Horror: why it works

I love horror. It’s as simple as that. Yet, nothing can ever be that simple, can it?

The first horror movie that I remember truly being fascinated by was The Ring. In retrospect that sounds like a terrible movie choice, but give me a break, I was eight. I was young, impressionable, and didn’t really want a dead girl coming out of my TV. It was understandable. I was always a little on the morbid side growing up into my teen years and then, of course, into my adult years. In my opinion I have always loved horror, but what are the underlying reasons? I did a bit of self-reflecting on this and came up with a few ideas why I think horror just works. The following is all about the reasons I adore horror and why it is my favorite movie genre. Enjoy!

*There will be spoilers ahead of various horror movies*

Simple Horror

To me, the simplest of horror ideas can have the most effect on people. Yet, these simplistic ideas can be completely ruined by a bad set of actors, bad jumps scares, and bad story telling. A simple horror story to me is for example, a story about an asylum. There’s a lot of value there, but little one can do with this idea that hasn’t already been done before. Take Mad House as an example. Here, we have a movie depicting a new psychiatrist in town all ready to observe and work along his new colleagues! But something is off about the asylum he is assigned to and something feels very wrong… *Insert sick girl here* and thus we have a love that may just be too “crazy” to work out. Reeling the viewer deeper into the craziness that is the asylum to only do a 180 on them to find out that the new doctor in town was really an escaped patient. Interesting movie plot line, interesting-unforeseen twist near the end, and you have at least a B movie!

But let me tell you about a completely different, unrelated film called Stonehearst Asylum. The plot here is again, that there is a new doctor in town either very concerned about the well being of the patients or is a little too into the experimentation that is obviously occurring in said asylum. The head of the institution seems cruel, out of place, and out of touch with what is humane. However, the head doctor seems to care deeply for his patients and they seem to care about him as well. The new doctor stumbles upon a pretty, young, and sick mental patient just waiting for their knight in shining armor. Once again, the movie flip flops and here you are at another plot twist that the head of the asylum is an escaped mental patient that took over the asylum! … I know you understand my meaning by this point. Yet, that is what I mean by “simple horror”. It isn’t a term (that I know of) that is used in the horror industry, it is simply a term that I have used to describe a plot that is predictable and overused. This can vary from a haunted house, to an asylum, or even to a killer on the loose.

In no means am I stating that simple horror is ineffective or bad. The two movies I used as examples above are two of my favorite asylum-based horror works of fiction. However, my point still stands as how this method can be duplicated in a way that people let slide because of the psychological horror it is based on.

Psychological Horror

The use of psychological horror is used more and more these days and for good reason. People love getting into the minds of others and having their minds “blown”, for lack of a better word. The psychological horror genre is one that is easily defined. Many can determine the genre of these types of movies because they have a feeling of great unease during the duration of the film. This is because the director has them sitting on the edge of their seat. A good psychological horror movie is one where the bad guys are pulling the strings. It leaves us feeling as Psycho once did. Once the audience thinks they know what is happening in the movie, the director pulls that idea right out from underneath them.

An example of a fantastic psychological thriller would be something like Saw. While the movie is known both for its psychological torture and its use of gore, the franchise keeps true to it’s original idea in which the story always comes around on itself. It’s a beautiful thing. Here, we have John Kramer, a man in mourning who also happens to be a creative engineer of torture devices. These torture devices all have mechanics in which the “player” can escape. It wouldn’t be a fair game if the select few chosen were not able to save themselves and others who share their same hell. That is where the psychological aspect comes into play. The players of Jigsaw’s games are people who have all committed a sin either against man, God, or society. Sins that Kramer deem fit for salvation. Some sins are worse than others, but at the end of the games there is usually an ideal of working together to win. Amid fear, panic, and confusion, however, the players sometimes don’t work out these fine details before its too late.

I know I don’t have to go over the Saw movies because if you chose to read a blog post labeled with anything regarding “horror” then I can probably assume you’ve seen them. They are as popular as The Paranormal Activities (and they’re all on Netflix)! Yet, Saw is a psychological thriller that is popular because it was genuinely good and a fresh idea when it was released. There are some psychological thrillers that simply fail to meet the viewer’s expectations and fall flat.

Take The Babadook for example. Yes, I know, and no, I’m not at all comparing The Babadook to the Saw series in any way, shape, or form. For the sake of talking about psychological thrillers, I’m using it. It could be questioned rather The Babadook was meant to be psychological or simply just horror but let me explain why I think it would fall under psychological. This is because the story is about a creature (or monster) of a children’s book. Never in the entire film do we see this monster. We are having to take it at full face value of the descriptions that we have been told within the movie with the story going as such (written by Jennifer Kent):

If it’s in a word, or it’s in a look you can’t get rid of the Babadook

If you are really a clever one and you know what it is to see, then you can make friends with a special one, a friend of you and me.

His name is Mr. Babadook and this is his book.

A rumbling sound and then three sharp knocks… Ba-ba DOOK! DOOK! DOOK!

That’s when you’ll know when he’s around. You’ll see him if you look.

This is what he wears on top. He’s funny. Don’t you think?

See him in your room at night and you won’t sleep a wink. (Let me in!)

I’ll soon take off my funny disguise and once you see what’s underneath (take heed of what you’ve read…)

You’re going to wish you were dead.

For those who think, ‘that’s just for kids, this ‘thing’ is not for me.’

I urge you not to say those words, please take this seriously. (DOOK! DOOK! DOOK!)

There’s just no way you’re off the hook. If you’re all grown up when you read this book and you snub your nose with a civilized look…

You’ll appeal even more to the big Babadook (Let me in!)

And this is what he’ll say… “I’ll wage with you, I’ll make you a bet. The more you deny me the stronger I get. You’ll then be my puppy. My play thing. My pet. I’ll make you do things you’ll be sure to regret.”


You cannot get rid of me!

Dare to look me in the face. Try to put me in my place. I will cause you so much strife, but you might just get out with your life. (DOOK!)

Whether adult or child, best to give me a home. Put the welcome mat out with a room of my own and except that I’m here and from you I have grown. Keep me smaller in size, I might leave you alone. (Dook… Dook… Dook)

I only said might…

If it’s in a word, or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of The Babadook.

The story, in my opinion, is a story of paranoia. The same description as Slender Man could get. Paranoia only can settle itself in if you let it in and feed it. Like the story says, it doesn’t matter if you’re a child or an adult, it will grow off of you with the ending stating, “keep me in smaller size, I might leave you alone”. Therefore, if you don’t feed into your paranoia and you make whatever is scaring you go away with rationality than it won’t bother you anymore. The story here is fantastic. I truly can get behind this kind of storytelling because the horror is just there inside each stanza. This is something that the movie messes up.

It takes what could have been an amazing horror film and turned it into a joke. With very shoddy actors, bad storytelling, and jumping around… It wasn’t very clear what the Babadook was, if he was related to (or was) the mother’s dead husband, or if he was an imaginary friend of the child’s. It was a psychological thriller that did not use the story it had to its advantage and was an opportunity missed. Psychological thrillers are by far one of my favorite genres within the horror genre. They can be so good and leave you thinking about them for days after you’ve watched them. However, they can leave you thinking about them whether they are bad or good (and there is always good in the bad). So, I say, watch them even if you know they’re going to be bad! What’s the fun in not?


Ah, yes. The use of gore in the horror industry. It is as beloved as slasher films and sometimes can be put into the same pot! Let me start out by saying that gore is not my favorite. Personally, I prefer a good horror movie with a story line that scares the crap out of me. It’s like a book. I don’t want just a picture book that is going to make me feel uncomfortable and possibly queasy. I want a book that is genuinely going to scare me by using its words alone, but that’s just me! I will say, however, that on the opposite side of my opinion, there are some exemplary gore-horror movies out there. Obviously, as I said before, I am a huge fan of Saw and while this fall under psychological thriller, it is a horror movie based on the use of gore.

Gore is something that taken too far can really bother me. So I’m going to be completely honest here in that my opinion of this subject is probably not the opinion of the masses, or even the opinion of the few in regards to people who enjoy horror.

I feel that the use of gore in horror movies is vastly different than the use of general horror because it uses a different kind of strategy to make you feel disturbed. But not just disturbed and upset, it makes you physically feel by showing you images and video that are repugnant both by moral and social standing. Unless you’re amoral, then by all means… Enjoy! As a movie example of gore-horror, I chose (shockingly) The Human Centipede. It is by far a movie that I can say I hate because it makes me want to puke! Puking is definitely not a feeling I like when sitting down at the end of the day and starting a good old-fashioned flick. But I digress… Yes, it is a great… Diverse… Genuinely messed up film. One could go so far as saying that a film the likes of if may never happen again (I hope). Humans are pretty messed up though, so my hopes aren’t high with this one.

If you haven’t seen The Human Centipede (or by other means, The Human Centi-pad, thanks South Park), then God bless your innocent soul. In short, a lovely surgeon creates a “three-dog” except this dog is made up three humans that are surgically connected and are forced to act in such a way. Connected via mouth to butt… Repeat that and you have a three dog! Yay! It’s what you’ve always wanted, I know (the sarcasm is real). This idea is completely disgusting which brings up a good question: why do people like watching these things? We are humans, this movie is about humans being unwillingly connected to another human being in the most horrific of ways, but it did win some awards and is praised for what it did achieve.

Another film of roughly the same standard without the amoral aspect of The Human Centipede is the movie Vile. A 2011 hidden gem. I will admit that viewing the first few scenes it seems like the movie was going to be a B-movie at best. However, it does redeem itself when the story picks up. Basically, a group of people get taken to wake up with little tubes connected to the back of their skulls hence the name: Vile. This movie brings up many moral questions, in my opinion. The entire plot is about filling those test tubes with endorphins – manly adrenaline. How is this done? Through inflicting pain on everyone locked in the room. They must accept their fate, and each take their turn in receiving and inflicting pain on everyone else. There are a few ways to think about this ideal, however. Much like the Saw 4 trials, they could each do as little pain as possible and give a little to survive. Of course, in the end they are all so terrified that they are all ready to kill by the end of it.

The amoral versus moral argument here is that how do you decide who is worth more pain or not. The characters are very reluctant to act as their captor has stated they need to or they will die. However, there is always one character that is ready to throw everyone under the bus to survive. Here is my dilemma, we (as viewers) watch these people inflict pain on one another and we cringe, grit our teeth, and possibly yell at the screen to stop hurting that person. Yet, as soon as the young girl who has been talking smack and ready to kill everyone else the entire movie gets thrown upon the table, we are pretty much yelling, “she deserves it” by the time she is getting hurt. At what point do our morals change because we deem a person as “bad”? It is in interesting question that comes along with the gore-horror industry that I find perplexing.

Except, this question could be the answer as to why these movies work. Why we watch them in the first place because we could never face something like the characters are facing in a gore film. Maybe it answers sick questions that we have deep down in our subconscious. Or maybe we just like watching fake people die fake deaths after a hard day’s work! We may never know!

I could talk forever about the horror industry. I could talk about why it’s my favorite genre, why what they do works with the audience, why people react the way they do to certain films and scenarios, and who knows, I might. For now, I’m going to leave this here. The horror industry is one in a million. While it sometimes fall in a slump like any other genre and find itself repeating age-old ideas, it always picks up with a fresh movie idea from a new producer that swings it back into action. I’ll leave you with a short list of my favorite thriller/horror films that maybe you can pick up and watch! (My secret is most of them are probably on Netflix) Here’s my list and I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts about the horror industry!

Chatroom by Hideo Nakata

Silent Hill by Christophe Gans

The Houses October Built by Bobby Roe

VHS by Matt Bettinelli

Haunter Vincenzo Natali

The House at the End of Time by Alejandro Hidalgo

Maniac by Franck Khalfoun

Before I Wake by Mike Flanagan

Circle by Aaron Hann

The Good Neighbor by Kasra Farahani

Old Boy by Chan-wook Park

Exam by Stuart Hazeldine

The Perfect Host by Nick Tomnay

Submerged by Steven C. Miller

The Shining Mini Series

It Mini Series


The You’re Welcome Tour

One of the first note worthy things about my personality is that I absolutely adore Youtube. I’m actually surprised I have yet to write a post about Youtube, but it wouldn’t be a place where I would be talking about my content. I do not make content. Not that I think I don’t have what it takes, by any means, but I just enjoy supporting the current channels that I do watch. Personally, I think my creative talent comes in the form of writing, not speaking.

However, talent comes in every different shape and size. It is something that I seek in other’s as an important attribute of their personality. Youtube is a platform that asks for that talent to be released in whatever way the creator sees fit. It is a truly amazing way of expressing yourself. Now, I realize that Youtube has been coming under fire recently for numerous reasons, but this post is merely to talk about those I do support. Mainly, this post is going to be discussing Markiplier. I started out my 2018 by attending his tour in Salt Lake City.

Now if you don’t know who Markiplier is… (you need to be more cultured) No, I jest (but really). Markiplier has been a Youtuber since 2012 and has had an extremely popular gaming channel through current times, reaching 19 million followers the last week of December. He is known for his Let’s Play, videos that consists of the player playing a game whilst commentating on events taking place, but Mark has moved to doing comedy sketches, original short movies, and even interactive short stories that allows the viewer to feel more immersed. I respect Mark highly in terms of work ethic and the love behind his channel. Some people who have high followings on Youtube can get in the mindset that nothing can touch them, they don’t owe anything to their viewers, and they are above normal society. Markipler, among the other Youtubers that I watch, are not like this at all. It’s the idea of, “the community got me to where I am today” aspect that I truly find heartwarming inside these Youtube channels.

This bring a strong community bond. Along with this viewer/Youtuber bond, it is the charity that Mark displays as a human being that draws so many people to his channel. He has raised so much money towards foundations such as Direct Relief, St. Jude’s Research Hospital, and Save the Children. Markiplier and friends have raised over three million dollars towards charities. That is more than some celebrities give in their life time. I do realize that it doesn’t all come from Mark’s pocket change, but that is the amazing thing! He raises this money through his fans! That $400,000 towards Save the Children came from regular, every day people who watch his channel. Youtube gave him the opportunity to do all of this and I simply find that amazing. It is something that we should be taking more seriously and using our regular social media apps in this positive way. Knowing that people are still living to give to other’s in need keeps me alive.

Markiplier always find a way to give back to his community. Last year, he released the news that he was going on tour. This meant he was going to put on shows for his fans all over the world and no show would be exactly the same. As soon as this news came out and the tickets went on sale, I purchased mine instantly. I got a fairly decent seat. Row E, roughly six rows away from the main stage. At the time I was attending alone simply because I wanted to support and go see one of my favorite Youtubers! The show was January sixth at the Eccle’s Theater in Salt Lake City. It was an amazing show that I would have regretted deeply had I not gone.

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Seeing Markiplier come out on the stage was incredible. I spoke to other fans before the show about how weird it would be to finally “see” him. That we all watch his videos in one way or the other on a phone, the TV, or through some other screen, religiously or casually, and only seeing (most of the time) his upper body… That it was going to be so surreal to see him in person. In no way do I idolize other human beings. In my opinion, idolizing other human beings is wrong since no one at the end of the day is better than any other human. However, seeing Markiplier on stage was like meeting a new friend. Except this friend was a friend that you already knew and cherished. I know this feeling was shared through the crowd. This is just another magical part of how effective a platform like Youtube can be.

Many people watch their favorite Youtubers after a bad day, to relieve some stress, to laugh and be entertained. In this way, these faces that we see every day become a friend. It’s a platform where you can even reach out to these people behind your screen and in most cases they can reach right back out to you. Therefore, seeing a person like Markiplier for the first time is so much different than meeting someone like Elijah Wood for the first time. One is a little more attainable and also more relatable than the other.

This kind of relationship is what made this show so epic. One, it was a hilarious show. Seeing Mark, Tyler, Bob, Wade, and Ethan all create wonderful stories, jokes, and dance routines up on the spot was awesome to see in person. The fans truly stood up to their name as well as everyone I met there was genuinely kind. As we waited for the show to begin, the fans started having a dance party with each other which really made that “family vibe” set in. At the end of the regularly scheduled show, the group took the time to answer questions from fans which was a lovely touch on this being a personal show. Usually Q&As are available at Youtube, conventions, or panel events but taking the time out to talk to the audience just set the tone deeper that the tour was for the fans.

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VIP pass holders also got a closed showing beforehand where Markipler performed via guitar. The picture below was the ending of the VIP show in which they sung Smash Mouth All Stars to the audience. (Wade got really into it – bottom right).


The title of this tour was The You’re Welcome Tour. Named towards saying “you’re welcome” to his fans, but also saying a big thank you as well as he truly understands that there would be no tour without us. I had an exceptional time at this show and I would honestly love to go to a convention where I could meet Mark and more of my favorite Youtubers. This show was one of the first that I have been to in support of anyone I watch on Youtube. I do want to attend others in the future as Jacksepticeye has been touring on his own time as well.

Some may call watching Youtube an unholy obsession (they could be right), but I deem it worthy of my time to watch, support, and occasionally donate my hard earned cash to them to show that I want them to keep on doing what they have always worked so hard towards. It is more than just entertainment for me because I understand that people are just people at the end of the day, all working one day at a time doing what we can do make the world a better place. Some people achieve that better than others. It is a way that I can also do what I can to help make the world a better place to be, to be updated on the current news without going through main stream media, and to make sure these guys get their paycheck to full their creativity.

Thank you Markiplier and thank you Youtube for being an outlet in which this kind of thing can take place.

Dear Aang, Tonks, and Pondo

I know many of you reading this are wondering about this title. What does the Avatar (the air bender), a wizard from Harry Potter, and (if you know your Zelda franchise) an NPC from The Legend of Zelda have to do with anything I have ever written on this blog? Well, they were my ducks. While it can be said that owning, raising, and even loving any type of bird is an oddity. I truly loved my three ducks, like I never knew I could.

Over this past weekend, the worst happened. I was out of town and returning back to work on Monday. Monday was a normal day, I went to work, had a good time, and I even stayed late to help around the work place. When I got home I was to do the usual routine which consisted of eating, maybe watching some Youtube, and taking care of my animals. This time, however, I had not seen the ducks or my chickens since that following weekend so I put them first and headed out. The first thing that was off was my hens were over in the hay… Just kind of standing there. The second thing that was off is me and my father were not greeted by a collection of quacks and flaps of my duck’s feet. The worst and most unexpected thing happened… A dog had attacked my flock.

In a million different scenarios for some reason I never even thought this was a possibility. I usually thought my ducks were safe in the middle of the day as they are always out playing while it is nice in the mid-afternoon. This was just not the case this day. I first saw Tonks and I lost it. I started crying immediately, and to my surprise, because I truly never in a million years did I think I would have come to love a bird so much. I am not going to go into the details of their death or how we found them, but I just needed a place to truly get this horrible event off my chest. I am truly heart broken that I was not there when they needed me the most even though I probably could have done little to save them. I get attached to animals very easily, but these babies I have raised since day one. That is why they were so cherished. That is why I think they deserve their own blog post. A place they can be remembered and immortalized for the great birds they were and all they taught me from day one of bringing them home.


This is a terrible photo, but it shows my ducks on day one of getting them set up at home. They were the sweetest and most adorable things ever! I actually promised myself that I wouldn’t get attached to them simply because I knew there was risk in raising farm animals, but it inevitably happened. I actually didn’t name them until about two months in simply because when I named them, I knew I loved them.


And obviously they grew…


And grew…


And grew a little more…


Until we saw what they were up until their last moments.

It was a magical time watching these animals grow. I watched them grow in physical size, but also in personality. It was truly amazing to see how each duck had an original personality that could not be tamed, matched, or changed. They were each so unique and that is what made me fall in love with them so easily and fast. It was a new hobby, yes, but in that hobby I found a new love for nature. This sounds incredibly cheesy, but it is  true. They taught me that patience was a key aspect in the world and that anything can love and be loved back. They taught me that really sitting down and watching nature was relaxing and spiritual within itself. They were not just a hobby, but they were my pets and I spoiled them so. They would run up excitedly to greet me every time I would come to see them or feed them. It was that social aspect that really made the experience they gave me simply astounding.

Teaching an animals to be social was the most crucial part of raising them. At first, they are rightfully frightened of everything around them because everything is so foreign and large. They do come around eventually when raised correctly, however. Meal worms never hurt to add to the equation either. Meal worms are the candies of the birds! Tonks especially loved his meal worms. He would hear the bag, run up, and stick his face so hard into my hand that sometimes he would miss my hand completely and end up just rubbing his face on the back of my hand. Pondo, the crested duck, was the same in that he would miss and his face would go up the closest available sleeve. Aang was always shy as she was the only female, but she would be so very vocal about receiving her share. I could go on forever about each of their personalities in great detail, but I digress.

I chose to get ducks for the fun of it, the fact that they were adorable as babies, it was something that I had not done before, and I was hoping that I could receive eggs from the females. I got everything I wanted and more. When Aang first produced an egg, I was so giddy about it! I had helped create what she had created. It was an amazing feeling producing one’s own produce in such a way. Again, it was an eye opened towards the thing that we call Mother Nature. To see it up close and personal like that is taken for granted by so many people, but I just have a special connection with animals that I will not take for granted. I never once took for granted that I had and loved my birds. I know that they lived an extremely happy and good life to the end. That is what is important.

My ducks did get to see some of my world as they let me in theirs. They even got to meet Santa during Christmas time (mostly because I work at a store that allows that). But they met Santa nonetheless.


We even entered the County fair and won a first and second place prize!


Again, I could go on forever about how much fun I had with my little pals, but in another’s eyes it won’t actually reach the meaning that they had in my life. Simply reading a post about their love won’t do them justice, but I did want to have them be known for the wonderful time they provided. They were just short of a year and they are an example of what I need to do better as a hobby farmer. However, I will never forget them as my first experience attempting this. I made a post before about my experience purchasing birds and wanting to raise them, but I could not even begin to put into words the emotions that I feel for them.

They graced my life for just under a year and again, I am so terribly sorry to them for that, but that 10 months was an eye opener and a blessing. I will raise more ducks because I absolutely adore their species at this point. They are a blast. They are so silly and can be very sociable animals. Look forward to posts about this new experience in the future because it will surely be one! No animals will overshadow my first experience working with birds and Tonks, Aang, and Pondo will be remembered forever as the best ducks ever!

This post is dedicated to my ducks and whatever little spirits may live inside them <3.

I love them so, so much and I know they knew that. Rest in peace, babies.


Tonks, Pondo, and Aang (bottom).

Welcome 2018

Well, 2017 has left the building and in walks a shining new year – 2018! I’m feeling very optimistic about the upcoming year. However, I need to take this time to reflect back on my time in 2017. It was an ever-changing year for me, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I had many ups and downs and I will have more in 2018. It is how we deal with these things that is important. Nearing the end of 2017, I experienced many new things in a small amount of time. I stepped out my comfort zone and I took to things that I would not have normally done. This was due to boredom, curiosity, and the yearn for adventure. Once I got on that kick of traveling and being more independent, it simply flourished.

One of the first new things that I did was meeting new people. I basically started the year with a new job, but that really isn’t what I mean by going out of my way to meet new people. We have all joined a dating app at one point in our lives for whatever reason, but I found that it was a great way to simply meet great and interesting people! I found great friends that are there for me even if they aren’t living in the same town. This was a new idea for me because I’m an introvert by nature. I yearn for my “me time” and love the lazier side of life as I do the adventurous. So meeting these people was not only great, but it was out of my comfort zone which was something that I had really not done before. It was fun going upstate or traveling to meet people or having people actually want to see me. This goes for people that I did not meet online, but that lived in my town as well. This was one lesson that I learned last year, that people matter and I need them.

I needed people for more than one reason. One, loneliness can hit at the worst times and when it does it hits with vengeance. Two, I finally learned that because of loneliness and the fact that I was mostly making the loneliness happen by secluding myself, that I needed human interaction to survive. This sounds like common sense, but trust me, being an actual active introvert – it is harder said than done. And lastly, I needed people to do fun things with! It was one thing to be adventurous and get myself out there to see new things, but it is an entirely new thing to experience something new with another human being. So overall, allowing people into my life was an amazing step for my own personal growth.

However, it was doing things alone that made me feel the most strengthened as an individual. In my opinion, we (humans) tend to lean towards other people sometimes as a crutch. We need someone there at all times to function and if we don’t have someone there at all times, we fall short at even allowing ourselves to participate in different activities. An example of this is saying you want to attend a concert, but you have no one to go with… So, at the end of the day, you don’t go. This is what I mean by having other people hold you back. I’ve obviously led that life for a very long time. 2017 was a year that I broke this trend. A couple of events I go to or wanted to go to last year was Fear Con, Comic Con, and an archaeology dig near my home town. All were events that were completely “up in the air” if I was going with anyone or if I had to trek it out by myself. Things have a way of working themselves out, but out of the four events, I did go to one by myself. Out of the three, it was probably the most satisfying and most scary one to attend by my lonesome.

My archaeology dig experience was incredible. It was in Nine Mile Canyon about an hour from where I live. I have to say that it was something I never envisioned me doing and it very well might be something that I never get to do again. I was very fortunate in that I got to attend and I was even more fortunate for the great group of people that I met.

The dig was in September and the only reason I got a spot was because my mom mentioned to me one day that they were looking for volunteers in the newspaper. I sent in an application fully understanding that I probably wouldn’t receive a spot since there were so many people wanting to go especially young students. Except I did receive a spot in the first week of the dig. It was the nicest possible weekend it could have possibly been weather wise. We were to camp out two nights staying Friday until Sunday morning.



This was our campsite. It was beautiful. This was an entirely new experience for me especially because I was alone. Yes, people knew I had gone, not that they had any idea where the excavation site was, but it was still scary being alone. The hard fact of the matter is on the way there, I did almost turn back. During the roughly 45 minute drive to get to the coordinates I was just gathering more and more anxiety about what I was doing. I felt that if I got lost, I couldn’t call anyone because I didn’t have service, that it would be too embarrassing if I arrived late, or even that I had been tricked and there really wasn’t an actual site in the first place. Yeah, the fun thoughts, anxiety will do that to you. But I didn’t turn around and I arrived.

Arriving was terrifying, but fulfilling. It felt like I had accomplished something because you know what? I showed up. I set up my tent, I met the surrounding people who were already there, and we had dinner that night and went to bed to start the excavation in the morning. The excavation site and it’s workings were amazing. We started from literally nothing, just solid ground that they concluded was a possible site for near by Indians to get together for social gatherings.


This photo was the morning of excavation around 7 or 8 AM. The site looked just like any other patch of dirt, ground, or weeds so it was amazing that anything was even underneath it. We did find beads, stone balls, types of granite and rock that were used to paint… And rocks, we found so many rocks. Over the span of two full days we dug for roughly an overall sixteen-eighteen hours. The last day looked awesome because it was just a statement of what we had achieved.

Montgomery Constultant Photo.jpg

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to experience this with. I did not know anyone personally on the trip, but we all took each other in like we were already good friends. It was wonderful just meeting a group of people that took everyone in like a part of their family to learn and experience something just like you. This is my group photo (with me on the bottom left in front). I learned so much about archaeology and what people in this career field do and go through daily. It is hard work both on the back muscles and having to deal with the weather. I was lucky enough to be blessed with blue skies and a hot sun this first week of September. Afterward, we did mostly stay in touch with each other and I did get to see photos of the end of excavation which was pretty cool. I actually returned a week or two later for an event and to see how the excavation was going, so that was neat as well. If you ever do get a chance to do this, I highly recommend it.

Chances only come around once in a live a time and I say that we should take each one that comes our way. It’s so important not to lose those chances that are given to us and regret it later which is what I knew would happen if I wouldn’t have gone. Take it from me, your friendly everyday introvert, and do the things you want to do now no matter what age you are!

Which brings me back to the three events that I wanted to do in 2017. Comic Con was next on this list. After my archaeology dig, time just flew by. I had events planned almost weekly if not monthly that both cost money and time. Yet, I was not missing Comic Con for anything that life was going to throw at me. Again, up until last year, I had let so many things pass me by with so many dumb excuses. Excuses such as, “I’m too busy with work”, “there is always next year”, or “I have no one to go with me”. These excuses held me back so bad in the previous years. Thinking back on this now, I cannot believe all of the things I didn’t do because of my own insecurities, money, and other people. The same is to be said with Comic Con. I had wanted to go every year they had it in Salt Lake City, but I always let it slide by no matter what celebrity was attending or how much money I had to spend. This had to stop and in 2017 I made it stop.

Comic Con was THE BEST event I attended in 2017. It was worth every penny, it was worth all the time spent walking, and it was worth every second being around other people in lines. I met every person I wanted to, I received every autograph that I wanted to, and I just had an amazing time attending with my brother. I did get my brother hooked on conventions, so if anything good came out of it that was it! Getting to geek out with a bunch of random people was the best feeling in the world and I think Utah has one of the best conventions there is to offer. Below is a photo of me and my brother, the very first stop we made at Comic Con! We both jumped out of comfort zones for this one!


Throughout the three-day weekend, I got to meet Elijah Wood, Dick Van Dyke, John Barrowman, Christopher Loyd, Richard Dean Anderson, and Jon Bernthal plus many others! It was completely outstanding. I can’t imagine there being a better Comic Con than this one, but I know there is more to come. If you’re a nerd like me, it was a great way to spend a three day weekend.


The photo above is my wall of fame from 2017. I hope to add to it, but it is a highlight wall and a reminder to always get out of my comfort zone. I do have to mention that one of my favorite buys from Comic Con 2017 was my Anton Yelchin signature. It was expensive, yes, but oh so worth it. If anyone is interested in seeing more photos of my adventures I do have Instagram (kristenisclever1). I simply don’t want to overwhelm my blog with photos with no explanation. I can say that I am completely addicted to conventions and I will continue going year to year!

Speaking of conventions, another one that I am a huge fan of is Fear Con. Personally, I love the horror genre whether it is in novel form or movie form, I simply adore it. Some of my favorites are Edgar Allen Poe (obviously), the Hannibal series, Lovecraft, Susan Hill’s works, and Stephen King upon so many more talented artists and wonderful stories. Horror seems to be a growing fandom and I absolutely love that, but what I really love about it is the story telling element. I haven’t ever really got into the knitty-gritty about why I love horror so much, maybe for another post, but I do love watching both the good and the bad! Fear Con is a two day weekend of being around horror fans, cosplay of our favorite villains, and being able to participate in scary (but safe) scenarios!

Last October the theme of Fear Con was Horror Re-imagined which was an amazing concept to see regular horror ideas transformed into new ideas by fans. A new thing they did last year was they added The Vampire Circus which was what you could expect: fire breathers, acrobats, body contortionists, comedians, and even people who were a very good aim with crossbows. Another new experience they added was a new twist on the Haunted Experience. This time around, VIP and Gold pass holders got to experience a hostage situation. It is much harder to explain rather than it was to simply experience it, but I will do my best. They blind folded the participates with masks so we could not see where we were headed and they actually had us ride on a bus to that location. Then we were walked to the location where we were given our vision back and led down stairs into darkness. We were then left by ourselves (in our group) to fend for ourselves and figure out what we had to do. We had to find a key, unlock a cage while a man with a chainsaw and a wolf mask and a man with a pig mask and a cleaver went around as threats. Speaking of this… I was the first one dragged off by the pig man… Not a very fond moment ha-ha. I simply watched as my fellow group members watched me be dragged away to the start of the maze.

I did eventually find my way back to them to simply get dragged off by the pig man with another girl once more! Basically what I am saying is, I was the first to die in this horror story! I guess you could say I died twice in the range of 10 minutes! When we finally got out of that stage, we were to climb stairs and then we actually got separated (on purpose) into pairs of two and led straight into pitch blackness. This was the worst, most scary part of the event in my opinion. It was pitch black, I was with a dude that I didn’t really even meet, I was just put in a two person group with, and we had to walk our way apparently to somewhere for however long to get out of the blackness. We eventually, apparently, reached more people and we followed the rest of the way out and successfully completed the Haunted Experience. Now, it might sound weird to be put in this situation, but it was absolutely great fun. I might be weird to think that being scared is fun, but I loved it and would very much love to do something like it again every Halloween.

This kind of experience that is put on by the conventions is what makes it worth going to in general. However, my next favorite part is simply the people. Whether it be Comic Con or Fear Con, you know you are surrounded by people who have the same interests and likes as you do at least to an extent of the convention. So, socializing in this manner is the absolute best because everyone is so genuine and nice. I actually prefer it to regular life because of the people. The cosplayers are another favorite part. It takes guts, style, and creativity to dress up for these events. Some people do it for a living and I praise them! Personally, I am not too into dressing up myself, but I love giving credit where credit is due and I love taking photos with them. It not only makes them happy that people want photos, but it makes me happy to have gotten to meet them and admire there work! This next photo is a picture from Fear Con of all of our favorite horror movie villains.


They are just a bunch of fans that were dressed up for the event! I love it so much! It was just another tradition that I had such a great time attending in 2017!

While I did so many cool things this year, obviously some not mentioned here, I ended 2017 in such a wonderful way. I had bought tickets to the Zelda Symphony for me and my mother in November for the date of December 30th. Unfortunately, my mother got sick and wasn’t able to go, but my cousin went instead. I would have loved to experienced with my mom, but family was still there! It was amazing. We had second row seating to a beautiful orchestra of one of our favorite video games. The Legend of Zelda holds a special place in my heart as I grew up playing the video games with my dad. I still love it to this day and am a bit of a geek about it. I just think that was the best way to end off my 2017 and it was completely unplanned to do so. However, I wouldn’t have changed how I ended it in any way.

I just hope that I can make 2018 as great as the last few month of my 2017. I pushed myself out of self-created comfort zones and experienced so many wonderful things, met so many wonderful people, and am in such a good place to start a new year. I am blessed to have what I do have, the job that I have, the family, friends, and animals that I have. I just want to start this new year on a good note and look to the positive side of life.

Here is to more traveling, more adventure, and more extrovert ideals in my introvert life! Happy 2018!


I am looking forward to blogging more and focusing on how I can be more proactive in my creativity. Look forward to more in 2018 as I intend to continue to strengthen my writing abilities and hopefully expand my readers as well! To anyone reading, I am so glad that you have followed my page up to this point and I hope you continue to do so! I find my life mundane and boring, but hey, I’ve got to keep record somehow! If I entertain some people on the way, wonderful!

(: – Kristen.


2017, the ups and downs.

Well, as the year is quickly winding down and I sit here closing in on midnight, I find myself reminiscing in the dark of my computer screen. By this time of year we find ourselves stating, “the year flew by so quickly”. But in other months, weeks, and days of our year it felt like the longest 24-hours of our lives. I find this irony humorous as we all tend to over think things and dramatize every day life. However, do not let me fool you, I am no different. It’s human to get excited by drama (even if we create it).

However, that is not what this post is about. This post is about reflection both self and outwardly. I like to think that I have had a great year. Another year, I go on to live another day. I have many things in my life to be grateful for, even the things that I thought at one time were the end of the world. I am a firm believer that our hardships make us a better person whether in time or on the spot. 2017 was a very complicated, yet very refreshing year for me. I can’t say that I loved every second of it. I can’t say that I even enjoyed the majority of it, but I can say that I learned so much about myself. I find this an accomplishment out of any hardships of the year 2017.

As I am getting ready to say goodbye to this year, I am reflecting on the past and coming up with positive, hopeful emotions. I came out of my comfort zone in a hundred areas in my life. I walked into 2017 working at a new job that I hated, I ended up leaving that job… Again, cutting ties permanently with a company that wasn’t bad, but wasn’t for me. I took a break for a month, both searching for jobs and reflecting on what I needed to do and what was best for me. I soon received another job as a receptionist soon after. AGAIN, the job had good hours, the job paid well, but it was not for me. 2017 was a year that I figured out I valued my happiness and sanity over my pocket money. Now don’t get me wrong here, I never missed my bills. I am nothing if not completely obsessive compulsive about paying my bills on time. I just needed to figure out what I wanted to do and where I was happy.

I have said on other posts here that I have no idea what I want to do with my life. That still stands and at this point, I figure that is going to be written on my headstone. I mean, honestly, who in their right mind has an honest answer for such an outrageous question. If you do, God speed. Keep up the good work. I, however, don’t, so yeah, I’ll keep up my good work in my own way. The more I think about this and the more I talk to people about not knowing where my life is going, the more closure I get on the subject. I am starting to understand that it is not only normal, but life will unfold before me and I can choose what path to go down as they are presented. I just want to be happy. I find in this day and age of social media… Happiness is hard to find because when we do find it, we post it and then comes the judgement from people behind a keyboard and screen. The lovely truth of social media, everybody. However, my story does come out a generally happy one by the end of this year, truth be told.

Where I was in January of this year was in my honest words of wisdom – a shit hole. I had no goals, I was stuck, and I was living a very repetitive lifestyle. This lifestyle also included excluding myself and giving up on myself frequently, if not every day. If I didn’t know where I was going then what was the point? I could throw everything away, break every opportunity I had in this town, and ruin my reputation one job at a time. It was the worst part of my 2017 that changed this routine.

It was in February when I left my long-term boyfriend whom I was living with at the time. It has been two years that we had lived together, so moving back with my family was not only a shock, but it was a pain for everybody included. I will not be getting into the details here, but long-story-short, I moved back with my parents with two extra medium sized dogs! Hallelujah, daughter’s back! While I laugh at this, I was welcomed back. I am fortunate that I still had a place to fall back on in tough times and I know that I always will. (Love you Mom and Dad, you’re the best). Yet, while I was heart broken and dramatic (of course), I found an odd sense of closure and new horizons letting themselves be known as the months after unfolded. It was scary and I personally despise change, or I did. But people change and I fully stand behind that statement because I changed.

The change that occurred was not instant and it was not easy. Life got hard, it had it’s happy moments, it was basically me going through every day life like a zombie. In a small town like this, there was no explanation needed… Everybody simply knows your story (at least a version of it). Small town charm, huh? However, charm is definitely not the adjective I would use to describe my summer. My post is about to get real in this section… I think of this as a diary where I allow random people of the Internet to not only judge my work, but judge me. So if you care to partake, please do, this is your invitation. At this point of my life, I feel that I can be an open book. You either love me or hate me. That decision is not up to me.

Continuing forward, the summer of 2017 was one summer that I fell into what I can only describe as a loop of anxiety and depression. I’ve never really “dabbled” in depression as other’s would describe it (be that television commercials or the latest Buzz Feed post). I’ve always had anxiety. Although, that’s a completely different conversation on a completely different post that may or may not ever exist. I have had several friends and extremely close family members who have struggled with depression most, if not all of their lives. It’s a terrible thing. However, I’ve personally never understood it until this year. Which in itself is neither a good or bad thing. I mean this in a way that no, I wouldn’t recommend it and I hated that I went through it. Yet, I’m glad I did so that I can have an understanding of it to use it as a tool to help others who may be struggling. Personally, I struggled with insomnia, horrible thoughts, lack of interest in literally anything, and just not giving a damn about myself. I would do anything and everything to keep my mind busy simply so my own mind would leave ME alone.

This went on for three months until I finally got it under control enough to self-reflect and also to function. These three months felt like the longest three months of my life. Out of this year, that was the most memorable part because we tend to remember the bad parts the most, or at least I do. Except the oddest thing happened due to these feelings and horrible thoughts – I found myself.

I finally realized that I am who I am and that I am done growing that part of myself. At 23 years old, I don’t have to question who I am anymore. This is a big concept because many people never find themselves. You can stay lost forever and that in itself is a horrible reality. So for this, I am grateful. Not only did I find myself, but through this I was having to force myself to do things that I would have never done before. I have social anxiety that gets fairly bad if I don’t take my script for it, so I struggle and avoid going outside my comfort zone. But 2017 was a year that I did just that.

There are probably 3-4 things that I did that I had never experienced, nor thought I would do because of my anxiety. Ironically, this depression (however much it did win and push me down) made me stronger and more focused to make it disappear. I despised the feelings I was going through and I wish it upon no one. The feeling of loneliness and despair – even if it is personal and just something that you, and you alone feel – does not make it any less real. But it can be fought. One of the first things I did was buy my tickets for Comic Con for the September event in Salt Lake City. I bought the tickets without knowing who I would be going with, if I would be going alone, simply without a clue. Which probably seems like no big feat, but unfortunately for me not knowing if I would by myself in a crowd of 5,000 to 7,000 people is terrifying. The second thing I did was obviously get my job at Tractor Supply (see my post about ducks where I talk about my job to learn more).

Tractor Supply deserves it’s own paragraph and I will tell you why. Like I said, I came into 2017 with no idea of what I wanted, who I was, and honestly fighting anxiety and on-coming depression that I didn’t realize was there until it hit me. I can’t say I suffer from it, but we all deal with it at some point in our lives, some more than others. Tractor Supply was completely frightening to me. I consider myself an introvert, nerd, geek-person-thing. Not a country girl, not a stereotype of the country side, Utah, or hillbilly. Which is everything I thought that Tractor Supply would be. I was wrong, of course. I was hired to my surprise. I assumed they would hire someone that actually knew about tools, farm life, farm animals, and tractors, but they hired me! I owe them such thanks because working there has been not only fun, but I have made such great friends that I would consider them my work family. Working there has also got me out of my comfort zone completely and helped with my social anxiety and social skills. 2017 would be nothing without mentioning my job here. Having a stable work life, a job that I actually love, and co-workers that enjoy my company has helped me stay focused and gave me new insight on what I wanted to do which is still unclear.

I decided that I would return to college on campus at my local community college. I had attended there once before right out of high school, but dropped out because I had no interest in going. My college story isn’t that successful to be honest with you. However, it was another subject to focus on and anything that I could focus on rather than myself and my thoughts was most welcome. I was recommended by my adviser to check out volunteering at our local museums. So I actually did one day to my surprise. I went through their registration process and I was soon both working at Tractor Supply and volunteering part of my summer to the Helper Rail Road and Mining Museum. I love history is a key reason that I did this. It was a completely fun experience and it was a way to scope the scene of what I would like to do as a career. In the end, I was offered a position, but what can I say? I’m loyal to Tractor.

After all of the events above mentioned, my mother let me know about an upcoming archaeology dig that needed volunteers that she saw in the local paper. This was something I never would have thought in a million years I would have involved myself in, but I did. As a side note, I will be posting about my experience on my archaeology dig accompanied with photos on another post, so I won’t kill you with details here. So, I went alone to meet a bunch of strangers about 70 miles outside of my own town in the desert. Let me reiterate, I have social anxiety. I felt like I overcame a milestone! I mean come on! Against all of my instincts telling me to give up, to quit, to not go because it was going to be terrible… I went and kicked my social anxiety in the butt and checked a dig off my bucket list! It was so worth it. It quite possibly could be an experience that I won’t have the opportunity to go on again. So for that, I am also grateful 2017 gave me that delightful opportunity and that I went on it.

I have to say, after that experience… I was hooked on doing things! I wanted a little more adventure in my life. This was coming from an introvert that after 5 days of working, needs 2 days away from people to recharge for the next 5 days of work. I was impressed if no one else was. My experiences for 2017 were not over just yet! I was still hungry for more adventure, so I outwardly searched for things to do. I came across a ghost hunt in a near by old mining town. Living in the small town that I do in Utah I know about many mining towns that were booming back in the day. The Helper Museum was one of them which is why it was so fun to volunteer there among other things. The town the advertised ghost hunt was in was Eureka, Utah. Looking on a map, it was tiny and lived up to everything that a ghost-mining town was. I will also be making a separate post before this year is up about my experience there, pictures included to wrap up my 2017, so I will leave out major details here. However, Eureka was probably my favorite event of the year. Not only was it spooky and my first professional ghost hunt, but the town was completely charming with real, laid back townspeople.

It all comes down to the people that I met. The experiences were delightful, but the people were better. I think the most precious gift that 2017 shared with me is that people matter. From an introvert’s perspective, I never found people to be worth a damn. I would regularly do everything to stay away from other human beings. But not anymore. Loneliness flourishes when you allow it to and I will not let it. That would probably be my New Year’s Resolution going into 2018 is to remember that loneliness only comes about when we allow it to. Happiness is what we create it to be. I had more great times this year than I have had in my 23 years of living simply because I left my comfort zone for more than a day. It taught me so much and I only hope that others can and will do the same. Adventure is something that we all need to experience because once you taste it, you will keep wanting more. The best thing about adventure is it allows memories, it brings people into your life, and it allows you to experience things that, well, you may never get the chance to experience again.

Take it from me, do the things you want to do and do the things you wouldn’t do now while you are young and able to enjoy it. I don’t want to have a life that I look back on and wish I had done something that was presented to me in full and I simply decided it wasn’t worth my time… Because it definitely is.

Being an introvert means…

Being an introvert means being alone.

Being an introvert means not speaking.

Being an introvert means over thinking.

Being an introvert means not socializing.

But most of all, being an introvert means being okay with all of this.

It means noticeably having people misjudge you.

It means trying to explain your reasoning while falling flat because the person, try as they might, cannot understand.

It means bad habits… Biting our nails, biting our lips, our cheeks, fidgeting too much…

It means dealing with anxiety and not understanding your own feelings.

Being an introvert means telling the little friends you have, no, and ignoring them simply because it’s easier than explaining why you can’t force yourself to leave the house.

Being an introvert means lying to yourself that you’re okay with some sort of socialization.

It means thinking that you have to change to meet everyone else’s expectations or you’ll be seen as the “boring” one.

We pretend we busy on the emptiest of days.

Being an introvert means actively searching for a quiet spot every moment of the day.

Being an introvert means disappearing for days at a time from texting, social media, or from showing up in person.

It means needing a few days to yourself to recharge for the next time you are feeling up to going out. Because going out justifies normalcy, but further proves how different you feel compared to everyone else. But you can’t compare yourself to others, can you?

It is you comparing yourself to others, not anyone else.

Humans want to define the word normal with whatever fits themselves and the social construct. We aren’t normal, are we? We wouldn’t want to be normal, but we find ourselves asking if things would be different, in a better way, if we were.

We get jobs, we go to school, we have hobbies, we collect tangible items that make us feel better about our exterior, but over and over again that empty feeling peaks through.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what we believe we are verses who we truly are. What facade do we put on today? Do we show our true faces under the thousands of masks that we put on every hour? What actually makes us tick?

For me, it all comes down to the same answer… For me, being an introvert means being me.


Decisions, they can destroy you or they can make life better. However they effect your life, decisions are always going to be apart of it. Here I am finding myself having to make a decision.

Usually, things in my life have either fell on my lap or I have sought them out and hoped for the best. Things never really intermingled and that has been for the best. Now life has decided to throw a curve ball at me. This curve ball is fine, but I am the worst decision maker in the universe. The curve ball now has me choosing between work and college, this is something that I highly dislike.

Both are opportunities to succeed. Both are learning opportunities. The only difference is one, I am getting paid for it and the other, I am paying for it. I find myself in limbo of overwhelming different possibilities that each opportunity provides. Getting if off my chest seemed like the best option, but now that I am here, I find myself too stuck inside my own head to have anything much to say. I have stated in other posts that the future terrifies me and this sits upon those fears. I don’t want to have any regrets, therefore, I sit stuck.

No one can make this decision for me and I need to pick what is best for me. Yet, what if I don’t know the answer to that? How is anyone suppose to know what they want at a young age? I am whole heatedly searching for this answer with extreme anxiety. So to start small, I simply need to list the pros and cons.

Attending school at the physical location would give me a push and more credit hours both towards my bachelors and my associates.  I am roughly 11 credits away from obtaining my associates at my local college. I have until 2020 to go for my bachelors (if I take one class at a time) and will continue that course no matter what since it is online. The question lies in obtaining my associates or letting it go while I am so close to actually getting it. At this point, I feel that I am hurting many obsessive compulsive individuals (myself included) if I don’t just complete my associates. However, receiving a new position at my work could prevent me from doing this.

This new position is not guaranteed to me, however. I know I should probably still interview for it and simply go from there. The positive outcomes of this is I would receive a raise, hours, and an upper position. Currently, I am part-time and making decent money, but like everyone else I could always use more to help with life. The question lies in what is more beneficial in the long run? Again, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Attending school physically would cut into my hours at work. However, being part-time as I am right now, this really wouldn’t mean much. Moving to another position would effect that as I wouldn’t have the time to attend class physically while attending online. If things stayed how they are I would be part-time at work, part-time at physical university, and part-time online (at my own pace). It seems like a large work load, but it would be manageable.

While I am brainstorming all of my options, I still do not have a solid answer. I probably will not have a solid answer until after an interview for the potential position. I am just an over-thinking, anxiety-ridden human being that panics first and reacts after. For better or for worse, I will have a final decision at some point in time. Today is just not that day.

I realize this is going to be an extremely boring read for my readers (however many of you there may be), but I just needed to get this off my chest. Nothing is for certain, but I am truly at a loss of what to do here. I think over-thinking it isn’t helping, but maybe I can stop doing that now that I have typed most of it all out. I use this blog to vent most of the time, but there will be better posts in the future. I have been busy figuring out this week, so I guess look forward to more actual posts!

Thanks for reading and I hope that everyone is having a great December so far! I leave you with Kristen’s message of the day: Be a better decision maker than me. (;