Posts Tagged With: halloween

Stephen Seitz – Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula

+sherlockholmesYes, it seems I’m pretty good with October spooky reads, but it’s an accident, mostly. “Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula” by Stephen Seitz (ISBN 1780921705; 204p.; Goodreads), as you might guess from that one word in the title, is not an accident tho. Sadly, it wasn’t really any good, so I can’t give myself any credit for this choice…

When Jonathan Harker disappears in Romania, with only a couple of cryptic letters to account for his final days, miss Mina Murray comes to Sherlock Holmes for help. Believing the worst, Sherlock and John Watson leave for Transylvania, in search of this suspicious count Dracula, and likely – Harker’s body. What they find instead is far more disturbing. A village bound in terror and superstitions, children disappearing, and no other than three vampire brides of Dracula roaming the castle. Is it all smoke, mirrors, and drugs, or can this possibly be real?

Soon after their return to England, mostly empty-handed, friends find out that the mysterious count and his crates of dirt are here too. Not only is count working with the criminal mastermind, he seems to be well able to put others under his vampiric spell too. As we know from Bram Stoker’s account, Dracula took the life of miss Lucy. What we didn’t know is that he was preying on Watson’s wife Mary also!

This book has a lot of nothing. Dracula appears, threatens, and disappears after Sherlock swears to get off his back. Watson spends his time at work, mourning his friends, and pondering vampirism, with nothing happening around. Plague of vampires, terror of Dracula? Nope, none of that. 2 out 5, I can’t give it more.

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Categories: 2-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Crime Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tag: Halloween!

Since it’s the month of Halloween (yep.), I figured I’ll just go ahead and do any Halloweenish book tags that I find. This was the first that came around, very short and easy:

1. Carving pumpkins- what book would you carve up and light on fire?
– “Metro 2035” by Dmitry Glukhovsky; I reviewed this book, will not repeat myself.

2. Trick or treat- what character is a treat, what character is a trick? 
– Treat – Lucien Vaudrey from A Charm of Magpies; Trick – Nicaise from Captive Prince

3. Candy corn- what book is always sweet?
– The Holy Trinity of Trilogies: “Shades of Magic” by V.E. Schwab; “A Charm of Magpies” by K.J. Charles; “Captive Prince” by C.S. Pacat

4. Ghosts- what character would you love to visit you as a ghost?
– Alucard from Shades of Magic. But I hope he lives too long for that ever to happen.

5. Dressing up in costume- what character would you want to be for a day?
– Lucien Vaudrey from A Charm of Magpies

6. Wizards and witches- what is your favorite Harry Potter moment?
– The moment I realized Snape rewrote the textbook he was learning from. Dude!

7. Blood and gore- what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile?
– Paige Dearth “Born Mobster“. I have a hard time reading of things like that in general.

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Uzgavenes

Uzgavenes is a Lithuanian celebration I find to be much alike to that of Halloween or Mardi Gras. Here we don’t have either of those, and our Hallows Eve is more the traditional sort of respecting the dead, than scaring each other, even jokingly. Some still do celebrate Halloween as Halloween thought, much like in Japan some celebrate Christmas, or places with different New Years date – still celebrate it on December 31st – January 1st just as well. You know how it goes, I’m sure.
uzgavenes2  Uzgavenes here is a spring celebration, not autumn. It is held during the seventh week before Easter (Ash Wednesday). And the title stands for “the time before Lent“, which most people nowadays everywhere, I believe, do not partake in, since depriving yourself and denying yourself on religious bases for many now seems… Well, you understand. On this day, sort of, you get your last change to eat rich, greasy food to your fullest. And traditional food is… wait for it… Pancakes! With all the toppings you can imagine. Yes.
uzgavenes4  People dress up in masks and costumes, like crude and funky looking Chinese masks, and, try to scare the Winter out of the yard. Mid yard we place an effigy made of straws and twigs, dress it up in some fancy and ridiculous outfit and burn it, dancing and chanting “winter, winter, run away from our yard!” Then there is a battle between the Porky (Lashininis), which is representation of Winter, and the Hempen Man (Kanapinis), our Spring representation. I don’t really know whether there’s any prognosis on when the spring will warm us up depending on which of the lads win, but it’s fun to watch alright.
uzgavenes3  After the effigy is burned, children in masks go out and beg for candies from door to door. When you open your door for them, they chant you a rude little poem I dare not repeat, and demand pancakes and coffee. Yes, pancakes and coffee. It is a tradition too, to give them pancakes, but most people don’t do it anymore, since surely at home their parents baked pancakes too, and what kid wants to carry around a greasy creppe around anyways? Instead they get candies and money of smaller value. This celebration happened here yesterday, but I only received three such little groups of visitors, so most my candy stayed with me. It always happens, like this. If I don’t prepare myself – they come one after the other. If I do – they don’t come. Once I just took those candies to school and gave it out to friends and teachers… But yeah. That’s our Uzgavenes for you.

Categories: The Afterlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lots of work and all the schedules

Been gone, been working my butt off. I dare saying it’s the articles season, for I translated over six per last month. Some barely a page long, others over thirty. Nobody complained, everyone paid up on time and so on and on. In the spare time I try my best to read as much as I can, to catch up on “paper stuff” (books at home, library books), so that I could truly dig into the e-books. As per this year, since I have my multi-pad/tablet since, I think, March 16th, I’ve read total 20 e-books, and the year is not yet done. Hopefully next year I can read even more e-books, sell off the unnecessary paper books, and enjoy the tidiness the thing called “less stuff / minimalism” provides. And if anyone’s interested, per this year I’ve read over 60 books so far. It’s not much, but still a lot more than most people do. It made me wonder whether the “the more you know, the more you don’t know” is truly true. Not that I’m getting any smarter, it’s just that those who pretend to be a lot smarter than me or anyone else – are usually those who barely manage to read a book a month even if time is given. And don’t give me that “life-smart” thing. Nor the Cersei’s “Power is Power” – Cersei was the dumbest one in the line after Joffrey. Without the knowledge – what would exist? And just think of how much you can do because someone had the knowledge which empowers you too, including your damn cell phone, or the screen you’re reading my blog on right now.

I’ve decided to keep a better track on things I do and things I watch. Say, Supernatural started – I’m enjoying this season greatly. American Horror Story provided me with Witches, and I love stories on witches… Then there’s Dracula’s series, The Last Witch, Sleepy Hollow, Bones, I even started watching Masters of Sex, which, two series in, imo has an interesting subject, but is not fantasy-enough for the likes of me. I guess I’ll watch it anyways, not everything has to be decorated with pointy ears and shiny eyes afteral. I should, maybe, dig into the other seasons of Hell on Wheels, but maker sees, that’s a lot of stuff to watch, and for me, to sit down and watch something… Ugh.

Did anyone notice Halloween Steam Sale? I bought myself VtM: B there. Wanted Castlevania too, but figured – I’ll never finish all the games I now proudly own, if I’ll be jumping from one to another. Thus that one will wait some other sale. Afteral, I haven’t even finished Skyrim yet (I’m with the Empire, racism by folks who took over somebody else’s land and then claim it’s theirs – not my cup of tea. But I don’t judge, play as you like, maybe replay differently if you got the mood for going through that game twice, etc.), nor Deadpool, which is, must say, fantastic. Never laughed so much, nor took that many screenshots. Well, maybe I did in DAO… Anyways, nice that Steam keeps us all happy by throwing discounts at us, with hopes that we’ll jump in and they can snatch our wallets then. I admit, I know it, and yet I still give in without the remorse I should feel.

I also treated myself with another book on Dracula’s topic, for I figured – I don’t have enough yet. A cheap, half-accurate-half-cut-up book, so to say “biography”. I didn’t receive it yet, but when I do – I will boast about it night and day, worry not. I tend to keep books on Dracula for rather long periods of time, in fear it’ll suck, be very inaccurate or so. It doesn’t happen that often, but it still happens. I need to remember, I guess, that people know him more as a fictional character and it might never change. For me, he’s but a warlord, as immortal as any great warlord is.

So that’s my update. Could tell you how some authors can’t take critique, after you spent days reading their book, how they ignore who you are and pay no attention to WHAT you are, but expect you to treat them as delicate wall flowers. I could also tell you how movie “Young Adult” sucked, and how I found no comedy in that comedy-drama. I could tell you how disappointed I am in Nurse Jackie series, for from the “nurse with a bad back”, she turned into a nothing, but a lame drug-addict. I could also tell you of how much I want vacation and some rest, away from everything, except maybe a few dear friends, but how my priorities demand I work more now, rather than later. Or is it my laziness? I can never tell. All of that – I will not tell you. Why? Because everything is fine even with those things around. Air is cool, no more bugs around, I got myself plenty of books, there’s nice things to watch, people to talk to, work to do, work that I don’t hate. Everything is fine and therefor – all the little things that ain’t as bright – don’t matter.

Categories: Books: Everything, games, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkins, skulls and bats

In Lithuania we have “All Saints” celebration, which is equivalent to All Hallows Eve, but not the Halloween (we have a similar celebration in spring, tho, called “Uzgavenes”, and it’s considered a celebration to get the Winter out of the place). Sadly that means that Halloween isn’t a thing here and to get decorations is to find a unicorn equivalent. This year tho I planned ahead and got a package of goodies from the UK!

Halloween-Lights_nightmode_msg2theming

  First are the battery-operated eight led pumpkins, that are bright enough for me to read by at night. I figured it can be considered “Night Mode” reading too! For now they hang on my “wall” of pirates from the east. I can’t remember where I got that moon and sun mask from. Either from Cross Hill in my home country, or from Czech Republic.

Skull_goblet_rockstar_nightmode_msg2theming

  The second thing is an orange plastic goblet. I filled it with (also received, together with instant ramen noodles – main food of the nosferatu’s like myself) Rockstar Xdurance (blueberry). Funny thing this goblet. There where I put it now, stood a water bottle for a couple of years, with blood measures for cocktails on it. I mean, you know how the bottle for shaking up cocktails look? So that water bottle was black and shaped like one of those and on it were stickers with measure of how much of what type of blood you ought to pour in. I won it at a contest, it was always meant for my vampiress friend, but I somehow took a year if not three, to give it to her. And as soon as I packed it up – I received the goblet to fill in the blank spot at my shelf!

halloween_nightmode_msg2theming

  And the last, but not least, the goodies. First is a plastic skull, with bulging eyes that blink red in an uneven pattern. Below there’s a ceramic pumpkin, all covered in orange glitter that made my hands look as if I killed Goth-Tinkerbell. It also has a led-bib in it, it changes colors from blue, to green, to red, looks gorgeous! And a bag of plastic rings in colors black and orange, and shapes of spiders, skulls and bats. They’re great little joy gifts for those like myself, who want halloween, but can’t have it.

  So that’s that. I think I’ll have a halloween afteral. I got myself a few movies, like Paranorman and Ringu 0: Birthday, and Monsters University. Will make myself the largest bowl of popcorn (I have this air-machine to make pop-corn, so there’s no need of oil, and process is more controlled than in microwave, so my cravings for the white edible sponge shall be sated) and if I’m lucky – I’ll have peace and quiet to watch the movies alone. If not, well, I guess I’ll have to socialize with… humans.

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, Treasures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solstice Scents and how I can’t live without them

Not so long ago, thanks to youtube channel of Grav3yardgirl, I discovered Solstice Scents. And now I’m going nuts.

The first pack of samples I ordered around Halloween of 2012, and they probably had event going on, for with my 3 ordered scents, they also gave 3 more samples free to go. I remember I’ve gotten myself two types of “Forest” smells (Spellbound; Black), “Manor” which stands among my favorites ever since, “Jack and the Devil“; “Dragon Blood” obviously and “Shoikat Grove“. While at first I didn’t like all of them and Manor struck me like a lightening, later other scents became more pleasing too, I guess that’s because of my wicked imagination that connects smells to visions. Jack and the Devil is a bit too strong, but when I smell it, I think of how this Jack could have looked like, thus I imagine a dark figure, strolling in dark, maybe a bit damp and windy night, with a smile on his face and the sense of devil somewhere by. Same way with the forest smells, I right away take in the image of a specific forest, of elves that live in that forest and this specific smell lingering in their dead-silent kingdom, when in disguise they wait for mere mortals to pass by and if you’re to listen carefully, you might hear a bow creak as they wait for a reason to bury an arrow into your neck.

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I put most of the scents in there, first and second order

   By the way, Inquisitor smells like Narnia. The first time the little girl enters it – snow, pines, coldness – yea, I can imagine an inquisitor-stature mean looking man with a pelt on his long black robe walking through there in seek of a path towards nearest village.

  Later I ordered more and honestly I don’t even remember what it was that time, but every order I got (and so far it’s four orders total) was bigger than the last. This time no particular scent really captured me and two of them were truly not for me. One got mixed up, as I ordered Cenobite and received Cocoa Mallow. While the latter one was interesting, with scents of pure cocoa in it, I don’t really like the sort of smells so I simply gave it to somebody who appreciated it more. Another I gave to my mother, for she said it smelled “clean”. Go figure, seriously. And one other I still have, wait, no, I just checked my drawer, I still got two of the ones I didn’t particularly like, those were Lace Draped Specter and Moonlight on the Grove.  Don’t get me wrong, scents are good, but some perfumes are too overpowering to me. For instance, the Spectre smell reminds me of grandfather’s aftershave with very old medicine mixed, all that mingling with bakery still in clay oven, baking. Moonlight grove I can’t even describe. It’s a lot more pleasant, but it confuses the hell out of me.

  My third bash is my favorite, for I liked every scent from the start AND found my new scent. Many people who feel themselves better when surrounded by fantasy-based scents are probably seeking “their own smell”. Pharoah is my scent.

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  Library and Master Bedroom intrigued me the most when I was ordering it. I ordered five (I took out the pharoah from the pack and just keep it by my side at all times. five means +1 free, they always give one free, but I guess there are events when they give more, remembering my first handful), and left out one blank. When you order it, they lead you to a page where you pick out scents if it’s more than one, if you leave few blank – you can later in order comments add which ones you want to be “filled into the blanks”, because usually not all are on the list. I left one blank and asked to drop me a Library in there and as always – they did exactly that. For free scent I took something Halloweenish but they very kindly contacted me and said they’re out of it, so I just asked for another sample of Manor (the girl said it’s her favorite too). So, as I received my pack (and I cut it with scissors thus ruining the usual presents they add in there – a bookmark, good one to add, a postcard where they thank you, I got two framed, and a card or two representing either the season or the main idea of your package, I think, I could be wrong. Also it’s filled with black confetti mixed with season-colored ones, so for Halloween it was orange bits, for winter it was green and for spring and the Valentine day so to say – hot pink, I keep them in a transparent bottle), I was obviously most curious for Library scent. I call myself a Nosferatu (reference to nosferatu’s, information rats from VtM: B ), and a book-rat, I figure it could be good. And it is good. It smells of leather bound book that got a bit moldy because the wooden cabinets in an old wooden house are slightly damp when it rains and warmth makes water vapor and seep through your windows, but they nevertheless collected dust and thus you open it – this is the smell. Others are great too, but as I said, I was struck even harder than with Manor, when I smelled Pharaoh. I don’t know what the hell it smells of, but I can imagine a parchment scroll, sandy smooth stone floor, incense clouds pouring out of golden pots, decorated with turquoise.

  This smell first time I ordered in a perfume bottle, after trying out this sample. I just don’t think I can get enough.

  Remember I mentioned they mixed up my order the one time? Well, I wrote to them, trying to be as kind and humble as possible, for it can happen to either of us and neither of us would want to be bitched at, and they with same attitude as mine – kindly and humbly gave me a “code” I was to enter in comments, so that with my next order I would receive a free extra sample of Cenobite.  You know, it’s very alike Cocoa Mallow so I slightly regret bothering them about it, but I’m glad never the less.

  In general I am damn pleased with Solstice Scents, got nothing but good experience  and my little treasure of scent vials keep me smiling. I can indeed recommend them.

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Halloween History [video]

 

Figures, watching a video for many is an easier task than reading full text. I prefer text, thus I intend to write some things halloween-themed in nearest future. But for those coming around just for pictures and videos – here’s one.

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Things to craft from

Today I went out to get some crafting supplies. Believe it or not, I still forgot the most important things. Nevertheless, rest of the stuff I bought almost blindly – I went out to FIND things, without ahead knowing what I want.

Thus I got a couple of belts, to make bracelets off, one feels like leather, other is more like this other leathery substance, yet I do believe both are of faux. Third belt had these chunky heavy beads of black, white and brown, plenty material to work with. And fourth was all made of strings that will be greatly appreciated in my crafting fits.

I also got myself a blue bandana. Got a red one somewhere, blue seems to fit me better. And a small chain, old lady wanted 2.50 dollars for it for “it’s brand new”, but it’s just an iron chain, most likely taken off some jeans… So she agreed to lessen the price. Also I found a wonderful burgundy striped tie, a wonderful piece of cloth that might be some kind of sheet, all halloweenish – orange with cobweb pattern, AND lots of string!

For all that I paid 12 dollars, I dare to say, now that I look into it, it looks like a bit too much. But it was my very first PROPER attempt to hunt the items like this. I’d like to have a friend for this, but I’m pretty sure people would be too lazy to walk as much as I did and carry as much as I did.

Here are pictures in a darn bright and intensive way…

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