Spooky Season Movies for Scaredy-Cats

When the first chill of the year hits the air, the daylight hours get shorter, and for sure when October 1st hits, we officially enter the spooky season with a gusto. Halloween has gotten huge on social media as creatives post amazing costumes, baked treats, and home decor around the theme of black and orange and a little scary.

Pumpkin Dance GIFs | Tenor

I’ve never been big on the “a little scary” part. (I also kind of hate orange on myself, but that’s neither here nor there.) When I was little, I accidentally watched slasher film classic Scream because someone had put the wrong tape in the box for Men in Black. (I was really suspicious when we hadn’t seen a single alien… or Will Smith…) I haven’t really come around to horror or gore since.

BUT I still love the festive feeling around Halloween. I have a long history of loving to dress up but then forgetting that many people go scary in lieu of sexy. (Once, I attended a Halloween event at the National Zoo and had the absolute bejeebus scared out of me by an admittedly impressive duo costume where one man was a menacing puppetmaster and the other was a terrifying zombie puppet attached to him by long rods. I screamed but the craftmanship was 👌)

spoopy | Dictionary.com
2 spoopy to live, 2 creppy to die

So here is an updated list of some of my favorite movies to watch to get into the spoopy season, and where it’s available to stream if you are interested in that. (If anyone wants to do a watch party, please let me know!) Since I have such a low tolerance for being scared, this list is a lot of children’s movies, since most children have a higher tolerance for being scared than I do… (Hence why I started my old list 6 years ago with several vintage Disney shorts.)

Note: If you would like to stream these, you can check Justwatch.com to see what platforms have it available. Not an ad, just a handy site I check when I get the hankering to watch something!

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It’s been half a year

Today is day 183 since I began sheltering in place in my apartment due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

This means that I have been quarantined for over half of one calendar year.

Every now and then, I find myself laughing out loud because, the first week my office closed, I asked if we should expect to be back in the office the following week or would we not be able to return until April?

(I also am laughing out loud more often because I’m not sure I can regulate my emotions anymore? It is very likely I have become feral and am unable to be tamed for society again…)

Despite what appears to be a large chunk of time passing… it still feels unreal to me some days. Each individual day drags on, but the weeks and months pass in the blink of an eye. I can remember how my own stance on COVID-19 and how dangerous it was changed during the course of a single workday, when I packed my desk with the intention of not returning to the office a few days in advance of it closing. But the months since… are a blur.

There are a lot of things I wish went different for me personally during quarantine, but this pandemic has been much, much bigger than me. And one of the more productive things I’ve been able to do is to try to help others where I can. When I am having trouble taking control over what’s happening in my life, it helps to try to at least contribute some positive change somewhere in the world.

Spread Positivity - spreading yellow spread with a happy face, putting a yellow coin with a happy face into a can that says "Donate", a text exchange responding to 3 frowning faces with 1 smiling face, a spray bottle spraying yellow happy faces
Image created by Alissa Azureen for the United Nations COVID-19 Response

Here are a few ways I have been trying to help:

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Friday Favorites (10)

Happy Friday and happy May!

Today is May Day, which also makes it International Workers’ Day, so I encourage you not to cross the picket line as essential workers strike for better benefits and protection while their employing corporations reap in record profits during this crisis.

May Day is also a festival of spring, so enjoy flowers and spring cakes and little makeshift maypoles if you’d like.

We are also kicking off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month today. I’ll try to find some good reading for next Friday but in the meantime, try to consume something made by an Asian Pacific American this weekend. You don’t have to go watch Crazy Rich Asians but there are a lot of other good options, one of which I mention down below. You can also watch a Youtube video, read a book, read an article even. And of course, continue considering supporting Asian-American-owned businesses.

“Lockdown Productivity: Spaceship You” – CGP Grey

CGP Grey has long been one of my favorite Youtube creators, and this has become one of my favorites of his videos. He reframes our quarantine in a creative way – you are isolated in a spaceship above Earth, and before you can return to Earth, your mission is to return to Earth better than you left. It’s really worth a watch and can be really motivating if you’ve been starting to feel burned out and finding quarantine to be pointless and draining. He focuses on how important it is to maintain your physical and mental health, and the importance of having dedicated physical spaces to do so. Read More »

Film School on YouTube

We’ve established that maybe I watch a bit too much YouTube, right? But hey, at least I’m actually getting a decent amount of education value out of my viewing! Not only am I learning recipes and cooking techniques (an excuse I love for watching Shokugeki no Soma!) but I also really love watching video essays about film.

Sometime at the beginning of high school, I started to watch movies differently. I think this was triggered by 2 things:

  1. My parents bought a box set of all the Best Picture Oscar winners and we had begun watching them for our weekly family movie nights. I suppose I began trying to see what set these movies apart from the rest.
  2. I watched a bootleg copy of Joe Wright’s 2005 Pride & Prejudice, which remains one of my favorite movies because of what was interesting about this copy of it. When I turned on subtitles because the audio was a little bit off, I actually ended up with the director’s commentary captioning the movie instead of the audio. The result was that having the curtain pulled back on the director’s choices and intent helped me start looking for these things in other movies.

It’s very easy to critique movies without knowing the language of film; all art is able to be consumed at different levels and therefore to be critiqued at those different levels. I have a parent who works with film so it’s a medium that is near and dear to me, and I have begun to learn how to evaluate films in a different critical way.Read More »

Friday Favorites (8)

Has anyone else been struggling a bit this week? I’ve seen this sentiment on social media that this week in particular has been more difficult for a lot of people, whether in their work lives or their personal lives. Personally, I’ve been feeling it a lot at work, vacillating between period of virtually zero productivity and periods of highly rare focus but getting blocked by something or other.Read More »