A Swifty (and Her Dad) Gets Her First CD

“Jellybean is the real Swifty. I’m more of a pop music PushaMan. I indulge, encourage and, some might say, enable, Jellybean’s obsession with pop music.” I’m excited, so I guess that makes me a Swifty – or at least a Swifty-by-proxy. To the haters and tragically unhip, Taylor Swift’s new record, Reputation, just dropped. Do…

HorrorFest 2017: That’s a Wrap

The King is dead. Long live the King … metaphorically, speaking, of course. Or, rather, HorrorFest speaking. With the pantry spilling over with snack-sized Twix and tiny boxes of Nerds signifying the end of Halloween, so too does it herald the conclusion of HorrorFest 2017 – the Stephen King edition. And what a long, strange…

Rise of the Stuffed Creatures

  There’s a panda wearing a diaper somewhere in my house. I tell myself that it’s gone, that it escaped, but I know better. At night, when I walk through dark rooms for a glass of water or to go to the bathroom, I can feel its eyes on me, watching, waiting. Those eyes ……

HorrorFest 2017: Cujo

“Over. Done with. Gone.” Cujo I have always believed in monsters. When I was 10 or so, I’d spend holidays and summers with my dad. He and my step-mom had a house – I remember it as a cabin – out in the woods, at the end of dirt road. It was cool house that…

HorrorFest 2017: The Stand

“He smiles a lot. But I think there might be worms inside him making him smile.” The Stand For the record, I’ve read The Stand – twice. I read the original edited version sometime around high school and I read the sweet-baby-Jesus-this-book-is-heavy “compete” version right before my now-9-year-old daughter was born. I also just finished …

HorrorFest 2017: Storm of the Century

“Give me what I want, and I’ll go away.” Storm of the Century Wow … I’m nearly speechless. Suffice it to say that Storm of the Century has set the bar among made-for-TV movies based on Stephen King works. This movie was gripping, scary, emotionally devastating and morally haunting. The overall acting by a large…

HorrorFest 2017: Secret Window

“If you leave, I’ll disappear. Then, you’ll find your neck in the noose, and your feet in molasses.” Secret Window Stephen King has long been fascinated by … well … Stephen King. How else to explain the dozen novels and numerous short stories and novellas that have writers as the main characters? These stories also…

HorrorFest 2017: Needful Things

“I just killed my wife. Is that wrong?” Needful Things The devil has come to Castle Rock, Maine. It stands to reason. Lord knows every other kind of Big Bad has turned Stephen King’s tiny fictional town into its personal hunting ground. Long before Pennywise made Derry the epicenter of evil, there was Castle Rock,…

HorrorFest 2017: Misery

“Now the time has come. I put two bullets in my gun. One for me, and one for you. Oh darling, it will be so beautiful.” Misery Annie Wilkes is my favorite Stephen King character. She’s not as nightmare-inducing as Pennywise from IT, as weak-willed as Jack Torrance in The Shinning, as complicated as Johnny…

HorrorFest 2017: Carrie

Carrie had some sort of power. But she was just like me… like any of you. She had hopes, she had fears, but we pushed her. And you can only push someone so far before they break. Carrie 2013 As long as there are teenage bullies and proms, Carrie will remain relevant. While every generation…

HorrorFest 2017: A Third Interlude

In honor of Halloween, here’s another old-school column, this one featuring my daughter, who was 3 when this column was originally published on Oct. 19, 2011. Jellybean’s always had a hate/hate relationship with zombies. I can’t explain what this is, save for the incident where she wandered into the living room while her mother and…

HorrorFest 2017: Cat’s Eye

“If you had smoked, you wouldn’t be here. You’d be in my office, watching your wife hop around in that little room.” Cat’s Eye         I spent three years kicking my pack-a-day smoking habit. It remains one of my proudest moments, which either proves how hard it is to quit smoking or…