
I don't know how to grieve for two people at once. I don't know how to grieve for one person. It hurts. For anyone wondering why I have neglected to update my blog recently, this is why. It's hard to know what to say when it hurts so much. I hope I can do more writing now though. I may have talked about cartoons and reading as medicine, but let's not neglect the quality medicine that writing offers us all here at WDC.
|Lately, I have been struggling. I have struggled with everything. Other than my own health problems, which make life extremely complicated for me, my father has been in the hospital for the last few weeks and it's not looking good. Although things have fallen apart, I have poetry to read, and it has provided me with more solace than words can say. I have compiled this list of poetry books that make for good reading when the times are bad. (Note: I have avoided including novels in verse.)
Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker
I currently have this volume checked out of the library. It's the first thing I have read by Alice Walker. I haven't even finished reading it yet, but I don't need to be finished to recommend it. The title says it all. While I am not in love with every poem, the poems I am in love with are pure perfection. This poetry volume came to me when I needed it most, as though fate intervened. Hard times do require furious dancing, but they also require reading these poems.
And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is a brilliant poet. This is by far her best poetry volume, filled with poems that make you think and feel. This is the kind of poetry that absorbs you, no matter what state your life is in. If you aren't sure that you want to read poetry, find Angelou's reading of the titular poem on youtube.
The Children's Classic Poetry Collection, edited by Nicola Baxter
This particular volume is filled with some of the best classic poems out there. This is the poetry I grew up reading. This is the poetry that made me love poetry. I know that no matter the mood, this volume contains something I need. No matter how hard things get, this volume is filled with pure comfort.
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman
If you are in need of catharsis, this poetry collection can provide it. I don't think I have ever cried as hard while reading poetry as I did when reading this book. It may not describe the situation I am in, but when I need a vehicle for my emotions, I know I can rely on these poems to channel all of my negative feelings.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein generally offers the purest form of poetic escapism, and Where the Sidewalk Ends is the defining book for that pure poetic escapism. Sometimes the best thing to do with yourself is to allow yourself time to escape to a place that is filled with something other than pain. You have the right to feel better for five minutes, and Silverstein can help get you there.
|Just a couple months ago, I spoke of "Reading as Medicine" . Now I would like to talk about cartoons as medicine. As I struggle through many personal issues (as my physical health, associated issues with being on long term sick leave, and serious, life-threatening illness in the family), there are a few things that I know I can always rely on to comfort me when times are tough. Cartoons have been one of those comforts for a long time.
It doesn't seem to matter what's going on in my life, cartoons are something I can handle. When things get tough in real life, I can retreat to a world where things either work out in the end, or feel comical and whimsical when they don't work out in the end. I can recall many times when I was a little girl where I would toss on a cartoon when bad things happened in my life.
Cartoons offer a way to escape from reality from the comfort of my house. I don't need to go anywhere or do anything. I don't need to think or focus. I just have to hit play. I have always kept some of my favourites on DVD for comfort purposes, and it's even easier now that Netflix is around. My favourite cartoons are only a click away.
Unlike my favourite live action shows, they are often unlike reality altogether. Instead of real people in believable situations, I can watch a neon yellow family avert nuclear disaster, I can watch ponies use magic, I can watch secret agents fumble at their jobs. Even when cartoons deal with realistic subject matter, it still offers a great deal of escapism because of the lack of real people performing on the screen.
Cartoons offer the perfect form of escapism, and can be found in almost any genre, or targeted towards any audience. As the things in my life feel like they are crumbling around me, I know that my favourite cartoons will always offer me that bit of comfort.
|I love Anne of Green Gables, and I have since I was a small child. I had numerous copies as a child, and still keep a couple as an adult (one as part of a boxset that I keep for reading, one with a fancy green velvet cover). I actually don't even remember the first time I read it. I read it more times than I can count. I remember religiously watching the cartoon as a child, and being absolutely in love with the CBC miniseries. I had the great pleasure of even getting to visit Green Gables when I visited PEI with my family as a preteen. There are so many reasons that I fell so in love with the story, and I wanted to share a few of those reasons today.
1. It's Canadian.
LM Montgomery is Canadian. Anne Shirley is Canadian. Green Gables is in Canada. Not only do Canadians (like me) have an unnecessary amount of pride in things that are Canadian, Anne of Green Gables represents the best parts of historical Canada. Anne of Green Gables also makes for one of our most enduring pieces of classic literature, which makes it even more dear.
2. Anne is a writer.
As someone who wrote all through childhood and adulthood, it's hard not to connect with an imaginative young girl who can put those ideas to paper with her friends, even (maybe especially) if their writing isn't always the best. I have read very few books starring young girls who write, so this aspect always touched a special place in my heart.
3. Anne is a dreamer.
While Anne did apply her dreaming to her writing, I see the two as a very separate thing. She didn't just dream up what to write down, she could dream anything. She could dream for a bright and optimistic future for herself in a dark world, she could dream up friends and family that she would have, and she could dream about mischief to get into (and then get into it). It's hard not to appreciate that kind of dreaming, especially as someone who grew up with her head in the clouds.
4. Education is important to the characters.
As a child, and as an adult, learning was always so important to me. It didn't matter if my education was formal or all on my own, I loved to learn. Bookish traits are not always present or appreciated in characters, and so I always find a special connection with characters who value their education. Anne eventually becoming a teacher, my ideal career path as a child, cemented my fondness for her.
5. Anne's friends and family are just as important as Anne.
As the titular character, Anne is obviously the main character. However, the full cast of characters is a big part of what has always brought me back to the book. Matthew and Marilla are wonderful. Gilbert is wonderful. And I always had a special fondness for Diana, as she was the bosom friend of my imaginary bosom friend.
6. Everything is so pretty.
Prince Edward Island is genuinely one of the prettiest locations I have ever been to in my entire life. Montgomery did an incredible job of bringing the location to life. You could absolutely envision Avonlea and Green Gables, and the sites just take your breath away. Visiting Green Gables even managed to live up to my very high expectations.
7. Plucky orphans make for good reading.
This is an indisputable fact. Plucky orphans solve mysteries, develop powers, go on grand quests, and ultimately make their mark on the world. All of this is despite the fact that they are orphans, and, in part, because they are plucky. Anne Shirley is one of literature's finest plucky orphans.
8. Novels starring women and girls make for awesome reading.
I love books by and about women. As a child I was really into "girl power" (it was the nineties) and as an adult I am a feminist, so it makes sense from that perspective. Outside of that, books that are by and about women are books that I connect to most strongly. Anne is a character that I see some of myself in, and Anne of Green Gables offered me one of the first relatable heroines I had ever read.
9. It adapts perfectly to other types of media.
While Anne of Green Gables is an incredible novel, it also made for incredible media of other types. The miniseries from back in the 80s is probably one of the best miniseries ever televised, and the cartoon from the early 2000s was one of my favourite things to watch as a kid. Anne is such a lively character that she deserves to be brought to life, and Green Gables is too stunning a place to not be presented by more than words.
10.It's a classic.
Being a classic doesn't necessarily mean a book is good. That said, Anne of Green Gables manages to have everything else on this list, and still be a classic. This is the book that taught me that classic literature didn't have to be boring, could be by and about women, and be so many other things than what people might have me believe.
|October is the spookiest month of the year. We are firmly within the fall season, the air is cool, the leaves are falling, and the days grow shorter. Halloween approaches. It is the perfect time to get into the Halloween mood and celebrate the fall season by watching movies and TV shows that get us in the mood. Without further ado, here are the things I watch every October.
While Hocus Pocus may be a bit cornier than some prefer, it has most definitely become a cult classic. The perfect amount of spooky and silly that all things Halloween should be, Hocus Pocus sets the Halloween mood perfectly for anyone who enjoys this time of year. With all the standard Halloween tropes, and a fight against evil witches, it's hard not to get sucked into the fun.
While still along the lines of cornier Halloween content, Halloweentown is a film I have enjoyed since my childhood. Like Hocus Pocus, it encapsulates the mixture of spooky and silly that makes Halloween so much fun. It's hard to resist the charm of witch characters battling evil in a town where everyone and everything is a Halloween costume or prop.
The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror Specials
Ever since the second season of the Simpsons, they have been running an annual Halloween special that has come to be known as the Treehouse of Horror (after the first special, which featured the children telling scary stories in the treehouse). Many of the early specials in particular featured masterful parodies of horror and Halloween flicks, that made for a great deal of fun. Whether Homer is selling his soul to the devil for a doughnut, or Bart and Lisa are fleeing cannibalistic teachers, Treehouse of Horror is a blast. I make sure to watch at least a few of them every October.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the ultimate campy cult classic. With a bizarre cast of characters, vibrant costumes, wild song and dance numbers, and a plot filled to the brim with mayhem, RHPS is yet another perfect Halloween flick, without having anything to do with Halloween. I have somehow never attended a showing at the local cinema, but it is my ultimate Halloween dream.
At Least One Classic (Anything Before 1970) Horror Flick
October is Halloween season and therefore the time for horror. I am a big fan of the classics, and I try to make it a policy to do at least one of said classics during October. I have box sets of the original Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolf Man films, which all make for great Halloween watching. This year I may try to go for a couple I haven't seen before, such as some of the Hitchcock films I have missed (maybe Rear Window or The Birds), or something else along those lines.
At Least One Modern (Anything Since 1970) Horror Flick
Watching at least one modern horror flick in October often leads to heading for the latest horror flick at the cinema, but I try not to confine myself to that. While I do enjoy the modern classics (Nightmare On Elm Street, etc), I have a few more recent ones that I enjoy the rewatch of, such as Cabin In The Woods or Sinister. This year, I may try to catch up on the Japanese horror flicks I have missed out on.