29 July 2014

Playlist: "Dream Dancer"

This week's playlist--mostly consisting of indie pop tunes--has some dreamy elements to it as well as some very catchy lyrics and choruses. Hence..."dream dancer."

Even though I of course pretty much listen to music constantly, I didn't think I would be listening to this song as much as I have recently. I just love the youth chorale that chimes in for the chorus--so beautiful! This entire song is ethereal and enchanting and oh, I just love it.

Yes there's a hint of melancholy in this one, but I find it soothing and I love the drums.
I really like a lot of other Caveman songs. If you haven't heard of them, I  recommend checking them out.

Definitely reminding me of The Strokes, this band has got me so excited! Their music just makes me want to dance and dance and dance.

A little bit of rock, a little bit of pop, a little bit of an indie tune...this one just always has me tapping my foot. This is the kind of song I'd pick for a road trip.

The lyrics here are a little sad, which, when set alongside cheerful music, is always something I've been guilty to enjoy. These lyrics are really smart, though, and they still sound awesome! (The song also has clapping. I love clapping!)

28 July 2014

Macabre Monday: Mini Book Reviews (The Maggot People by Henning Koch; The Fallen by Dale Bailey)

maggot people horror novel

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

My rating: 2/5

I was interested in the premise of the book--a man turning into a "maggot person" just can't help but peak my interest--and the beginning was fairly interesting. We meet the main character, interact a bit with him, and then of course, things get a bit weird and disgusting when he sleeps with the female maggot person who infects him, making him one of them. I still could have been fine with that, though, as nasty as that sounds. 

What took the book down a notch for me was the fact that he has to wiggle his way through obstacles such as the threatening Mama Maggot, priests with guns, and eventually, how to literally wiggle his way out of somewhere. 

That may all sound fine and good, quite exciting, yes? To an extent. Most of it is just ludicrous and you must have an enormous amount of suspension of disbelief for this book to even begin to make it through. If you make it to the ending, you will still probably hold up your hands in discontent; is this what the book has been about the entire time because there really is nothing else to show for it, and uhh...this was the weirdest twist I've ever laid eyes on in a book. I'm still mad when I think about it.

So, was the book creepy? It definitely had a creep factor. Maggots inside of the characters cannot be taken lightly. Would I recommend reading it? Maybe just the first 50-100 pages... 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

My rating: 4/5 

I'll just go ahead and say, I wrestled with putting this under the "horror" genre because it fits under so many other genres as well. I decided to post it, however, because it deals so much with the supernatural, and I think a lot of us can say how spooky that is, and also because many of the passages creeped me out--the tension of this book is unbearable at times. 

While there are some religious themes, as is probably obvious from the cover, this is not a book that the old lady sitting next to you at church would read. The book is so well-written and the characters are given a great deal of attention to, which really brings you into the story. Reminded me a bit of Stephen King in a way, which just shows how promising this novel is! 

There is something deeper than the characters going on in the story, and I love that we don't really find out until the end of the story exactly what that is. Plus, you don't wait the whole time and have it be something completely roll-your-eyes stupid. 

A tense, thrilling, creepy, shocking book that takes you for a ride. Definitely read this one! 

That's it for this Macabre Monday. Head over to Kate's blog to see her spooky Macabre Monday!

26 July 2014

{Widened Horizons}

Hope the weekend is going great for everyone!

I have been visiting my brother and sister-in-law, trying not to feel awful for everyone's sake, and the trip has turned out nice so far. It's always great to hang out with your sibling whom you never get to see. (Plus the bed I've been sleeping on/constantly napping on is charming and comfy, so that is just fabulous.)

Speaking of napping...
I found this picture via Pinterest and immediately felt myself drifting away. It has everything I need in it for some shut-eye, and it of course makes me wish we had a dog again!
sleepy coastal dog

I've been like a madman with earrings lately, going through old ones that I haven't worn in a long time, to hunting through bargain bins at department stores. Of course, I always remember the best ones are online. To prove my point, I've posted below a pair of earrings from etsy. I just love the sass, the cuteness, the everything!
cute funny word earrings

As much tea as I drink, you would think I'd have a teapot by now. I guess my fascination ends with just marveling at them. One day, though...one day I will have one. The one I picked out for today is a cute, vintage teapot from the 80's. I love the minimalist design but also the unique touch added to it.
vintage hole teapot

The literary piece I'm about to post, "I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone" by Richard Brautigan, just blew me away. I don't know how many people will actually read it, but if you do, take your time. Reread it. Reread it again. Soak it up and soak it in. Enjoy it because the way it made me feel, the way I hope it makes you feel, is hard to come across. (You will probably have to click on the link to read it.)
literary work brautigan

I'm crazy about the Tory Burch Resort 2015 collection. Especially this dress! The colors and the pattern and oooooh just give me it already!
tory burch 2015 resort

The owl find for today comes from Overstock. They have a fair amount of owl products, but I fell in love with this owl pillow! (I post a lot of pillows on Widened Horizons, don't I?!) Seriously considering adding this to the already pillow-packed corner chair in my bedroom...
owl pillow multi

Quick Links: 

23 July 2014

Wordful Wednesday//Gag Me with A Spoon

Dealing with a chronic illness means allocating your "spoons."

If you have no earthly idea what I'm talking about, you can get to know "the spoon theory" here.
But if you'd rather have it spelled out for you, the words taken from here do a great job of summing it up:
A person who is chronically disabled or ill only has a limited amount of expendable energy each day. The spoon theory uses a metaphor of spoons to turn energy into a measurable concept. A person living with chronic illness or disability only has a certain number of spoons in their possession each day, and every small action a person takes can result in a lost spoon. Once a person loses a spoon, it is very hard to get that back until after a full night’s sleep. Simple actions like getting out of bed, taking a shower, walking, and driving can require enormous amounts of energy that people don’t have.
Lately I've felt as though I've had no spoons.
Every single action requires the though of "is it worth it?" (let me work it...haha kidding!)
So when I found this neat little chart below, I thought it was a great visual to show to others what I talk about when I mention spoons, and what I mean by every action requires spoons, leaving me pooped.

spoon lyme visual

Take time today to either appreciate what you can do if you aren't tangled up with a chronic illness, or if you are, take time to rest and heal--we need our spoons!

21 July 2014

Macabre Monday: Delivery (The Beast Within)

the beast within poster

Found footage films really seem to have some type of control over me; it definitely stems from The Blair Witch Project. (Can you believe it's been 15 years since that movie came out, by the way?)

When I found out this horror film was set up as a reality show about pregnancy that soon goes wrong, I was rocked by how good of an idea that sounded. The beginning of the film is all the gooey, mushy reality TV stuff, but it's still interesting. It lets us get to know the characters, for one thing, which a lot of horror movies miss the opportunity of doing. The rest of the film is what was not included for the audience members of the "reality TV show." It contains what the character, Rachel, who is pregnant throughout the film, calls "proof." 

What separates Delivery from most other films in the found footage genre is the lack of jump scares. There are a few, and yes, you have the typical "spooky" camera effects/glitches going on as well as some other weird, unexplained events. However, for the most part, this movie relies heavily on tension. I enjoyed that a lot more than some nonsensical scare tactics. 

There are also some unnerving parts of the film that are just...abnormal. They are there, of course, to show the debilitating psychological state of Rachel, and when you see what is going on in the house and what must be going on in Rachel's head, you start to get the creeps
delivery goosebumps
Uh, you comfy there? 
What tore me up more than anything was the ending. I'm trying not to give anything away, so all I will say is that I was shocked, I wasn't expecting it at all, and I applaud the director for making it that way. It could have went down the drain, but instead, it was something I could appreciate and sit here and truly say I thought horrific.