It’s been said that smell is the strongest of the human senses in terms of its connection to memory; that a smell can bring back a person, place, or emotion more effectively than any of the other senses.
But I’d argue that music is right up there with smell in terms of evoking certain memories. How many times have you heard a song and thought, “oh man, every time I hear this I think of [insert memory here]”?
While my mother was a musical person (this is really an understatement since music was her career), she was also very careful about what kinds of music she’d let her kids listen to. We were pretty much relegated to show tunes, orchestral and choir pieces, film scores, and the Maranatha! brand of Christian music that was on the rise in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Anything outside of that—and especially secular rock music—was pretty much a “no-no.”
This doesn’t mean, though, that we kids didn’t find clever ways to get everything from Madonna to Def Leppard into the house. We used to put the stuff on cassettes and give it some moral-sounding label, like “Children’s Hymns.” No one had any idea.
Until one of our babysitters gave us the cassette Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D and someone didn’t hide it well.
Somehow—perhaps it was because I was the oldest—I was the one that was responsible for smoothing the waters. I explained to her that this was funny; that it was completely innocent because it made fun of modern songs. She not only bought it, she was open to listening to it.
To my surprise, she enjoyed the album. What shocked me most was that her favorite song was “Nature Trail to Hell”; the tune not only had the word ‘hell’ in it, it was pretty graphic in skewering the gory slasher movie phenomenon that was all the rage in the mid-1980s.
There was some kind of irony Read the rest of this entry
My first job out of college was as an obituary writer for the Putnam Reporter Dispatch in Carmel, NY.
Obituary writer! You’re thinking, “like someone who writes those long things in The New York Times!” Well, you’re right, but not really. I was more of a compiler than anything else. Nowadays, it’s more common that the families write up a tribute, give it to the funeral home, and then get charged to run it in the newspaper.
Back in the early 1990s, nearly all obituaries were put together Read the rest of this entry
If, last year, you watched the first season of AMC’s The Terror, then you have an idea of what this post is about: an exhibit about the mysterious fate of 1845’s vanished Franklin Expedition, the most infamous of Britain’s attempts to find the Northwest Passage.
For those of you who don’t know, the NP was a fabled Read the rest of this entry
From our house to yours, a very happy Fourth! Here’s to celebrating with the people you love most!
There is something about the overwhelming sadness of extinction that has always sucked me in.
So imagine how excited I was when, recently, I went to bird watch at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, Rhode Island and discovered something called Read the rest of this entry
I was incredibly honored that Stacy Horn wrote the Foreword for Read the rest of this entry
Myrtle Beach has always been a favorite destination for me and my husband, and in June, 2013, we went down for a week for his family’s biannual reunion. I’d just been asked if I’d like to submit a story to an upcoming anthology, the theme of which was Mummies and Canopic Jars. An “Under the Boardwalk” setting seemed like an odd backdrop for a story about ancient Egyptian curses, but I was excited. A visit to a different place always gets my creative wheels turning.
Although we’d been there before—we even have a favorite Read the rest of this entry
I’ve rarely gotten to spend more than five or ten minutes with anyone lately because I’ve been so busy … but now I might have the opportunity to spend time with you vicariously!
Ginger Nuts of Horror has featured me in an interview in its “Five Minutes With” series. I have to admit, some of these questions were tough and not of the usual variety, which was a refreshing, fun challenge! I dish on the term horror’s sometimes negative connotations, how the socio/political climate is affecting the genre, which of the characters I’ve created is my favorite, which cliché/trope I’d eliminate if I could, and much, much more. You can read the full interview here: https://gingernutsofhorror.com/interviews/five-minutes-with-kristi-petersen-schoonover
Jordan Peele’s latest psychological thriller, Us—about a family terrorized by strange beings—gets released today on Blu-Ray, DVD, and 4K. It is also available to rent on VOD. You can pick up the hard copy here on Amazon here, or rent the VOD on Amazon here.
Dark Discussions covered and reviewed this film shortly after it came out. After you see the film (if spoilers bother you, then definitely wait until you’ve seen it before listening to the episode), you can hear what we said about it on Stitcher, Itunes, and here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_378.html
Personally, I loved Get Out, but I thought Us was even better. I’m hoping to see more films from Peele. I love his sensibility and layering, and I have to be honest—Us had moments that scared the crap out of me. If you’re looking for a disturbing thriller with depth, this should fill the bill. Enjoy!