Megan Helstone http://www.meganhelstone.com "How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone." - Coco Chanel Mon, 24 Apr 2017 02:25:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 [insert platitudes here] http://www.meganhelstone.com/2017/04/23/insert-platitudes-here/ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 02:25:38 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2225 “You keep disappearing,” he chided me. I said I knew and halfheartedly made up an excuse, shrugging it off as it was coming out of my mouth.

This was from a dream I had this morning, and it doesn’t make it less true. Even if the he in question was Jarvis Cocker, and we were walking down a street in New York, and he ended up skipping out on an intimate little performance by pretending to be sick as I laughed at him. (It was a really nice dream, though.)

The truth is, I do keep disappearing. I keep avoiding doing updates because the long and short of it is, I was depressed for the first 6 months of my marriage and life was pretty shitty. I didn’t care that I’d lost my job, because I sure as fuck don’t miss all the migraines it was causing, and the stress, and further beating down my low self esteem. In fact, that was the one bright spot because I was free of the burden of knowing I did something I absolutely hated for a living, and this was now my chance to try doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. But that doesn’t stop depression.

It didn’t stop the fighting, and while I still think it was right to marry the one guy on the planet that says “You’re an ass. I love it!” because you gotta nail it down when someone loves your asshole-ness, that still didn’t mean there wasn’t second guessing and lots of fights. I hate confrontation, but I can’t just leave when we fight. I go outside to get away from the heat of battle and he follows me. He won’t. Stop. Talking. He’s got to fix something the second he realizes it’s broken, and relationships aren’t that easy sometimes, so this is difficult. I need quiet and lots of time away from humanity. I give up on people easily because I wasted too much of my teens and twenties chasing after people that don’t care whether I live or die, convinced that if I just tried hard enough and was around enough, they’d realize I was worth their love. People don’t work like that.

bro, TELL ME ABOUT IT

Take, for example, this weekend. We were invited to a leadership retreat and met a lot of really great new people. I have more direction in my life now than I did 48 hours ago, which is amazing. People noticed a fire in me and encouraged it. On the other hand, we also spoke to the leader of a group I’ve been trying to assimilate into for over a year, that my spouse has been involved with for a couple of years, and was flat out told to my face that I can’t just expect to be welcomed into old friendships and that I’m unapproachable. The problem the group is facing is that it’s supposed to be outreach for socially awkward people, it’s full of cliques that don’t want to welcome, and they told a new person that it’s my fault I’m not welcome because of my face. Okay, I wasn’t told “your face is unapproachable,” but when I was sitting down at a meeting, which is how I was introduced to the group, how else can I be judged? My spouse wanted to continue the debate on why I’m unacceptable to these people, but I had to go back to our room because the unapproachable comment made me cry and strangers can’t see my tears. Tears give other people power over me.

again, TELL ME ABOUT IT

The hilarious part is that while there is supposedly no problems with this group being cliquish and no communications problems, my husband was told that the group didn’t trust me because he’d stepped away and came back with me, which they assumed was my fault (it wasn’t), and therefore have not spoken to me in a year because they “don’t want to be judgmental.” They play telephone through him to avoid speaking to me. I’ve been his +1 to two of their weddings yet haven’t been spoken to. I’m their friends on Facebook but they’ve not interacted with me at all, in meatspace or online. I’ve tried online, because that’s a lot easier than interrupting a loud conversation, but received nothing in return. I’ve even reached out through private message when someone is hurting to let them know they’re not alone. As the new person to an established group, it is not my job to make everyone say hello to and include new people, especially when that group’s literal actual purpose for existing is to make a safe space for outcasts. I’d been asking for a sign to know where I’m supposed to be going in life, and the clear sign was this door closed in my face.

It sucks. I’m an introvert, I love my quiet, and books > people, but look at why I’m like that. Part of it is ingrained personality. Most of it is dealing with this exact garbage my whole life. Being married changed my life, from where I lived to how I make my living (though that was coincidental), to how I handle situations, to the people I interact with. I was really hoping to have a new group of friends after hearing so much about this group and how they helped him. I volunteered to be heavily involved in their biggest event of the year and though I’m a newbie, I’m teaching them how to sew. But despite those huge commitments, they won’t speak to me directly. They don’t care whether I live or die. And that’s how I’m measuring who I call a friend now, because I’m tired of the superficiality of it all. I’m tired of not having anyone to speak to when I’m hurting because I lose people when I’m anything other than fun and funny and giving. I still don’t have friends, and I know I can’t rely on just my husband because it’s unhealthy. So I’ll keep doing what I’m doing on my own and stupidly keep putting faith in new people, because maybe there’s one nice one out there that hasn’t made all the friends they’ll ever need in life by the time they hit puberty and shuts everyone else out. Or maybe I’ll just keep being dumb and getting hurt and being alone, I don’t know. I just know when to stop trying and move on now, so that’s something.

So there’s that. When I’m not stupidly giving my time to this group – and I won’t drop out because I made a commitment, but once that commitment is fulfilled in July, I’m disappearing – I’ve just been working on making the shop work. It’s energizing to sit on the floor on a dirty towel and restore typewriters, a skill I never even knew I had. I love making old machines work again. I’m nearly done restoring the Electrolux – the spouse’s job is to polish chrome, since he likes to feel involved as I inspire his art pieces and he wants this to be even – and have been getting really good at finding what works and what doesn’t. For example, I’m great at finding typewriters and cameras. I also picked up a Chagall poster from Paris 1972 for $40 that’s worth up to $2500, and I got the nerdiest rush I’ve had in ages. It was like estate sale Indiana Jones right there. But mainly I like the bittersweet feeling of looking over someone’s life in their homes, seeing how complex they were, and showing love to their former prizes. I buy the things I really like and would keep if I have the room, clean and restore them, and sell them to people that will cherish them. I dunno, check it out if you like. I’m no good at connecting with people in any meaningful way, so my promotions fall on deaf ears, but maybe if I just throw it out there enough, people will like the content for what it is and not care that there’s an unapproachable ass behind it:

 

The shop also has an Instagram and Facebook page, whatever. At least Dream Jarvis will come cheer me up when I’ve had a really shitty day. Also, he’s got a new album out, so go buy it! Especially because this is the album that sounds like he’s singing you to sleep, and maybe that’ll help you get your own Dream Jarvis to laugh at you (and sometimes with you) when it’s been tough and you’ve been avoiding humanity for a little too long.

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talk nerdy to me http://www.meganhelstone.com/2016/12/21/talk-nerdy-to-me/ Wed, 21 Dec 2016 23:56:40 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2213 This Saturday is Christmas Eve, and it also marks the one year anniversary of when I ran up to the one other super-nerd at work, my hair done up in Rey’s three loops, and gushed, “You’ve seen it, right?!?” “It” being The Force Awakens, and that super-nerd being my now-husband. Yes, it was on that fateful day that me reaching out to a shy nerd boy started a dialogue he’d been wanting to have with me since training me in a class 7 months prior, and showing our coworkers that we needed to get together. Give it up for Star Wars, helping nerds end their dry spells since 1977.

It’s true. All of it.

Also, since we were the only department to have to work during the holidays, we were allowed to have a Star Wars day on Christmas Eve. I don’t normally cosplay at corporate jobs, but like the husband has said since, my deviance always finds a way through, which is why he likes me.

So anyway, this post is full on nerd theory all about Rogue One, the latest movie. Of course we saw it opening night (Thursday first showing, none of that wait-until-Friday bullshit), and again Saturday morning. So we had time to digest it, see it again for more detail, and talk about it. I’ve been dying to post about this but wanted to give people time to see it for themselves before nerding out, but a week is long enough. If you still want to see it without spoilers, now’s a good time to leave. Bye! Come back after seeing it.

Spoilers from here on out:

you’ve been warned

This film was clearly about which people do sacrifice everything for a cause, and those who won’t. Jyn and her group did what they did because they had no other options. They had lived comfortless lives and had been in too many dark places in their lives to be able to just walk away from the final battle, even though she had previously shrugged off the Empire’s unchecked growth with “you don’t notice [the Imperial flags] if you keep your head down.” But her life had already been ruined by the Empire, and she grew up broken because of them. They all did. It was the rebel council, far removed from the real battles and safe in bunkers planets away, that had possessions and comfort to lose, who would not keep fighting. They had a choice: they could walk away and assimilate, if needed. Jyn and the rest could not, and would not.

If you think that’s not a parallel to rebellions happening right now, on our planet, in this galaxy, then I’d love some of your childish naïveté. Can I have some for Christmas?

I’ll take some, too

Anyway, I mainly came here to do minute nerd talk about Jedha. We all got the original trilogy nod with the two thugs from Mos Eisley cantina, but what about Jedha? In The Force Awakens, Han Solo said that common speculation amongst Luke’s inner circle was that Luke had gone looking for the original Jedi temple. Wookiepedia says that the island where Rey found Luke was the ruins of the first Jedi temple on Ahch-To, but there is in fact debate over whether Ahch-To is home to the first temple. Certainly one of the oldest, but my theory is that the temple on Jedha where the kyber crystals were used to build lightsabers was actually the first temple. Jedha – Jedi. Pronunciations change over time, and spellings change due to oral traditions and people spelling phonetically when they don’t know proper spellings. (My 7 year old nephew makes Doctor Who comics in a Kindle app and scripts dialogue beyond his range, so I can tell you some things about phonetic spellings.) Trust me, I’m a linguistics nerd.

The Empire was intent on eradicating all traces of Jedis and their lore, and taking control of the original temple makes the most sense: it would be a mecca to those who still believe in the force and wanted to try and start a revival. Crush the origin, crush the faith. It’s also historically the first thing fascist regimes do when they take over a new land. Think back to the thousand year old temples we’ve seen destroyed in recent human history. And using the kyber crystals to make a giant death machine? Totally in line with the Empire’s spite and hatefulness towards the light side of the Force. Why else would someone like Chirrut spend his life on the outskirts of the temple at Jedha, chanting “I am one with the Force, the Force is with me”? There were no Jedis left to tell believers what was real and what was not, so Chirrut took what he could find: hanging around a defunct temple, doing a prayer-chant to the temple and heightening his senses by opening himself to his faith. I’ve seen some reviews that scoff at his physical abilities for being an untrained not-Jedi, but are y’all unaware that a person who’s lost one sense will have their others become more heightened to compensate? That’s a fact. That could, cynically, be the only real reason behind  his skills, and his partner Baze just smiles and tolerates it because he loves Chirrut and supports this harmless obsession.

I really, really love these two

The Empire destroying the temple at Jedha would also neatly pave the way for Ahch-To becoming the oldest Jedi temple. Not the first, but the oldest, by the time Luke decides to embark on his quest. Destroying Jedha didn’t end the underground Jedi fanaticism, and clearly there are other places to obtain kyber crystals as Luke ended up starting his own Jedi school and training younglings til that Ben asshole acted up – but not before Ben got to the point where he chose his crystal and bonded with it. (I rightly called that he was torn between the dark and the light when he was bonding with his crystal, which is why it has that rough, crackling energy to it.) So there are still crystals to be found, and of course the Jedi continued to be urban legend after the destruction of Jedha, making this totally feasible.

I will say that I’m not familiar with the old EU (expanded universe). My husband read a lot and still clings to the Han Solo trilogy of books, but I never really got into that. Plus, none of that is canon. I have been reading up on the new EU series of books, but from what I’ve read so far, they only give crumbs for The Force Awakens, and are disappointingly short. Maybe Episode VIII will give more insight into all of this, because I really do think that creating Jedha for this film and the shot of the fallen, half-buried Jedi statue are all meant to be used in the future.

So anyway, you can tell that becoming unemployed this month has given me a lot of time to think about what’s really important in life, and what I want to do next. Making Jyn’s Imperial gunner costume is one of those things (see above). Catching up on my long list of costumes is another. I’ll also be making little things for my Etsy shop before too long, but in the meantime I’ve sold both the typewriters in stock this month! I have a Remington in the works but it needs restoration (which I’m doing myself because hi, I’m amazing), and we’re hosting Christmas this year, which means I’ve been cleaning like a motherfucker because I moved in with a guy who pays a mortgage on a house he never used and it hasn’t been properly cleaned since maybe the 70s? It’s a lot of work. I’ve also learned how to clean a flagstone fireplace.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my jerk cat has cabin fever because it’s raining today, so I have to cuddle her before she sits on my laptop and deletes everything.

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domesticated…slightly http://www.meganhelstone.com/2016/11/28/domesticated-slightly/ Mon, 28 Nov 2016 23:47:20 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2204 Hello stranger. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

A lot has changed, I know. I haven’t had a haircut in months and my fringe is nearly down to my chin. I think I gained weight, but I sorta rage quit weighing myself because it’s never a good idea to obsess about your weight. My husband got me sick because I always pick dudes that love kissing me when they’re sick, but refuse to even look directly at me when I’m sick so they don’t catch it. -___-

Oh yeah, I said “my husband.” This means that I didn’t pull a runaway bride and actually followed through. Trust, it wasn’t easy, because I HATE WEDDINGS and it’s all bullshit, but it turned out pretty alright and our pictures have quite a lot of stupid faces in them. In fact, I’ve only shared the wedding pictures where we’re being idiots  on Facebook because nice pictures are for other people. I may live in a house and have both a front yard and back yard and have to remember to put out trash cans, but no one will ever make me normal.

true story: mum had this picture framed, where it now sits on the piano

true story: mum had this picture framed, and it now sits on the piano

And there’s the dress I made!

So…now what? Well, he and I both work for the same company, which means we’re both getting left behind before too long. In fact, my last day is in two weeks, and he’s going to be let go in 3 months. I’m excited [see: long history of stress to the point of illness, depression, anxiety, etc due to this job] and he’s more practical and a little worried, but I see this as the chance to give a fair try to what we really want to do. We had the corporate jobs, it didn’t work, so try another path. I’ve already opened a little vintage shop on Etsy because I like old things and have far too many – the funny thing is, he’s had this house for 5 years before I moved in and it was still basically empty. Somehow everything I had in my studio filled up this house and then some, and it’s a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house. I don’t know, I’m just magic.

ANYWAY, I’m loopy from this sickness that’s settled in my throat and ear tubes, so I’ll just say I’m okay, I’m making him get that amazing Thai soup I like with lime and coconut milk on the way home tonight since it’s all his fault, and if you like Smith-Corona typewriters, ladies’ hats or gloves, 100 year old books, or my grandma’s scarf collection, maybe have a look. I also made the shop an Instagram account, because people love old shit with photo filters to make it look like old shit.

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get me to Disneyland on time http://www.meganhelstone.com/2016/08/18/get-me-to-disneyland-on-time/ http://www.meganhelstone.com/2016/08/18/get-me-to-disneyland-on-time/#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2016 19:39:22 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2196 I’m home sick today because I tried to be healthy and mindful at a food truck gathering on my block last night, and hit the salad food truck. And got food poisoning. That proves it, crêpes or go home. While sleeping deliriously last night, I had my first stress dream about getting married, aww!

Oh, did I forget to mention I’m getting married next month? Yeah, that. It’s happening. My Kristoff proposed on my birthday, at Disneyland, as I was dressed in a Rapunzel-themed skirt and top (because Disney doesn’t let adults wear costumes in the park anymore), during the Tangled portion of the 60th anniversary fireworks. He held the ring in front of me and I nodded and turned to him, and really didn’t want him to get down on one knee and do the formal proposal but he did it anyway, and I still said yes. My parents are happy because their eldest is finally a functioning human being again, and mum is ecstatic because one of her girls is finally getting married at Disney. That’s been her dream since Disney first started doing weddings. So by October, I will be a Mrs. and will have gotten married on Disney property. And our first outing as a married couple is dressing as Anna and Kristoff in Disneyland for their Halloween Party.

where we're getting married

where we’re getting married

I gotta say, if Disney didn’t provide a wedding planner that was doing basically everything for us, I would not be doing this. He and my family insisted on a wedding, not elopement, and my attitude towards weddings is – let’s say surly. If Disney didn’t hand you a check list for what you want and then run to the finish line with it, I’d die single. As it is, the most I have to do right now is finish making my dress, which is kick ass and awesome, and he told me to wear my red Chucks underneath, so I don’t even have to fuss with nice shoes, so I’m pretty okay with this.

I can post this because he doesn't come here

I can post this because he doesn’t come here

And by January 1st, I will be unemployed. HALLELUJAH. I’ve never been so happy to be losing my job due to outsourcing in my life. We’ll be okay: he already has a house and we’re saving money once I move in with him, and he’ll still be working for a while. This is my chance to have a fair shot at trying the costume making and selling vintage things without having to take a crap job to make ends meet. We have so many plans, so that hopefully by the time his job is shipped out, we can keep ourselves going without ever having to work for anyone again. I always thought it was the best thing when your significant other is your partner in crime and best friend, and now I finally get to see what that’s like.

I was thinking the other day about how this site started when I was still in San Francisco, and was going to strictly be about the things I created and how inspiring creativity was. Then a lot of garbage happened and it turned into Emo Hour around here, then Free Therapy Town, with a splash of revenge, and now it’s finally starting to come full circle. I’m okay with that. It feels so good to have someone support and encourage, and maybe some day I’ll be in a place where I can see other people in a place that I was at before, not a good place, and be able to show them that it can in fact get better. You can scream and cry a little and maybe have a breakdown or three and still get through it. You don’t have to be perfect and tactful all the time to make it to the other side. The only thing that matters is getting there, then turning around and helping the others still trying to get through. We can do this.

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Anna found her Kristoff http://www.meganhelstone.com/2016/04/27/anna-found-her-kristoff/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 01:49:01 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2186 Hi, my name is Megan, and I’m a grown-ass adult that loves Frozen. I also have a job and pay for my own car and apartment and medical bills, so quit giving me that look.

stop it!

stop it!

So yeah, it’s been a long time since the last post. A lot has happened. Hahaha, so much. Basically everything. I have a boyfriend now, and long story short, there was a non-viable pregnancy right off the bat that I don’t like talking or thinking about because it hurts and didn’t last very long at all, but it led us to realize a lot of things very early on in the relationship. It also started the ongoing process of forcing me out from behind all the walls I’ve built over the years, and learning that I can actually rely on someone other than myself. He was a rock throughout, taking care of me when I was sick all the time and standing by me, and while that may not sound like a lot – or just sounds like basic human decency, which it is – it’s also something I’ve never had in my life before. Then I found out he’s more than cool with my costuming stuff and encourages my talents so much, and will even let me drag him to the Frozen sing along at Disneyland and let me dress him as Kristoff to match my Anna. He even looks like Kristoff, just with shorter hair, which is icing on the cake.

me, when he bought his Disney annual pass

me, when he bought his Disney annual pass

He doesn’t care about my past. He hasn’t heard all of it, and maybe he never will. He knows there’s a lot of damage and some abuse, but he’s had more than his share of that as well, and he was able to move past that and still be 6 feet of gentle dork. He knows I’m still a work in progress so he’ll tell me basic things no one ever did, like I’m good enough the way I am and don’t need to be perfect, and that I deserve to be loved. He’s great with kids and my cat, and so friendly with everyone he meets that I feel like he’s my social pass in life. And he’s so willing to share everything. Nothing is a contest between us, and he’s even gotten me in the habit of saying “us.” Sometimes I still don’t know what to do with myself, this is all so new. Except when he said, “I really want to kiss you, but I’ll wait til tomorrow to do it right,” and I said “Promise?” and then made him kiss me right then anyway. He’s always planning 10 steps ahead and I just wreck them all, like so:

wait, where am I again?

wait, where am I again?

So yeah. There’s a lot I could say, but I wasted a lot of time looking at Anna and Kristoff gifs and I’m hungry, so I’m off to make shepherd’s pie for dinner. While he’s changing me for the better, the one thing he knows that will never change about me is my willingness to have an actual wedding. But he’s insisting on having one, so he gets to plan it. I told him to just tell me when and where to show up. (I will make my dress, I’m not going to be a total bum. Come on.) In the meantime, we’re taking coloring books and tablets to Disneyland to hang out and be arty, and it may look something like this:

Kristoff Anna Disneyland

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nerd post http://www.meganhelstone.com/2015/12/28/nerd-post/ http://www.meganhelstone.com/2015/12/28/nerd-post/#comments Mon, 28 Dec 2015 19:03:39 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2176 This post is all about Star Wars and costuming, so if you don’t like both – or either – of those things, go away. Go far, far away, and come back when I get back to embarrassing life stories, or mocking shitty people, or whatever it is I usually do here. I don’t remember what this site is supposed to be about anymore.

Anyway, so I’ve seen The Force Awakens three times already, the first being Thursday December 17, the first screening at the El Capitan Theatre. It was pretty fucking fantastic, and it kills me that I can’t vomit out all my theories here because so many people still haven’t seen it. Needless to say, I think all my theories are pretty solid and 95% of them will be right, I’m sure. I’ve also won Star Wars Trivial Pursuit a few times despite never reading the expanded universe stuff, so I know my shit. What I also know is how to make good costume replicas. That first started in my early teens. Disney’s second animated golden age was upon us, and they were releasing a new animated feature film every summer, right around my birthday, and I always wanted to be the lead girl for Halloween. But why did I have to wait so long to have the costume? Mum finally got tired of my nagging for an Esmeralda costume and shoved me at her 1970s Kenmore sewing machine, grousing “If you want it so bad, you make it!” So I did. This was the first costume I ever made:

esmeralda
I don’t know if you know anything about making clothes or costumes, but it’s generally never a good idea to start with a corseted bodice. But I struggled through it, even using clear fishing line to zigzag stitch over the gold piping, and wore that damn costume all summer, and to school on Halloween. Where my friends laughed at me and said I looked Greek, because being a kid that’s mixed and definitely not white without being easily distinguished as another ethnicity really sucks. People just call you everything but what you are. But anyway, after that I realized sewing is something I can do, so I kept doing it. Then I was Meg from Hercules, Mulan in her “tried to get married and failed” dress (which I still love), and Pocahontas. Being in marching band and doing zero period, marching out in the wet football field at 6 am wearing nothing but an imitation suede short dress with no shoes kinda sucks. But I looked great.

So that’s how my costuming craze was born. I went to fashion school for a while and my ex bought me patternmaking books so I could get better at making my own designs a reality, but school fizzled out and I had to work for a living. I still make Halloween costumes for myself and my family, but it wasn’t until this year when I knocked out coronation gown Anna from Frozen, plus two Ghostbuster costumes in a month, that I realized how much I missed that work. Star Wars came out and I fell totally in love with Rey, so she’s my next costume, once Anna’s winter cape is done. Oh, did I mention I’m currently doing Anna out in Hollywood during my winter break? I am. We’re having professional photos done tomorrow (I’m with an Elsa), but here’s a quick and dirty test run I did at home last week:

IMG_3243
We had a white elephant gift exchange at work that had to be under $10, so I got $10 worth of Frozen cereal. They should know better than to let me troll at work. But on Christmas Eve it was Star Wars day at work, and I walked around in one of my SW shirts with Rey hair, so clearly, they don’t learn quickly:

IMG_3266
Sorry, that was my Instagram post, so you also get some desk decorations and the wampa hat I rigged to scare people walking past my little desk window. I have to show up for work to get paid, but I don’t have to take it seriously. But back on point, I’ve been so excited to get home and make things, it’s so nice. The only bugger is that it was so busy with work and the holidays, and working up through Xmas Eve, that I didn’t have much time to have fun. Today is my one day off from doing the Hollywood thing, so I need to try and finish the cape, along with other errands. I’ve also started a reference folder for Rey and will sketch her soon, but I decided to take a peek on Etsy to see if there’s any competition, since I was hoping to somehow have enough time to start selling costumes too. I won’t call out anyone on Etsy, but I will categorically state that there are no good, accurate reproductions on that site. Not one. It actually makes me angry, how much I see people charging for a few yards of white cotton (white! cotton!!) draped over a mannequin and cinching it with a brown leather belt and saying “Tada! It’s Rey!” No. No no no no no no no no. NO. She has probably the easiest costume to make for a woman in the Star Wars universe, and yet this is the garbage I see. She still has textures and shades, and weathering and staining and wearing. There is nuance to this. But hey, why try hard when you can just capitalize for maximum profit? It makes me so angry.

taken by me at the El Capitan, December 17 2015

taken by me at the El Capitan, December 17 2015

So yeah, I’ll be making that hopefully starting this week. If not, then next week. Then making shitty people cry when they see what accuracy looks like, and maybe make them want to try harder. And if I can get a dressmaker’s form soon, maybe I’ll start letting others wear what I make, and then they can see what it’s like to be dressed well. My sister already wants a Rey costume, and she hasn’t been into costumes or Halloween since she was still in her teens. See her in my costume and get your ass blown off.

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thank you, J.J. http://www.meganhelstone.com/2015/12/11/thank-you-j-j/ Fri, 11 Dec 2015 20:27:02 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2163 Last night, a Twitter friend shared this Jezebel article about a friend of hers. In the article, a California woman details how she’s been struggling to deal with a mentally unstable stalker, and how ineffective law enforcement and even our supposedly progressive state laws are when it comes to dealing with being stalked. I shared the shit out of it and followed it up with a brief highlights reel of my personal experiences being stalked. If you’d like a refresher course on just how awful men can be to women under the guise of love, go here. It brought up a lot of the old frustrations and garbage, especially because two men from those stories independently decided to barge back into my life – via this website, hah – last year and I had to privately lose my shit and debate whether or not to shut down my personal site (yet again) and lock down all social media and public profiles (yet again) to protect myself and my sanity from these fucking people who are narcissistic enough to believe that “no” is for other people. And if I’d said anything here, while they were still actively emailing, tweeting, and otherwise invading my life, begging for attention, then they would have blown up at me, penned angry, long letters about how cruel I am for calling them stalkers and being afraid of them, and how I’m the bitch and they’re the nice ones. And honestly, even though it’s been over 10 years, I still do not have the reserve energy to go through all that bullshit again. That article on narcissism came on my Facebook feed this morning, and it all came together: stalkers are narcissists. The people they harass, stalk, and obsess over have said no and flee their presence, but to a narcissist, it is incomprehensible that anyone wouldn’t love them and want them around. Which brings me to the next article, also found this morning: 5 Reasons ‘Jessica Jones’ Perfectly Portrays Being Stalked.

me, to you

me, to you

STILL NOT GETTING THE HINT?

STILL NOT GETTING THE HINT?

It was made pretty clear that I am in love with the Jessica Jones Netflix series, and I knew there was more to it than just the fact that we’re both foul-mouthed, asocial queens, especially because I’ve basically quit drinking, so I can’t relate to the whiskey IV anymore. It also made me very uncomfortable at times, and as much as I love the series, I haven’t started my second viewing yet because I need some time away from it before going back. With Daredevil, I was back-to-back-to-back watching, but even with as dark as DD got at times, it’s still a walk in the park on a perfect day compared to how hard JJ is at times. When you’ve lived it, when you’re still struggling with the aftermath…For story #8 in the #YesAllWomen post I linked to above, I have fucking PTSD because of that man’s voice. The night I was moving into my next home after living next door to him, the street drunk wheeled a cooler full of beer to my new neighbor’s house. He had nearly the exact same voice as the abusive ex-neighbor, and I broke out in a cold sweat and my gut clenched as soon as I heard the new town drunk start yelling (since that’s just how he talks – don’t be chronic alcoholics, kids). The new guy never harassed or abused me, but even now, whenever I hear a man’s voice that sounds like that, my entire body goes into a panic. And that’s what Jessica goes through with Kilgrave, times ten. Look, I’m a tenth Doctor fan all the way, he will always be my favorite Doctor, but I believe Tennant took on Kilgrave at least in part to undo the aw shucks charm he’d built up because of Ten. (For the most part – at the end of Ten’s time he got very emo, peaking in the glass case of emotion meme.) While watching Jessica Jones, of course I was creeped out by Kilgrave because I’ve been on the receiving end of those games more than once, but there’s still that “but.” Like, “but he is attractive and can be very charming, and he believes very strongly in his feelings for her.” That’s what lets so many get away with abuse, and enables them to be serial abusers. It’s why my Voldemort, number 10 in the women post, still makes too much money and travels the world and works with artists I like, and is still viewed by many with respect. Shit, number 9 in that post was my personal Kilgrave, and my mum still refuses to believe what happened, and wishes I’d married him. Even then, when Kilgrave *SPOILER* forced Jessica to move in with him, and she browbeat him into doing something good, I hoped he would decide to use his powers for good and would change. *END SPOILER*

the Nice Guy™ mantra

the Nice Guy™ mantra

And that’s the thing: our society trains us to always give abusers, especially white male abusers, the benefit of the doubt. It’s why rape victims are always torn apart and questioned, not believed, while the attackers themselves get this special social court of “innocent until I see it happen on tape, and even then she was probably asking for it.” The same extends to men stalking women. Look at a good portion of romantic comedies, and see how many of those hapless, hopeless, yet for some bizarre reason, likable, men come off as they stalk and harass women into loving them, and we root for them. I’ve been harassed by men like that, who insist “if you just give me a chance!” As if they were entitled to, say, 5 dates to try and prove to me that they’re perfect and wonderful and stunning, despite my total lack of interest. But you know what? You’re not entitled to anything from me. I used to be very polite and wouldn’t ignore or shun anyone who approached me because I was raised with manners, but then I started to get stalkers who accused me of flirting with them and leading them on. Because I answered their questions, or smiled politely, or didn’t tell them to fuck off into the sun and die. So I don’t do that anymore. I don’t have to respond to every rando that decides they need to get in my face, but the other side of that coin is that women who don’t tiptoe around unstable men expecting conversation, a phone number, a date, sex, whatever, can then be the victim of a violent crime because the man trying to force one of those things out of her is so entitled, he flies into a rage and viciously attacks her for not doing what he wants. It would be easy to laugh it off as a man-baby throwing a temper tantrum if it wasn’t deadly.

So that’s why JJ is sometimes so hard to watch, but ultimately so watchable. It delves bit by bit into the lasting damage stalking and harassment hidden under the flimsy shroud of “love” does to the one getting the abuse, and how the abuser does not change. Ever. If you have watched Jessica Jones and think “Yeah, right, in reality he would have given up by now,” kindly scroll back up to the first fucking paragraph in this post. Over ten years and they came back. Over a decade. That’s a good portion of someone’s entire life right there. But thanks to a perfect storm of western culture romanticizing stalking and obsession, coupled with women being undermined with the societal view that we’re crazy and unreliable, mixed with a healthy dose of archaic and totally useless stalking laws, we have no real discourse. I was told that after I moved away from the abusive neighbor that constantly violated his restraining order and gave me PTSD as a parting gift, he got the shit beat out of him for what he did, but I can’t verify that. I can only hope that was the case, though I know that if it is true, it’s cold comfort because it will only shore up his persecution complex and narcissism, which is what led him to threaten to rape and kill me in the first place. All I can do to protect myself from further harassment in life is try to remove myself from every instance that would put me in danger, and to always be on guard. So if I listened to the cops, I would delete all online presence, move someplace with no neighbors, have a great security system that would magically have an armed response appear before anyone actually made it to my door, and also not work or drive anywhere, because men also try to force me off the road to do horrible things. (That happened one morning on the way to work recently, and the CHP could not have been less helpful if they’d just picked up the receiver when I called 911 and immediately hung up again.) But I want to live my life and experience what the world has to offer, so I’m “asking for it.” Cool. So fellas, the next time you want to complain about how prickly and brittle women are to you, in all your wide-eyed innocence, think of this and remember how common it really is. Remember that you and others like you break women without thinking, and then have the nerve to complain when we tie the shards back together and move forward as best we can, leaving sharp ends protruding.

P.S. On a related note, I adopted a 7 year old tabby girl cat from a shelter as an early Christmas present to myself. She’s kind of an asshole – our first night, she woke me up at 2:15 am when she somehow managed to pull clothes off their hangers that were hanging 6′ high, so I named her Jonesy, after Jessica Jones. We mostly get along now, but she’s still an asshole. We’re cool.

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no idiocy today http://www.meganhelstone.com/2015/11/22/no-idiocy-today/ Sun, 22 Nov 2015 18:21:51 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2157 I’m listening to Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service, still only half awake, and “All You Need Is Love” came on. I burst into tears.

This is his time to go over the Paris attacks that happened November 13th, and though I came in halfway through – Sunday is the one day my body lets me sleep! – and the feeling of being joyful of all that Paris is, the plea for understanding and not to fall into hatred…Being American, my media is overwhelmingly hatred for Muslims, the Syrian refugees, and anyone who isn’t a white Christian. I’ve never been so glad to have canceled my cable TV and have to rely on the internet for all world news, because now I pull from Al Jazeera and BBC. I’m deeply disappointed in how much hatred my country has been spewing since we first started to hear about what was happening that Friday (it was afternoon here), and only speaking up on my social media accounts that are locked down. I wasn’t going to talk about all of this here, but why shouldn’t I? There needs to be more love out there.

That Friday, I was off of work and had just received an email from God Help the Girl‘s Kickstarter, sending me links to download the film and bonus content, and all this anger and anxiety came up suddenly. If you’re not familiar with all that happened, leading up to having a nervous breakdown after attending the LA premiere of that film, cutting out half the friends in my life, and promising – not threatening – to throw one of the people involved off the roof of an iconic LA hotel, well then I’m sorry, but you’ll have to go catch up on your own time. Today I’ll just tell you that I wasn’t supposed to receive any of that information, so I don’t know if it was a supremely shitty clerical error, or them still fucking with me. Either way, I was in the midst of a rant on Twitter about how garbage people are when I started to see something about Paris. I lived there for a bit and still have a lot of people there, and keep hoping that life will quit being shitty long enough for me to be able to be healthy enough and successful enough to save money to move to France like I’ve been wanting since I stopped living there. Not exactly Paris, because I’m pretty over urban life, but still nearby. Then the word “attacks” started to appear, and I started really looking for news. The hashtag #porteouvert came up, and the horror of realizing that the world was just watching, helpless, as a major city was still under attack, unfolded. Nothing else in my life mattered anymore.

taken by myself, May 2009, when I lived there

taken by myself, May 2009, when I lived there

My hands were shaking badly and I felt sick, and I couldn’t let go of my phone. I left Twitter long enough to open Facebook Messenger and tersely ask a friend I speak with most every day “Are you in Paris tonight?” She was my roommate when I lived there, and is currently in a suburb outside of Paris, but commutes into the city quite a lot (as Americans, we refuse to drive in Europe). She responded almost immediately to say no, but she was frightened because she’d heard from other friends that it was still ongoing, some people could hear gunshots from their flats, and she was cowered in the basement, away from all windows, because it might not be limited to Paris. I told her about the hashtag to share with any friends in the city who might be away from home, and we tried to keep each other informed with any news that was at least somewhat verified and wasn’t just blind hysteria, which is rather hard when the media is an hour behind everything social media is reporting, and you’re hysterical yourself. Eventually Facebook activated the check-in feature, and my other friends began to check in. Even if my phone was out of my hands and the screen was dark, a notification would appear on the lock screen giving me their name, and that they’d checked in safe. I feel very lucky in saying that none of my friends, no one I know or even that my friends know, were harmed in that attack.

And I wished I was there. Despite the naked fear that followed even into the next day, I wanted to be with the people who had made me so happy in that short time I’d lived there. I wanted to tell them that even though I was a foreigner with a still shaky grip on their language, I could tell them that we’re here for them, that we love them, and that they wouldn’t be alone in dealing with this ugly aftermath. I wanted to be living there right then so I could have a door to open to them and provide a little oasis amidst chaos, instead of sitting thousands of miles away in a studio, frustrated and powerless. France is the reason America is free, and when they tried to be the voice of reason after 9/11, our Congress acted like a bunch of surly teenagers (remember “freedom fries” and pouring delicious French wines down the storm drains?), but they were still, even then, our allies. I suppose this was the price they pay for standing by us, so there’s a lot of guilt over that punishment. I can only hope our more rational current President can support our oldest friends with that same tempered hand that France had with us in our days in fear, and to help them recover and continue to say that terror will not rule any of our lives. Mostly, I can just keep shouting into the wind that people use some critical thinking skills and realize that the Syrian refugees who are still looking for new homes are not to blame for any of this. This is what they’ve been fleeing from! And this is what the shitty people who believe terror is the answer want to have happen. There’s a reason “divide and conquer” is a common phrase, because it’s the most tried and true military tactic. I don’t go out much and most days when I’m not at work I’m lost in my own head, but I hope that in the wake of this, we link arms and show that no, we will not be divided. We have too much history with each other, we love each other too much, to ever let something like this separate us.

Anyway, this is all just disjointed thoughts that I’ve been going over for a week now, but haven’t tried to cohesively write. There’s so much more, but it’s not my place to publish more when I’m so indirectly involved in this. I can only say that I’m glad that my old home, my dearest home and place where I was happiest, is still there and living life. I’m so grateful that the people I know there are still with us, and I can’t wish hard enough that I was there with them. I’m glad that Jarvis is still here, doing his show, because for as much as I abused him during my time in Paris, I was worried about him when the news broke, and much like that time I dropped acid on the Coachella cruise and suddenly realized what a dick I was, I promised to be nicer if only I’d hear that he was okay, and not at the Bataclan that night. So now I guess I have to be nice, even though that’s much less fun. Mostly, I’m glad that I’m hearing positivity and not just blind war-mongering. Of course, I’m writing all this with the knowledge of claims that today is supposed to be a day of worldwide attacks, but all I can do is use the good humanity I saw during and after November 13 and hope it continues today, and that we might all have a peaceful day. Just once. Be safe.

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hi, I have a biopic on Netflix http://www.meganhelstone.com/2015/11/20/hi-i-have-a-biopic-on-netflix/ Sat, 21 Nov 2015 07:28:43 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2148 I’m just kidding, not really. But sort of. If you’ve ever wondered how I live – I know you spend a lot of time wondering that, you creeps – I formally invite you to watch Jessica Jones on Netflix. It dropped today and after the shittiest shit-ass week at work I sped home, grabbed some lemongrass fried rice from the new Thai place across the street (HOLY GOD, they put a Thai place across the street from my home, goodbye all my income), came home, took off my pants, and started the binge. So she’s an asocial alcoholic with basically no people skills to protect herself after some maniac shit weasel got into her head and did some serious damage. And if you’re whining “spoiler!” shut the fuck up, her comic has been out for 14 years, the spoiler warranty has expired. Also:

IMG_3024
Sorry it’s poor quality, but my laptop is no longer stable and savvy enough to make gifs off of Netflix streaming, so I have to take pictures of my TV. Like we used to in the olden days. Anyway, she’s also bad at dating (see first paragraph of last post), not wanting to deal with the past, not wanting to let people in again, and really and truly not dealing with other people’s shit. I know I’m burned out at my job and playing cheap ass (free to them) therapist for a bunch of entitled people who refuse to take personal responsibility for anything, but goddamn, when she threw a radiator across the room shouting this line, I nearly cried. Same for when she confronted the shitty loud upstairs neighbor, because apparently I’m JJ’s west coast twin? Same insane alcohol metabolism despite no body weight, just with no super strength.

You think you’re the only ones who’ve lost people? You think you’re the only ones with pain? You think you can take your shit and dump it on me? You don’t get to do that! So you take your goddamn pain and you live with it, assholes!

So yeah, it’s another great Marvel series on Netflix, and I can’t recommend it enough, despite my love/go fuck yourself affair with Marvel. They can’t put a woman on any marketing campaigns or toys, but they sure as shit will do justice to a kickass female superhero. *sigh* You guys are such dicks.

Oh hey, speaking of dicks: done with dating again. The second guy, the one I promised to punch out whilst dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen? I didn’t get to confront him face to face, so he got told off via text. As I was dressing as Anna. His excuse for flaking on our plans for that entire weekend were that I didn’t text him enough, even though I texted him the next goddamn day after our date and he was unresponsive. This guy also told me he wasn’t needy, so have a hearty laugh at that, I sure did. He also claimed he was sick for 3 days after our date and didn’t text anyone, which was why his arms magically broke and he lost his voice to dictate a text, and why he decided during that sick period to “move on with [his] life.” My response was “so let me get your story straight,” and people, if someone ever says that to you, you’d better know that means “the vomit that is coming out of your mouth makes no sense, you’re lying.” I followed that with “you were so upset I didn’t text you enough after we met that you couldn’t even speak to me to clarify, and just ‘moved on’?” That’s when he clarified he moved on with his life, not to another person, and he might have said that because I know where he lives and it was becoming clear I was not having what he was trying to serve. I asked why I had to be in charge of all communication after going to his house, meeting his friends, and supporting his stupid band – yeah, our first and only date was his band’s gig, playing in a dive bar to a whopping 10 people, including bar staff, and I was polite and supportive and didn’t even mention that I’ve been politely supportive of boyfriends who played much bigger venues and actually had fans – and he said he wasn’t blaming me. Except he had just flat out said he moved on because I didn’t text him enough. So I said goodbye and had fun on Halloween without wasting that night and the next night with yet another dumb asshole who thought girlfriend=free fanclub and cheerleader, and deleted OKCupid from my phone because you don’t meet people who are serious about anything on a dating app. You meet people who want their egos fed and who thrill on the fact that they literally have thousands of people at their fingertip. I don’t need that. I’m old enough and have been through so much that I know what I want and what I deserve, and I am far beyond breaking my back to bend over for anyone who can’t be arsed to even speak to me without asking for risqué pictures to keep them interested. (No, I never sent any. Except this one, because that Blur shirt is great and I hate wearing pants:)

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Ugh, fuck people and their problems. I hate almost all of you.

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Halloweenies! http://www.meganhelstone.com/2015/10/30/halloweenies-2/ http://www.meganhelstone.com/2015/10/30/halloweenies-2/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 19:31:24 +0000 http://www.meganhelstone.com/?p=2134 Guys, tomorrow is my Christmas! Halloween is the best holiday of all, because as an adult with a boring corporate job, it’s the one time I’m allowed to dress up like a weirdo in public and not have the cops called on me. Tomorrow will also be a little difficult because I will have to tell off a guy whilst I’m dressed as a Disney princess, but let’s be honest, I will still enjoy it.

TKO

Okay, so I’ll actually be in Anna’s other costume, the coronation ballgown, but still, punching out a dick is punching out a dick. ANYWAY, my short-lived foray into the conventional dating world is ending because I cannot handle all these narcissistic sociopaths worming their way into my life just to lie and disappear. WHY. Why do you waste a month or more of your time and mine. Bah. I’m glad to go back to being dead inside.

So I’ve been out sick from work yesterday and today, and since it’s the most wonderful time of the year, I’ve been reading Creepypasta, Reddit’s No Sleep, and Jezebel’s true horror story submissions to stay in the mood, as if being a vengeful real-life princess wasn’t scary enough. And then I thought, hey! I’ve had lots of weird, creepy things happen to me in life, why not share them? You guys didn’t need to sleep ever again, right? And if you think reading these stories is bad enough, try living them. None of these are made up. Life is always better than fiction.

The house I grew up in was tiny and pretty old for being in southern California, built in maybe the late 40s in the more skeezy part of a suburb of LA County. It had been a trashed rental, so my parents got it cheap and fixed it up as best they could for being a young couple with two small kids. It was a corner lot, and the woman who lived next door was old, horrible, and nasty. Her husband had died of a heart attack in the area between our two houses, more a dirt alleyway than anything. My dad said her husband had probably been grateful to die and get away from her. I don’t think he was a restless spirit or whatever, because for the most part, nothing bad ever happened in that house. But whatever did happen, happened to me. Great.

me as a very cute ghost magnet

me as a very cute ghost magnet

When I was a kid the huge Northridge earthquake happened and traumatized me, because it was the first earthquake I ever remember experiencing. My little sister and I had been eating breakfast in the kitchen while my dad showered for work, and suddenly everything was shaking, the cupboards all flew open, and the glass jars from a spice rack hung over the stove flew across the room, shattering. My sister, still small enough to be in a high chair, was screaming so hard her face was red, but the tray on her high chair had jammed. I couldn’t get her out and I was so terrified, so I finally dove under the table, cracking my head and developing a nice large goose egg on my brow. My dad then ran into the room wearing nothing but a towel and walked across the broken glass to free my sister. This was a long-winded way of saying I was terrified of being in an earthquake again, and started sleeping in my doorway. I was maybe 9 or 10, so much too large to actually lie across a threshold, but there you go. One morning my mum came and woke me up, irritated by my wonk sleeping habits, and as she walked around the corner to go into the living room, I watched a white figure float down the hallway behind her and disappear around the corner. I got up and ran after her, trying to tell her something had followed her, but she didn’t believe me.

The creepiest thing by far to ever happen in that house was my sleep traveling. Randomly, but somewhat frequently, I would wake up in the early morning hours curled up on the foot of my parents’ bed, with the bathroom light on. The setup of the house was my parents’ room at the front, a hallway with the bathroom off to one side, and my sister’s and my bedroom at the back of the house, at the other end of that hallway. So the bathroom was between our rooms. I would always wake up cold and afraid, and really not wanting to go back to bed, but my mum would always wake up and angrily tell me to go back to bed. They thought I was just a sleepwalker, even though I’d had no history of doing that before we moved to that house, and I never went anywhere else or did anything else in my sleep. What made it really horrible was one night I came awake as I was moving down the hallway from my room to my parents’ room. The bathroom light was already on, and I could see it against my eyelids. I kept my eyes tightly shut and couldn’t stand to open them because I wasn’t walking, I was being carried. But I couldn’t feel a body or any sort of form that I was being held against, I was more floating down the hallway, my body being held like I was in someone’s arms. I stayed shivering on my parents’ bed until mum literally kicked me out.

nope

nope

That was the scariest thing to happen at that house. There was one night when we were older that my sister and I were in bed talking after lights out, and we noticed a strange little ball of light in a corner of the room. I thought it was just the moonlight leaking through our blinds, so I got up and held my hand in front of the light to see where it was coming from. Only, no matter where I put my hand, the light was never blocked. “I’m going to get back in bed now,” I told my sister, and calmly crawled back in and covered myself up. She later claimed to have seen a demonic type red figure in the opposite corner of the room sometimes, at the foot of my bed, but I never saw that. I did, however, wake up in the middle of the night to hear slow, stealthy footprints on our carpet, creeping up to my bed sometimes. I always had my back to the room when this happened and would stay perfectly still. The closest they ever came was just next to the bed, and that’s all that ever happened. After a few minutes the dread would go away, and I’d eventually fall asleep. (This may be why I read “Look At Me” this morning and my eyes started weeping involuntarily.)

We moved out of that house when I was 21, and I didn’t have anything weird or freaky happen for a while after that. I thought I’d outgrown the spoopy stuff, because it’s often said that kids are more receptive to otherworldly stuff and most of us lose that receptiveness as we mature. Apparently I haven’t matured. When I was 25, I lived for a summer with my now-ex at his mom’s house in Oklahoma. They both worked at a nearby university, so I was home alone all day with 3 Chihuahuas and a crusty old cat named Sid Vicious. Shortly after moving in with him, my ex casually mentioned that the reason his parents had been able to afford the house was because there had been a murder-suicide there. Yes, the crazy shit that happens in movies as plot devices actually happen in life. It took ages for all the details to come out to me, but a single father had lived in the house with his wheelchair-bound daughter. I’m not sure what triggered it, but he took a shotgun to his daughter, and then to himself. The bloodstains never came out of the hardwood floors, so cheap carpeting was put down. And for whatever reason, the access door to the attic had been nailed shut, and the realtor had explicitly told the family to never go up there. No one knows why. So my ex and his family had lived there and his little sister had experienced a few slightly creepy things, but they were all fine. Then I moved in.

it me

it me

Just before I got there, my ex was cleaning and moving into the bedroom at the front of the house, where his sister had lived until she moved out of state. He was in the closet when a dingy yellow index card had floated down from the ceiling and landed at his feet. On one side was written “Daddy” in shaky, penciled cursive, and on the other side was “Jesus.” My ex threw the card away without thinking, but my first thought was of course “There are no shelves up there, where did the card come from and how did it get there when the girl was bound to a wheelchair?” He just laughed it off when I asked him that, though. Then there was the time I was home alone (of course) and washing dishes at the kitchen sink. For some reason I turned around in time to see a low white streak move from the living room to the hallway that led to our bedroom’s back door (blocked off by boxes), the bathroom, and an unused bedroom full of junk. I thought it was the boy dog, about to piss on the bathroom rug, and chased the streak to find – nothing. I went back to the living room and saw all 3 dogs curled up asleep on the couch, and the cat on the armchair. But that was nothing.

I was bored a lot there, so I bought a hair clipper set, bleach, and dye, and gave myself anime hair. I was in the bathroom one afternoon, fussing with my hair, when a sudden bone chill came over me and the most intense feeling of dread overcame me. There’s no way to adequately describe it, it’s just that feeling you get when the worst thing is about to happen to you and that primal fight-or-flight adrenaline kicks in. It’s the same feeling you get when a car is careening at you and you need to move or die. I stopped what I was doing and looked up – and fast, heavy footsteps suddenly sounded from the attic. The sealed, door nailed shut attic. They came from the front of the house, just over our bedroom, towards the bathroom where I was, and I ran out of the bathroom. I ran to our bedroom to see if somehow, my ex had come back early from work and had just stomped into our room and somehow walked across our room and through the blocked off door and all those boxes…I was desperate to rationalize how those footsteps had come to be, even though he was a skinny guy and could never have made footsteps like I had heard. There was no one in the house. I sat with the pets for hours, afraid to be alone. When my ex did finally arrive, I told him about the footsteps and he was more bummed than anything. “I’ve lived here for years and nothing has ever happened to me. You’re here for a month and get all sorts of spooky shit!” Sorry? It’s not like I asked for it.

nope dot com

So yeah, pleasant dreams tonight! That wasn’t even all of it. If you really were creeped out at all, just remember that Different Class turned 20 today. It’s the album I was listening to on a crosstown bus in San Francisco when I got inspired to write again, and my life has never been the same. Also, seeing Pulp live in 2012 are some of my happiest memories, and seeing them all together just reinforced why they’re my favorite band now (unlike cash-grabbers like Blur and the Pixies). And I just remembered I own a copy on 180 gram vinyl, so excuse me while I listen to one of the best albums I’ll ever own and read creepy stories. That seems pretty fitting.

different class

Edited to add: yeah, I know I said those weren’t all my creepy stories, but I feel compelled to add one more. When we moved into my childhood home where most of the creepy shit happened, we brought our former neighbor’s cat. The former neighbor had gone into assisted living so we adopted her cat, a bitchy old tortoiseshell cat named Kitty. She loved chewing on my hair when it was wet, but that’s about as much as she let me interact with her. She eventually died of feline old age, and we buried her in the backyard (where now over 20 animal skeletons rest from my family alone, so hi Pet Sematary). A few months after she had died, I was on a stepstool in the kitchen, grabbing a box of cereal from the cupboard above the fridge when I hear the familiar tap of claws on the linoleum, and say “Hi, Kitty” without thinking. Almost immediately I realize “wait, Kitty’s dead,” turn, and see nothing there. So I experience ghost pets in addition to ghost people, hooray.

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