Category Archives: why yes I do know how to operate an EMF detector

Haunted dollhouse, part 3

Building up to Halloween I’ve been revealing room in my horror/fantasy inspired dollhouse.  If you missed the first ones then start here to see the kitchen and casting room and then go here for the tarot card room.  Today I’m showing you the study and the secret room and then we’ll be halfway through.

It’s still unfinished so ignore the rough edges.

Click to embiggen

Behind the potions cabinet is a secret door. (Don’t blink.)

I added five new things to this room this week from your suggestions, including the yellow wallpaper in the secret room.  I’m not sure I got the smear quite right.  Please keep the suggestions coming because they are brilliant.  10 points to whoever can identify all the allusions in this room.

PS. A video of with the door open and another with the door closed:

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Haunted dollhouse, part 3.

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Sometimes you can go home again.

This weekend Victor had to work so Hailey and I drove to my parent’s house where my sister and her kids were visiting from California.  And it was lovely and funny and weird and exhausting and fabulous – all the things you want when you go home again.

My parents house was busting with eight people sleeping under one roof, but in a good sort of way where everywhere you turn you see people cooking or helping or playing or laughing, and every spare minute was filled with games and exploring caves or camping.  My sister Lisa and I had gently laughed at Hailey exclaiming how much better the air was in the country (as we reminded her that we were within smelling distance of a pig farm, a taxidermy studio, and a rendering plant) but at night we’d go out and look at the stars in a sky that is never as big or bright as it is outside the home we grew up in, and we breathed in and reluctantly agreed that there was a sweetness to the air that didn’t exist anywhere else.

Coming back to the home I grew up in is a luxury most people don’t get.  My parents are still alive.  The land and house has changed over the years but the people in it are still the same.  And at night when I stand on their porch and look up at the stars I feel a deep, physical healing.  I suspect it’s like other people feel when they go to a spa or take a vacation, but the raw feeling of being there is like having my heart wrapped up in new, tight bandages…pulling back together the parts that have started to fall away.

My family knows that my mental and physical issues cause chronic exhaustion so often I’d have to go to bed just when the night got exciting, but that’s just a part of being me and I’ve come to accept that if I push myself too hard I might end up in a pit too deep to come out of.  And it was fine.  Disappointing, of course, but fine.  Until Easter Sunday when I woke up and realized that I had no spoons left.  Hailey and I got dressed in our new Easter dresses and I helped my nieces get ready but already I could tell that I could either go to my uncle’s for Easter and visit with a giant house full of dozens of people I love, or I could safely stay awake for the hours I would be driving back home that day.  But not both.  So as I helped my family load up into their cars I told them I had to leave.  And they understood instantly and supported my decision as only people who truly love you can do.  And I felt so lucky.  And so unlucky.  And sad for Hailey whose Easter dress would go to waste and who was so sad but so instantly understanding when I explained that I just didn’t have it in me to do something that normal people could do without thinking.

My family drove to my uncle’s and Hailey and I drove the opposite way, starting our long drive home.  We stopped along the way so I could stay alert and awake.  We stopped at family graves. We picked flowers at a rest stop.  We ate Easter dinner at the Dairy Queen drive thru.  And we stopped at an ancient farm house I’ve seen a million times.  We always pass it on the way home and it’s been abandoned since before I was born.  I’ve always wondered of its history, imagining the ghosts that cling to it and wondering if I’d lived there in a former life because it was the only way I could ever explain my intense fascination with it.  It’s begun a steady decline in the past few years and now part of the roof has collapsed and the old windmill is teetering dangerously.

I realized that this might be the last time I see it so Hailey and I pulled over and stood silently in the shadow of the beautiful decay.

I was pleased to see that Hailey was just as drawn to the place, and although we couldn’t get too close (because it wasn’t stable enough to safely explore) we talked about how strange it was that a broken, ruined thing could be so beautiful.  That sometimes ruin beckons you more than magnificence, telling a story more interesting and important and provocative than you could imagine.  That sometimes broken can be lovely, and that the collapsed roof could be seen as ugly, but it also let the light in in such a fragile and brilliant way, allowing doves to build nests in the unexpected skylight.

I took a few pictures to capture it in case it’s gone the next time I pass it and I whispered a thanks to whoever had built it and to whoever still watches over it.  It’s still important and breathtaking, even if it’s come undone.  It’s just a shell, but with the right eyes it’s so much more.

I think we’re all that way sometimes.

We got back in the car and drove on, and I felt the familiar crack I always get in my chest when I’m driving away from my childhood town.  It always hurts.  It’s always the same.  But the pain – while almost unbearable for a second – is less than the healing I get from returning.  I wish I could do it backward…have the pain first and the healing after…but that’s not how life works, and I remind myself that I still leave with more than I came with.

I am broken.  I am healed.  I am ruined.  I am beautiful.  I am abandoned.  I am beloved.  I am a house that is no longer a house.  I am better and worse all at the same time.  I breathe deeply and smile at my daughter, who smiles back at me.  She tells me that this is a very strange Easter, but she likes it.

A dove flies out of the collapsed roof and catches the sunlight, unaware that its home is anything other than perfect.

There’s a demon in our house. Or a bug. Maybe both.

Last night Ferris Mewler found what might be a demon and I live-tweeted it the entire terrifying experience.  I can’t figure out how to embed it so click here for the whole story.
Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 1.35.08 PM
Spoiler alert:  I’m still alive.  Unless the demon is typing this.  Hard to tell with demons.

Ghost dog

This is a weird post so ignore it if you like.

Without getting into the weird details, I can feel things.  Like, things that aren’t there.  I’m not psychic and I’m not gifted but I can tell when I’m not alone.  It doesn’t bother me and I end up doing lots of ghost-hunting and staying in haunted hotels but I almost never see anything.

That being said, I think we have a ghost dog in our house.  I realize that sounds insane but we’ve all seen it so often that we’re used to it. (Not a full dog or noises…just the shadow of a dog passing by you, usually upstairs or on the stairs.)  It’s not a bad thing and we usually just say “Good dog” and leave it at that but this morning I was taking videos of Hunter S. Thomcat and Ferris Mewler playing with their toys on the stairs and when I watched the video I saw a ton of weird little light artifacts.  I’m sure it’s just camera crap but it’s weird so I thought I’d share it.

Also, I took this with my shitty, outdated iPhone and uploaded it to youtube.  If you see nothing then you’re probably more sane than I am.

Around the 14 second mark there’s a bluish glow near the cat toy.  At the 25 second mark you can hear me talking over me. I don’t know how that happened but I don’t think a ghost dog is involved so it probably speaks more to how unreliable videos are. At the 36 second mark a light moves from Ferris’ back foot up the stairs.  At the 50 second mark a half-moon moves from where the toy is to the right of the screen.  1:08 mark.  Same weird blue glow on the cat toy.  1:15 orb moves up the wall near the hot air balloon painting. 1:23 When I move on the stairs the lighting changes to a foggy white for a second.  1:33 almost imperceptible but something flashes before the camera in a downward motion.  1:45 Cat’s eyes glow because they are possessed by Sata-oh hang on.  That’s just normal cat stuff.

Also, I used youtube to slow it down so you could see it better and I’m not sure if it’s really that helpful but it’s creepy as shit starting around the 40-second mark.  Like if that “It-puts-the-lotion-on-it’s-skin-or-else-it-gets-the-hose-again” guy made cat videos.

Is there a point to this?  Not really.  Just wanted to share what is almost certainly nothing at all.  Blogging at it’s best, y’all.

Couple of screen shots:

Glowing ball.  Probably just contrast against shadow.

Glowing ball. Probably just contrast against shadow.

Click to embiggen.  Traveling semi-circle across the cat's butt.

Click to embiggen. Traveling semi-circle across the cat’s butt.

Glow in left corner.  Not in next frame.

Glow in left corner. Not in next frame.

Orb on wall.  Dust?

Orb on wall. Dust?

Click to embiggen.  Light traveling across bottom.

Click to embiggen. Light traveling across bottom.

White spot moving for a split second across the TARDIS.  Probably some sort of tear in the time/space continuum, or maybe a moth.

White spot moving for a split second across the TARDIS. Probably some sort of tear in the time/space continuum, or maybe a moth.


It’s a good kind of weird.

If you read this blog, then you know Laura even if you don’t know Laura.

She’s the girl who insisted I buy a giant metal rooster, and who named it Beyonce.  She’s the girl who helped me dig up my dead dog, and who once took me on a porn barge.  She keeps me sane, is my best friend, and has absolutely no idea how amazing she is.  This is the same girl who is certain she’s normal and boring, and then offhandedly mentions that her family owns several giant barns filled with old parade floats her great-uncle (P.J.) made decades ago (after he returned from a broadway run, performing with Ethel Mermen).  Barns filled with 10-foot George Washington heads, and life-sized matadors, and dozens of elephants and seals and half-naked women and golden dragon-heads, and so many other things that have been packed into the rafters for so long that no one alive has any idea what exactly is in there.

Laura has lived with this treasure trove in her family for as long as she’s been alive, so for her it’s old-hat, and she can’t understand my fascination and excitement every time I force her to take me through P.J.’s barns “just one more time”.


Laura:  It’s not loaded.


Laura:  Huh.  So there are.

me:  There’s a box here that says “Monkey hands” on the outside.

Laura:  It probably has monkey hands in it.


Laura:  Do you want them?

me:  Do I want a box of monkey hands?  Is this a trick question?  Of course I want a box of monkey hands.  But I’m not going to take all your monkey hands.  I’ll just take two.

Laura:  OMG, take the box of monkey hands.  What am I going to do with monkey hands?

me:   What couldn’t you do with monkey hands?

Laura:  I…have no response for that.

me:  Okay, I’m taking these monkey hands on loan, but they’re yours when you need them.

Laura:  I’ve almost never had the need for monkey hands.

me:  It’s weird that we’re friends.

Laura:  Good weird, or bad wierd?

me:  Well, good weird for me.  I just got an unexpected box of monkey hands.

Laura:  Well then, it’s working out for everyone.

I’ve spent many long hours poring through her great-uncles bizarre art work, his faded ribbons, his boxes of sketches, his enormous paper-machete statues still waiting for a parade that passed by decades ago.  It’s magical, but to Laura it’s commonplace.  She probably wouldn’t agree, but it’s often struck me how much these barns are a reflection of her.  Fascinating and beautiful.  Sometimes forgotten.  Sometimes celebrated.  Always magical, with the right set of eyes.  Weird…but good weird.  The best kind of weird.  And that’s why, several months ago – when I asked her to pose for me in the famous, traveling red dress – I could think of no better backdrop than the brightly cheerful porch of the home her family has lived in for generations, and the dark but magnificent barns of P.J’s parade floats.  It remains, to this day, one of my favorite red dress shoots.

In a few weeks, the barns and all their dusty treasures will be sold at auction.  When I first heard about it I was heartbroken, already missing a place that seemed full of dark magic and a lifetime of work, but I know that P.J. would probably love to see his pieces find the light of day once more, rather than crumble back into the dust.  And I’ll always be grateful that I was able to spend so many long hours wandering through the dusty, magical corners of the mind of a man who never stopped dreaming, even if it was a dream that few people ever completely understood.

And every time I look at my vase of monkey hands, I’ll be reminded of that amazing place, and of the always-underestimated value of being “the good kind of weird”.

Thank you for those memories, Laura and P.J.

And for the monkey hands.  Those things are awesome.

PS.  Want to go to the auction?  Details here.

I’m on a lot of cold medication

The other day I was looking at my pictures I’d posted from when I went ghost hunting at the Stanley Hotel and I noticed that if you enlarged one of the pictures and turned it upside down you could totally see what appears to be the ghostly face of Edward Cullen.

(upside down) Ghost hunting at the Stanley Hotel

"I sparkle."

And I realize that it’s unlikely that the ghost of a vampire played by an actor who isn’t even dead yet is showed up in my pictures, but still?  Kind of awesome.

Of course, if it was an apparition of Jesus or Justin Bieber people would be shitting themselves but since it’s the vampire from Twilight the responses I got when I posted this on flickr were anticlimactic at best:

In her defense, she's only lived in America for the last 30 years.

For Chookooloonks and the other five people in the world who didn’t read Twilight:

So, yeah. It's pretty fucking obvious.

PS. You know what would suck?  If you died and were turned into a vampire and then you got haunted by the ghost of yourself who was pissed off at you for getting yourself killed and she was always there for eternity, laughing at you whenever you fucked something up, or screaming really loud so you’d drop the milk jug, or waiting until you were masturbating and then popping in and be all “WHATCHA DOIN’?”  That would totally suck.

PPS.  I’m deathly sick and wrote this entire post on massive amounts of cold medication.  This is probably obvious.

PPPS.  This remind me a lot of the time that Jesus left a boobie on my yard except that people were way more impressed with the lawn boobie.  Conclusion: Boobs and/or Jesus are more relevant than Twilight.  The tide has shifted, y’all.

All Hallow’s Read

(This is also posted on my mommy-blog on the Houston Chronicle but I’m posting it here too because I’m too busy watching The Omen to write a real post here today.)

I know. It’s been too long between posts but I’ve been busy and I’m about to bribe you with small tokens so you’ll forgive me. One of those tokens is a picture of me in the bathtub. You’re welcome. But all the good parts covered in blood. Sorry.

A few days ago Neil Gaiman wrote a post entreating people to begin a tradition of giving away a scary book at Halloween. I love this. I’ve built an entire dollhouse filled with hundreds of tiny hat-tips to the horror books and films that made life in small town Texas seem (just for a moment) a little more dark and exciting and open to the chaotic terror of not knowing what might be lurking in abandoned houses and echoing wells.

When I was little I feasted on Ruth Chew books.  Sadly, they’re all out of print now but I’ve rummaged through back rooms of used book shops and library sales to piece together a small collection to pass on to Hailey. I couldn’t imagine my childhood without these small assurances from Ruth Chew that there was something magical out there if I looked hard enough, and I wanted Hailey to know that thrill as well.

This year Hailey was finally old enough to appreciate Ruth Chew. Ironically, at the same time she was being discovered by a new reader, Ruth Chew died, her books out of print and her work mostly forgotten.

But I haven’t forgotten.

I cut my teeth on Ruth Chew and by third grade I was reading Stephen King. In fourth I was devouring Poe and by seventh grade I discovered Lovecraft and Bradbury. Ruth Chew started me on a journey that gave me the gift of wonder. It was a journey that took me to dark and terrible places and which served me well, as it taught me the best way to appreciate the light. It’s a gift I can’t repay, but one which I can pass on. I can pass on great books to others and listen with pride as Hailey reads her own battered copy of Coraline to herself under her covers.

Last month I stayed at the Stanley Hotel and was photographed in Stephen King’s room, in the same bathtub that inspired the horrific corpse-in-the-bathtub scene from The Shining. For a brief second I was part of the story and while most people would find this whole thing macabre and vaguely wrong I loved it. It is, without exception, one of my favorite pictures of all time.


In honor of All-Hallows Read I’m giving away a few horror books here. All you have to do is tell me what your favorite scary book or story is in the comments section. I’ll randomly select a few people to win book gift certificates that you can use to buy your own scary book or that you can pass on to a friend.

Happy Halloween, y’all.  Go read.

Part two: The Stanley Hotel and the reason why Ghost Hunters should hire me as a permanent member of their team. Or Destination Truth. Which one is less likely to look for giant squid? That one.

This is part 2 of my ghost-hunting trip to The Stanley Hotel so you should really read part one first.  Or just go watch tv instead.  That’s probably what I would do.  (As usual, this is copied directly out of my journal so there’s no real flow and the tenses change constantly but technically that matches the theme since I once read that horror directors sometimes tilt the camera slightly so that the viewer feels uncomfortable and off-balance and I basically do the same thing except with bad grammar and dangling participles.  I’m like an artist here.)


Our adorable tour guide (Kevin) in front of the Stanley. What's really strange is that I never saw all the ghosts in this picture until after I developed it and then digitally added them myself.

Kevin took us down to the tunnels under the hotel.  It was very tunnely.

I am the best writer ever.

The tunnels under the hotel are carved out of the mountain. This is the same place where the guys from Ghost Hunters heard a woman say "hello" except that I'm pretty sure that was a cat because I had a cat that used to say "mama" all the time and it sounded a lot like that. But she never said it in front of anyone else so no one ever believed me. She was like my own personal snuffalupagus.

This is also where I got my first ghostly shot which probably wasn’t actually a ghost at all but it felt close.  (You can see all my anomaly shots here).


I wanted to write “REDRUM” on my bathroom mirror with lipstick but more than that I wanted to not spend my vacation time scrubbing lipstick off a mirror later, so instead I settled for recreating the creepy twin shot from The Shining, which was made easier because the hotel plays The Shining on a loop on channel 42.


That pillow is stuffed in there because the armoire door kept closing itself when we were watching tv, but in less of an eerie, haunted way and in more of a “is this hotel sinking?” sort of way.

My interpretation:

This would have been a cooler picture if they sold those twin costumes in the gift shop. Instead they sell raccoon puppets. I’m not sure the logic here but they are missing out on a growth industry.


Found a giant Stanley Hotel dollhouse prop from The Shining miniseries in the basement.  Crawled inside.  It’s like hiding underneath the table but way better because no one accidentally kicks you.  Also you have a tiny door that you can close when you don’t want visitors.  I may never leave.

Also, if you get a dead squirrel stuck in your walls you just have to lift up the house and shake the dead squirrel out so it's already better than my real house. Needs a liquor cabinet though.


Victor and I met up with Callea Seck, Stanley Hotel’s resident ghost-hunter and twitterer and she invited us to go on an late-night Ghost Hunt at the Stanley Hotel concert hall with Karl Pfeiffer from Ghost Hunters International and a bunch of other people.

Karl and Callea. And ghost-hunting equipment. No jumping beans though.

They let me borrow an EMF detector but it never went off.  Victor said it was probably because I shook it to death.  Victor needs to just drop it.  And to buy me some fresh jumping beans.


Callea just explained that we’re locked into the dark concert hall until 1 am and is giving us pointers on how not to blind each other when we take photos.  Callea: “When you hear the word ‘flash!’ close your eyes until the flash is over.  That’s how you protect yourself”.  One of my friends taught me the exact same thing in New York but I think it meant something different there.


Callea just showed us this parabolic ear thingie that you can use to listen for extremely quiet ghosts.  I totally want one for watching TV at night.  Or for listening into people’s thoughts.  Depends on how strong it is, I guess.


We’re starting the ghost hunt in the women’s bathroom so we can check out “the haunted stall”. I am totally not shitting you. Callea notes that it’s probably pretty strange to be in the ladies room with a bunch of men.  Clearly this woman does not know me well.  She didn’t really explain what type of haunting occurred in the stall but my guess is ghost-gonorrhea on the toilet seat.  Or maybe it flushes when you aren’t done peeing yet.  Which actually happens to me all the damn time. Basically every automatic-flush toilet I’ve ever been on is haunted.  Which might explain all the kidney infections.


Went into “Lucy’s room” to wait for the ghost to speak to us or to shut a heavy door (as she’s known to do on rare occasions).  We all sat on the floor in total darkness and had to remain quiet and the silence was so heavy that all I could think about was how funny it would be if you farted loudly because no one would know who did it and then if no one admitted to it you could be all “It was the ghost” in a completely serious way, but I totally didn’t because I respect the work of the ghost hunters and also because I didn’t have to fart.


Callea just told us about an encounter a team of people had once had with “Lucy” when she took a liking to a male investigator who was physically touched by Lucy in an “*ahem* very friendly manner” and that it “um…made him happy, so to speak” and everyone else just sort of nodded and she kept going with her story but about 5 minutes later I was all “Hang on, I just need to clarify this…are we talking about a haunted erection?” and then Victor was all “That’s my wife, folks.  Next show’s at 11” but then the temperature suddenly dropped several degrees and then the door totally shut on its own. Which actually kind of freaked me out.  Then some blonde psychic chick said that Lucy was with us and she reached out her arms because she said she could feel some “hot balls” in the air.  Then I just never stopped giggling again.


Went to the room of Paul (the dead handyman) and it was creepy because all the chairs were stacked up exactly like in Poltergeist but then Victor pointed out that most of the time people stack chairs like that for storage reasons and not just to let you know that you built your house over an Indian graveyard.  I’m not sure which one this was though because we turned on a spirit box and it clearly said “Paul”.  It also clearly said “tomatoes”.  I don’t know what that means.

Paul's room. The light is from a car passing outside.


A bunch of mildly weird, vaguely creepy stuff happened at the ghost hunt but if you don’t believe in ghosts you don’t want to hear it so I’m skipping this part.  Thanks, skeptics.  You’re ruining it for everyone.


I asked Victor to call the resident psychic to ask if she’d come do a seance in our room but she said she was booked and that we should have called earlier.  Victor says if she was a real psychic she would have already known we’d be contacting her for an appointment and that this is really all her fault.  It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic.


2 am.  Exhausted and going to bed.  Leaving the jumping beans on the nightstand so they can wake me up if shit starts happening.


Morning.  Nothing happened. These jumping beans are totally dead.  Probably murdered by Lord Dunraven.  I told Victor that they should let us have the room for free since we just added an actual murder to the history of the hotel.  Victor reminded me that I probably killed them myself.  I reminded Victor that I was probably possessed at the time.  I also told him not to look in my bag because I may have stolen all the coasters and stationary when I was possessed last night.


Decided to check out the haunted closet again.  Noticed scratch marks all over the low ceiling like someone (or something) was trying to claw their way out.  Or possibly it’s from people scraping the ceiling with the iron.  I’m going with the first one though because ironing stories are almost never exciting.

Also, I found a pair of cargo shorts stuffed behind the ironing board. True story. I considered that maybe they were a gift from Lord Dunraven but they were a size 3X so more likely it was just another insult. That man is a douche.


Just took a shower and this shampoo is not lathering.  At all. I’m assuming it must be haunted.  Or it’s lotion.  Hang on.  Yeah. It’s lotion.  So less “haunted” and more just me not reading labels closely enough.


Just stepped out of the shower and noticed that the steamed-up bathroom mirror reflects into the bathroom door mirror and that someone had written “REDRUM” on the door mirror so that when it got steamy the word “MURDER” would show up in the first mirror.  Awesome. I think it’s probably a sign from the premature ghost of Stephen King. Victor says it’s probably a sign that the maids don’t clean the mirrors often enough.

This is a terrible picture because I had to take this with my phone since if I walked out to get my camera all the steam would dissipate. That’s how science works.


Checking out of the hotel.  I really, really wanted to steal my room key but I didn’t because Victor wouldn’t let me but then as we were leaving the desk clerk asked if we wanted to keep our keys as souvenirs.  BEST.  HOTEL. EVER.


Stopped for lunch on the way to the airport.  Victor ordered fish tacos.  These tacos look like vagina.

Honestly, it's like Georgia O'Keefe made these.


Still driving to the airport.  Victor was all “Looks like someone’s about to get an ass full of lead pipe” and I was all “What the fuck?” and then he pointed to a house on the side of the road.

Well, that's...disconcerting.

And then we were home.  All things considered?  Best 24 hour vacation ever.

I miss it already.

PS.  Wanna see more pictures?  I’m uploading them today.

The Stanley Hotel: Totally fucking haunted. Maybe.

So this weekend Victor and I dropped Hailey off at her grandparents and went on a one-day vacation to the Stanley Hotel.  (This is not a sponsored post, by the way.  We totally paid for it ourselves.  Which is why it was for only one day.)  I’ve always wanted to go to the Stanley.  It was the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining and it’s supposedly one of the most haunted locations in America.  Hi.  I am a tremendous dork.

Disclaimer:  I’m too busy to write the whole thing out properly so instead I’m just copying straight from my journal.  If you’re easily grossed out or don’t believe in ghosts you might want to skip this one.


Last week: Victor called to get us a room and I told him we needed to be on the 4th floor because that one’s the most haunted and he looked at me like I was insane but turns out that the only room still left on the 4th floor was room 401, which was still available because it’s supposedly the most haunted room in the hotel.  Victor says it was probably still available because it costs like $100 extra to stay in that room.  Then I demanded that Victor book us that room and he was all “We’re not paying extra to sleep in a room you probably won’t even be able to sleep in” and I was like “BOOK THE DAMN HAUNTED ROOM OR I WILL BURN THE HOUSE DOWN” and he was all “You could use that extra money to get a massage at the spa” and I was like “Is it a haunted massage?  Because if not these aren’t even remotely on the same level.  I’m kind of baffled I’m having to explain this to you. Baffled” and he was all “Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around” and I was like “Just get us a haunted room, okay?  But don’t get us the room where that man-bear-pig was giving the butler a blow-job.  I don’t want to stay in that room” and he was all “…WTF?” and I was like “Dude, have you even seen The Shining?  Why are we still talking? ORDER THE DAMN ROOM” and then he did.  Probably because he was too stunned by my man-bear-pig-butler-blowjob retort to think straight.  Which is why I said it. These are the things they should teach you in debate class.


Stanley Hotel. Not to scale.

Arrived at the Stanley and went straight to the bar.  I insisted in calling the bartender “Lloyd“.  Victor thinks I’m insane.  I think I need to buy Victor more books.  The bartender somehow splashed booze on us but was very sweet about it.  I considered making a joke about being surprised by “spirits” but I didn’t because I figured he probably gets that shit all the time. You fucking owe me, Lloyd.


Checked into our room (401), which is supposedly haunted by the vaguely evil Lord Dunraven and the nanny prostitutes that stayed there.  It’s the same room Jason from GhostHunters stayed in when the closet door opened and closed and his glass was shattered.  According to legend, if women stand in the closet they are often molested by Lord Dunraven.  Stood in the closet. Nothing. Loudly exclaimed “Oh!  I seem to have forgotten to wear underwear.” Still nothing. Awesome. Now I just feel unattractive. Lord Dunraven is an asshole.


Told Victor that I forgot to bring the EMF detector but that I did bring Hailey’s Mexican jumping beans and they’d probably work just as well at detecting ghosts because they jump when they’re hot or cold or angry so they probably jump when they feel ghosts too.  Victor asked me why I think they jump when they’re angry so I shook them in their box to show him how they’d react.  They just layed there.  I explained that they were probably just stunned.  Victor won’t stop sighing.


There’s a ton of tour groups that keep stopping outside our door.  The guide is telling them about how haunted the room is.  Victor starts scratching on the door and making strangling noises.  I do love that man.  I felt bad for all the people who were going on the tours but couldn’t see our room so I invited 42 people into my hotel room so they could all attempt getting groped unwillingly.  Feels a lot like college.


Went on the History/Ghost Tour with our adorable tour guide (Kevin) who probably quit right after we left.  He was really excited to be able to show us room 217 (the room Stephen King stayed in when he came up with The Shining) because it’s almost always booked so we explored it while Kevin told us that one couple had left in the middle of the night after the ghost of “Mrs. Wilson” crawled in between the two of them in their bed.  Kevin subtly explained that the couple was unmarried and that Mrs. Wilson was old-fashioned and probably just didn’t like unmarried couples sharing a bed.  Then I said “Or maybe she just likes threesomes” and I thought I just said it in my head but apparently I said it out loud because everyone looked at me strangely and so Kevin tried to change the subject by pointing out that this was the room in The Shining where the corpse was floating in the bathtub and jokingly asked if anyone wanted to get in the bathtub and so I totally ran into the bathroom and Victor was all “What the fuck are you doing?” and I was all “I’m trying to beat the rush” and he was like “NO ONE ELSE IS GETTING IN THE BATHTUB.  KEVIN WAS BEING SARCASTIC” but I just rolled my eyes and climbed into the tub because who turns down the chance to take a death portrait in Stephen King’s bathtub? Apparently? Everyone.

If you’re easily freaked out you shouldn’t look at this.  You should look at this instead.  Oh wait…no.  That one’s worse.  Maybe this one? You know what? If you’re easily freaked out you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog anyway.  This was a terrible decision for you.

I had to photoshop the blood in because otherwise it just looked like I was some drunk chick passed out in an empty bathtub. This is the kind of artistic shot I'm always expecting when I go to Sears Portrait Studio. I am *continually* disappointed.

Then Victor gave me that look like “Why are you like this?” and I was all “I dunno.  I’m probably possessed” because that’s the best excuse to use when you’re staying at a haunted hotel and you want to do something ridiculous.  Or when you need pancakes at 2am, or when you spend too much money in the gift shop  Or when you accidentally murder your daughter’s Mexican jumping beans.  I used it a lot.


Part two is here...

Stop being an asshole, New York

This is part 2 of my Blogher experience as recorded in my journal and I would recommend that you read part one first so that this part would make sense but honestly I don’t think that’s going to help either way.


Me: Take a right on Houston Street.

Everyone else in New York:  You mean “Howston Street?”

me:  No, I don’t fucking mean “Howston Street”.  It’s pronounced Houston.  I’m FROM there.

Everyone else in New York:  We know but we’ve been mispronouncing it for years just to fuck with you people.  Oh look!  It’s the Empeer State Bwilding.

me:  Let me out of this taxi.


You know what should be on the job description of taxi drivers?  Knowing where shit is.  It’s Times Square, dude.  Eventually someone’s gonna want to go there. Program that shit into your GPS.


This is what happens when I try to call Kristen of Mommy Needs a Cocktail to come sit with me because I can’t leave my room:

Actually, mommy is just fine. But thanks for asking.

I totally want to show this to everybody but I can’t because I can’t leave my room.  Thanks, anxiety disorder.  You’re ruining it for everyone.


Went to the Voices of the Year Gala and there was a naked picture of me in the lobby, which sounds kinda sexy until I mention that I was holding a plunger and that it’s named “Psycho”.  Hard to argue with that one.  Then I sat in a corner with an antique Smith-Corona typing psychic poetry for people because I was promised free drinks.  The poems were really less poems and more just extra sentences in case you needed one and started out with stuff like “Your eyes explode like roman candles in a starry night.  Also? Nice boobs” and by the end of the night they had degenerated into “I’m tooo drun_k to tyype.  MY fin_ggers hurrt.  Wheres the comma?”

I can't tweet on this thing for shit.

Also, my friend Jordan came to ask if I needed anything and I said I’d like a cocktail but she’s Mormon so she’s never ordered a drink before so the bartender just gave her soda water and she was all “No, add something alcoholic” and he’s all “What kind of alcohol?” and she’s like “I don’t know.  The alcoholic kind” and I don’t know what he put in it but from the taste I’m assuming it was rubbing alcohol but I pretended like it was really delicious because if that shit keeps her out of heaven I wanted her to at least feel like it was worth it.  And this is why you don’t let Mormons get cocktails for you.  Because they aren’t good at it and also because God might think you’re forcing them to sin and then you end up in hell, which is probably filled with a giant bar but only Mormons are allowed to mix the drinks so you end up drinking turpentine-coladas for eternity and also your hair is made of snakes.


Went to the New York Library with Alice so that we could hunt for ghosts but it took awhile to get in because we couldn’t figure out how doors work. True story.  Then we got in and they searched our bags because I guess there are a lot of shootings that go down in the library?  We asked a librarian where we needed to go to see where Ghostbusters was filmed and she seemed flustered and told us that most people want to know where the Sex and the City scenes were shot.

me:  How gauche. We’re much too sophisticated for that.  Where was Slimer captured?

Librarian:  I…let me look that up for you.

me:  Have you ever seen any ghosts in the library?

Librarian:  Well, I only work from 1 to 4 on Thursdays and Fridays.

me:  Ah. So maybe they work on different hours.

Alice:  Actually, I looked this place up on the internet and couldn’t find anything about this place being haunted.

me:  No, I’m fairly certain Ghostbusters was a documentary.

Then we explored the library and we didn’t see any ghosts but we did see the “Quiet Zone” which was unnerving and looks like a lot of people in time-out.  Then we considered how sad it was that no one had ever been murdered there because that would make the building so much more fascinating and we thought about murdering someone in the bathroom just to help out the library but we decided not to because it’s illegal and also because we both have poor upper-body strength.  Then I took a picture of Alice in the library and we totally got a ghost in the picture who was so real that you couldn’t even tell that she was a ghost.

So yeah, it was pretty bad-ass.


Went to a hipster hotel coffee bar because I needed a diet coke.  Barista with mutton-chops and a beret was all “Oh.  We don’t do that here” like I’d just asked if I where they do the illegal dog fights.  Then I pointed out that there was “soda” on the menu and he was all “That’s sparkling Italian soda.  We don’t do diet coke” and I just stood there staring at him and Alice gave me this look like “Is there going to be a problem here?  Because I will run away if so” and Mutton-Chops was all “You want the sparkling Italian soda.  Trust me” and I was all “Are you trying to save me from being too pedestrian?  Because I don’t need your pity“.  But then I paid $5 for a sparkling Italian soda because I was thirsty.  BUT THEN(!) Alice and I were wandering the halls of the hipster hotel and there was a cart fucking FILLED with diet cokes and I was all “You have GOT to be shitting me” and so I stole them because seriously?  Not cool, hipsters. But then it turns out that you have to have an old-fashioned bottle opener to open the damn things so I ended up just staring at them for two days like they were installation art.  Which is probably what hipsters do with them too, now that I think about it.

You win this round, Mutton-Chops.


Part 3 comes out tomorrow unless I get distracted by somethi