Consider yourself drunk dialed. (Updates on every little thing.)

Hi gang! I’ve had a day that came off the rails. I thought I’d be spending this Monday catching up on NaNoWriMo but, instead, I ended up helping my son register for too many credits at the community college, then going to work, even though it was supposed to be a day off. It wasn’t a bad day … just not what I expected. Consequently – and somewhat surprisingly – I’m now drinking my third beer, and I have to admit I’m feeling a little squirrely. That’s your warning that I’m feeling informal and chatty. Stay or go as you desire.

First, let me share a couple of personal pictures. (Because I just posted them on my real-life FB, and they are cute.)

Mr. Paranormalist.

This is my husband. In the last 18 months or so, he’s lost a LOT of weight (because he decided it was time to do so.) Now he looks pretty much the way he did when I married him. I sometimes wonder if he’s not secretly some kind of immortal. Otherwise, how could he still look so young? I haven’t yet decided if he’s vampire or were.

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Mr. Paranormalist, the younger.

This is my son, who let me make him up as a version of my hypnotist clown for Halloween. He’s REALLY didn’t like me messing with his eyes – and he was kinda squirmy in general – so I couldn’t get the clean lines I wanted, but it didn’t turn out too bad.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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There. With that out of the way, I can settle in and share the bits ‘o news I have.

WriMoProg / NaNoWriMo

A couple of nights ago, I updated my home-grown writing challenge / tracker page (WriMoProg) with this month’s goals which – for this one month only – pretty much equate to NaNoWriMo. I detailed my plans there, but the gist is that I’m joining in on the insanity for the first time. I’m behind at the moment, but I have 3000 words done. The intention is to catch up tomorrow (now that I’ve thrown my hands up for this one evening and commenced to screwing around.)

Halloween

We had a pretty good holiday, though not nearly enough trick or treaters came to our elaborately decorated apartment door.

Welcome to our treat station.

Do you see those brown paper boxes stacked up behind the treat-filled book? Those were filled with a set of construction cards that my son had outgrown. Our intention was to give this special prize to the first witch or wizard who came to the door. My boy was pretty excited about the whole handing out treats thing … he had never had the chance to do it before, because we lived so far out in the country.

We got a basketball player, a firefly, a girl in an orange shirt, a generic super-hero, an Arabian princess and a bug. Then there were no more.

Once we thought the festivities were over, my son and I decided to tour the building to see if anyone else had gone all out. (Nope.) When we were returning to the apartment, however, we were delighted to hear “I can’t believe I got the special prize!” We rounded the corner and saw a 12-13 year old girl, in full Hogwart’s regalia, showing the boxes to  her mom. My beloved had awarded her the cards. She was thrilled. And so were we.

On his Facebook page, my son later posted, “Getting trick or treaters might be the best thing ever.”

By 10p, we had disassembled all of our decorations and packed them away. I carved two more Jack-o-lanterns, just because I could.

I carved them mostly so I could roast the seeds. I finished at 11:57p on Halloween night.

 Then Halloween was over.

Except, it’s never really over, is it?

I don’t know if I’m really going to do this as the year progresses, but it amuses me tonight.

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The must-see horror movie list

I’ve been making some progress on my required viewing. Thanks to a tip from Hunter, I settled in with The Cabin in the Woods a few nights ago. It will absolutely go onto a list of the best, I just haven’t yet figured out which one. I’ve also seen The Mist (which was pretty good, then pretty awful, then mind-blowingly amazing) and Repulsion (which was a challenging but rewarding slog, and destined to go onto the psychosexual horror list that I STILL don’t have enough entries for.) I’ll be puttering and updating the lists when I’m done here.

The hotel

Sometimes I think I should make a whole new blog just for detailing the goings on at the hotel. Right now I’ll settle for one quick update, for those who are following along. Remember the guy that told me cleaning elevators wasn’t my strong suit? Yeah. He completely lost it. Within a couple of days of my post (on October 17th) he had alienated every resident and staff member at the hotel. He checked out. Then he came back and claimed that he’d left valuables in his room: a pair of shoes and a box full of winning scratch off tickets – hundreds of dollars worth of scratch off tickets. He was convinced the housekeeping staff had rejoiced at their good fortune and absconded with his property. Then he made some racial slurs to back up his theory. He wanted to call the police into the situation.

It came to a head on a day I didn’t work. My boss acquiesced and phoned the cops. The officer, I was told, attempted to make peace by suggesting that the guest (Joe) be given one free night’s lodging, in exchange for refraining from haranguing hotel staff while other guests waited. After that, we thought it was over.

Except, it wasn’t.

He showed up a few night’s later, while I was working. He seemed to be back to his old self. Calm. Competent. Sane. He rented a room for just one night, at full price, with no argument. I should have known that wasn’t a good sign.

Several hours later, I was approached by a set of three parents who wanted me to help find their underage children, whom them knew were in the hotel somewhere. They were sure there was drinking, and possible drug use, going on. While they were talking to me, one young boy made the mistake of visiting the snack machine. He was recognized by the parents and questioned about the room in which the party was taking place. He lied repeatedly, offering up a variety of random room numbers (which did not actually exist in the hotel.) When he’d rattle off a room number, I would subtly shake my head, and the questioning would continue. When he said they were in the room Joe had rented earlier, I shook my head again. Tired, worn down, he insisted that was really the correct room. The father in the group of parents went up with him as the boy proved his claim.

Even after the father returned, it didn’t work in my head. I had to go up there myself. Four girls – by appearance, none of them older than 15 – were still in the room. I gently questioned them about the adult that had rented the room for them. They described Joe to the smallest detail. Apparently, they had approached an “old man who was hanging out in the parking lot.” He’d agreed to rent the room for them.

Well, shit.

Epilogue: Two days later – when I was working again – Joe strolled into the lobby, bold as brass. He came to the desk, greeted me, then asked, “Is it true that I’m no longer allowed to rent a room here?”

With some satisfaction – because I don’t like to be told I am not good at cleaning anything – I said, “Yes. That’s true. I’m not to rent to you again.”

He was outraged. He wanted to know why we had harassed his guests.

I looked at him for a few seconds, then said, ” Because they were underage maybe?”

He insisted I call the police. Which I did, happily. He sat in the lobby for about ten minutes. Eventually he stood up and exclaimed, “I don’t have time to wait around for the useless cops to show up. I’ll be back. With my lawyer.”

I haven’t seen him since.

Plans for the blog

Now that I’m dedicating most of my time to generating fiction, I expect to update here a couple of times a week. Currently, I’m drafting the telling of what I saw in room 217 of the old hotel, and its companion ghost story movie list.

And that’s it, a long, rambling post on a Monday night. Please forgive me and try to remember that this is about as close to a weekend as I get.

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11 Comments on “Consider yourself drunk dialed. (Updates on every little thing.)”

  1. Zombob says:

    Maybe you could write Joe into your story as some demon that inhabits the hotel!

    • Oh he’s in there … or at least a version of him (blended with others) is. I think he’s more of a victim, though. I’m harsh when I write about him, but I know this is a mental health issue.

      Isn’t it interesting that real-life crazy people are much harder to deal with than the fascinating, hyper-intelligent psychos in movies & books?

  2. wren08 says:

    Love all the pictures!

    51 weeks till Halloween: and I thought I had an advent calender. Yours beats mine all hollow

    • Thanks, Wren. I’m really getting into this picture-taking thing. I love making the photo collages … it’s a quick, satisfying, creative outlet that is totally different from writing. Done is done, you know? And because I know the photography thing is just a hobby, I don’t stress out over small errors and imperfections.

  3. mistylayne says:

    You have one adorable family! And your job is crazy!! Makes me glad I work from home!

    • Thanks, Misty, i think they’re pretty cute too 🙂

      The job is, well, weirdly inspiring. I’m using it for nanowrimo and sometimes I feel like I’m just taking dictation. It’s so easy to turn the real-life things that happen into something paranormal. Everything there is tinged with a little madness, you know?

  4. Good lord, what a nut job! You can’t make this stuff up, can you?

    I wouldn’t mind if Halloween took place 365 days a year!

    • I could make it up, I suppose, but I wouldn’t have had the guts to do it until I saw it for real. Now it’s making nanowrimo easier than I expected it would be. (Of course I’m way behind on word count, so I shouldn’t say that yet.) It’s a double edged sword – I feel the story trying to get written and I have very little time to do it.

      Unless I get a backlash, I think I’m going to continue the Halloween countdown. It should become challenging as we get into the rest of the holiday season. How hard will it be to find spooky things to photograph in mid-December?

  5. Looks like a sweet night! I love the creepy candy room..that’s what I’m calling it. The skull on the floor gives me the creeps. I can’t wait for next Halloween, either! Crazy store about the under age kids!!! Really crazy!

    • The skull is actually a fog machine 🙂 We tried photographing the scene with some mist present, but it just looked out of focus.

      As for the crazy? That’s Joe for ya. I’d estimate that at least 50% of our long-term stays have one kind of mental problem or another. Sometimes I think, though, that reflects the general population pretty well. It’s all a matter of degree.


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