Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not for the faint of heart

I had my own little horror show last night when I sought relief from the cough that has been keeping me awake for over a week. I don't normally take over-the-counter medications because of an underlying health issue but when desperate...

I went to the drug store to choose some cough syrup. I read lables. I tried to stay away from ones that would target a broad range of symptoms. I avoided non-drowsy formulas. Finally, I spotted on with a warning in big letters: May cause drowsiness. I grabbed it. Didn't really read the label any further...(to my subsequent peril!)

At bedtime, I prepared to take the medicine. I read the dosage. I found a medicine cup. I opened the bottle. I was overwhelmed by the smell. Oh my god! Oh my god! As I'm repeating that out loud, I hear chuckles from my man upstairs. Apparently he knew what I was in for. It smelled like a bottle of Vicks Vaporub. Only this was Buckley's Nighttime formula.

It may as well have been melted Vick's: thick, creamy white liquid smelling strongly of moth balls. The box proudly boasts that each teaspoon contains 22mg menthol. The non-medicinal ingredients include camphor and pine needle oil. The minimum dose is 2 teaspoons.

Was I really that desperate? Could I get it down without it coming right back up? Yes and yes as it turns out. I pinched my nose and got it down. I breathed out moth balls. I felt a little like one of the homeless men I knew when I worked at a shelter who had a preference for drinking Aqua Velva.

Oh please god make it work...

Well, I did get a full night sleep so I guess I'm happy about that. That said, I think it will take many more sleepless ones before I go for the Buckley's cure again. Oh the horror....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Favourite Hallowe'en Tales

When I'm laid low with a cold (like this week) I like to curl up with a mug of tea and a good book... or snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. This time I got to thinking what are the best horror flicks and books?

Let me qualify that by saying that I'm not into gore so slasher flicks like Hallowe'en and Friday the 13th need not apply. I like the Omen series though...perhaps because I watched the first one on a black & white set alone in my bedroom when I was a young teen. Scared the bejeezus out of me!

I like some good suspense, to get a little scared or creeped out. Here's my list; I'd love to hear what would be on yours!

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Stephen King
  • Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
  • Flowers in the Attick by V.C. Andrews
  • Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  1. The Shining
  2. The Omen series
  3. The Sixth Sense
  4. The Amityville Horror
  5. Seven
  6. The Birds
  7. The Changeling (1980 version)
  8. Alien

Monday, October 11, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry

Be careful what you wish for.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger is a perfect example of the perils of going to far to get what we want. With sympathetic characters and the evocative backdrop of London's Highgate Cemetary, Her Fearful Symmetry is a ghostly love story perfect for the season.

Between the gentle yet unrelenting exploration of human flaws and dysfunctional families, and the growing suspense, I found it hard to put down.

You can download the first chapter at Niffenegger's site. You can also see some beautiful pictures of monuments in Highgate Cemetary here. Gorgeous! I'd love to visit.

BTW. I also loved her book, The Time Traveller's Wife.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Night Marzen

A wet and cold ride out to Vankleek Hill struck gold at Beau's Brewery. I was able to pick up a couple jugs of their seasonal beer Night Marzen, a traditional Oktoberfest lager. Also able to fit into my saddle bags were one jug of Happy Pils and Sneaky, a dark wheat beer from their Wild Oats series. You can only get these at the brewery or if you're lucky on tap at a bar. Feeling very pleased with myself, I ignored my soaked hands and feet, and concentrated on riding safely back to Ottawa.

After a warm bath, getting dinner made and my girl to and from ballet, my man and I were able to cozy up on the couch and enjoy a glass. So much to celebrate: my longest solo ride yet, the long Thanksgiving weekend, and the kids being in bed!

Should you be local to Eastern Ontario and perhaps a beer drinker, I highly recommend Beau's. It's a family-run brewery that uses local spring water, 100% organic malts and hops, and the leftover mash is provided to a local farm for their organically raised pigs. You can enjoy excellent beer and feel good about how it's brewed. If a trip to Vankleek Hill is not in the books, their flagship brew, Lug Tread lagered ale, is available at the LCBO.

PS. The first time my man and I went to the Brewery, we were introduced to Night Marzen and told it's nick name was Night Mare - fits with the whole Hallowe'en theme :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This little light of mine...

We found our latest Hallowe'en acquisition on a beautiful fall ride last week to Merrickville. It was at The Christmas Shop on St. Lawrence St. They are opening a room upstairs dedicated to Hallowe'en. We went in because the window display was so good. I'd love one of their tombstones. Somehow, at ~3 feet tall, they wouldn't fit in any of our saddle bags...

On our list of preparations are:

- make costumes
- bake scary treats
- stuff a raven
- learn to make mole
- set up a graveyard in the front yard

We plan on celebrating Day of the Dead too - I love those skulls. You can see one of my favourite designs here.