Tag Archives: Fall

Summer’s End

Held within the tender palm

Of her sister, seldom seen

Did the brightest of them all

Feel the strength within her ween

 

Shudder, shiver, glow within

Shining bright against Autumn’s slow dance

The doe and the fawn found solace in last

Of warm days to come, and meadows to prance

 

A smile did cross Sister Summer at last

As meek Sister Autumn found strength to then stand

Her time had now come to lead the year’s cycle

The seasons together, to dance hand in hand

 

As Summer closed her eyes, so too did the sun

Its warm rays cooling as sky fled to night

Autumn turned away, but gave final glance

To the land stretched before her; a sister’s last light

Fall turning into Winter, chills turning into sweat

 

fall landscape
“Blustery winds whip at your face making it glow red and sting.”

Fall is the dominant season of October and November. However, winter creeps up on us and it starts with the morning hours of every day. Blustery winds whip at your face making it glow red and sting.

For those of you who have early classes, we have all too frequently experienced the frigid winds and frosty grass on our treks across campus.

We bundle up in thick layers to avoid the miserable chill of winter greeting us so early but come noon sweat droplets appear on our foreheads and then it hits us. Stripping down to a t-shirt, peeling off layer by layer to escape the afternoon heat that is beating down on all of our Northfaces as we try to make it from class to class or home.

You’re given strange looks from everyone who is just appearing on campus for their afternoon classes. They are all dressed accordingly and are comfortable while you’re drenched and carrying three sweatshirts attempting to make it to your desired destination. Little does everyone know you have been up for three hours and didn’t want to freeze while on your way to class earlier. Another burden of the approaching winter is the heat in classrooms.

Since it’s getting cooler outside the heat is turned on and with thirty or more kids in a classroom all of the heat and body heat combined into one big sauna. After you’ve already been sweating outside, trying to play it “cool” and make it to class on time, you’re now stuck like a bunch of sardines in a can and can’t escape the heat.

You try to pretend like you aren’t bothered by it but the heat is getting to unbearable as it forces your clothes to stick to your skin and sweat marks to appear near your underarms.

We’ve all been there, so next time you are waltzing around in Uggs and your fleece at noon when it’s almost seventy degrees, just keep in mind that you’re not alone! Always layer and hang in there until it’s fully the winter season and you can dress warm for the entire day!

 

A furry situation

Groaning, Drew pressed the heel of his palm into his eye socket. A sensation akin to having someone grope around inside his skull had awakened him. With unfocused eyes, he glanced around the room.

The dresser, the drapes, the nightstand—all of it seemed ordinary and exactly as he had expected it to look since he’d moved into his apartment. However, one thing stood out in his mind: that nothing stood out in his mind.

He had no memories of the previous night. Clutching his head, he tried to recall even the slightest detail in vain, and after untangling himself from his bedsheets, he realized that his person was just as blank as his mind.

Glancing around his room, he tried to recall where his clothes had gone, but that memory, too, was missing.

With a grunt, Drew slid his legs over the side of the bed, stretching them until he felt the coldness of the hardwood on his soles. He wrapped an arm around himself as he headed to the bathroom, rubbing his shoulder for warmth as the chilly air assaulted his bare skin. Hardwood transitioned to tile, and he flipped on the light. The illumination revealed a pair of dark brown eyes staring at him from the mirror. The blackness smeared around them made the bags beneath them even darker. He touched his hair—it was mussed and tangled—then his lips. Still sticky with gloss, they were split and bloodied.

Brow creasing, he, again, scrabbled at the darkest recesses of his mind for even a fragment of an explanation, but he found only a murky haze that suffocated his memories, barring them from being dredged to the surface. His fingertips trailed down his neck until a smudge of red caught his eye. Hesitant, he leaned closer to his reflection, tentatively stroking the dried liquid on his skin. Daring to scratch some off, he pulled his hand back to find a ruddy crust beneath his fingernails.

Breath catching in his throat, he took a step back. The distance revealed more red, the splatters painting his chest appearing in the mirror.

“What the fuck?”

A jaunty chiptune sounded from the bedroom, and he leaned into the doorway, peering in the direction of the noise. He knew exactly who was calling; he received the same call daily around the same time. Retrieving his cellphone, he returned to the mirror to answer it, tapping the screen with a trembling finger.

“Hey,” he stammered, fixating again on the rivulets of blood. “What’s up?”

The tearful voice of someone saved in his contacts as “Bae” with two hearts and a kissing emoji replied, “Sammy’s dead.”

“What?” The sobbing in his ear made him freeze. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” Uriah whimpered. “I put food in his bowl like I always do, but he never showed up to eat, and I went out looking for him and found him in the backyard.”

His own heart felt heavy with the news despite that the calico cat was never his own. “You don’t have any idea what happened?”

“Well…” Uriah sniffled, taking a deep, quivering breath. “There was this huge dog roaming the neighborhood last night. Honestly, it looked like a wolf. But I-I thought it was gone when I let him out.”

“Oh, sweetheart. I’m so sorry.” He shook his head, brow knitted tightly.

“I mean, it was still dark out, but he never even leaves the backyard. I thought it was safe.”

“It’s not your fault,” he insisted, voice a soothing coo. “I’ll come down in a little while. Do you want anything to eat?” He decided to shelve the mystery of the bloodstains on his skin and focus, instead, on cleaning it off so he could go visit his grieving boyfriend.

“Not really.”

“Okay. Well, I’ll get ready and be there in, like, an hour, okay?” He licked his lips, cringing at the taste of something foul in his mouth.

“Okay.”

He leaned close enough to his reflection that he was nearly kissing himself. “Just get some rest, okay?” His tongue traced something foreign, and he pulled back his lip to investigate.

“I’ll try. This just really fucking sucks. I had that cat for nine years.”

Drew was about to offer him more consolations, promise him that he would be there soon, but his every muscle stiffened at what he found in his mouth: a tuft of black and orange fur wedged between his teeth.

Images and sounds flooded his mind, of blood and viscera and the squeals of a helpless animal. He keenly remembered feeling hunger then delight, and excitement as fresh meat rolled across his tongue and into his gullet. The disgust and fear that overwhelmed him made his head swim and breaths shallow. Chills skittered up his spine like tiny spiders as his bulging eyes peered a thousand miles into an imaginary distance.

“Drew?” Uriah’s concerned voice brought him back. “Are you okay?”

“U-Um, yeah, I’m fine,” he blurted, stumbling over his words. “I just remembered I left something in the oven. Gotta go.”

“Drew? What?” he replied, but the other end of the line went dead. Uriah pulled the phone back, gawking at the screen. His puzzled expression remained even after he tucked his phone back into his pocket. A distinct memory surfaced in the forefront of his mind.

One month prior, as the leaves were changing and the air becoming cold, Drew had made him a birthday cake. Or, more accurately, he had tried to make him a birthday cake. He had failed to follow the directions on the box, and the middle of the cake collapsed in the oven. Drew actually asked Uriah for help in salvaging his own birthday cake once he’d arrived for what was supposed to be a surprise party. That was the first time, Drew told him, that he’d ever attempted to bake anything on his own. With the way his trash was always filled with fast-food wrappers, Uriah had no doubt as to the truth of that declaration.

“When does he ever cook?” Uriah mumbled, eyeing the air in front of himself suspiciously as if someone just as befuddled were standing there.

A little over an hour later, there was a knock at the door. Uriah pushed eagerly up from the sofa to answer it. Drew greeted him but was clearly distracted, eyes shifting up and down Uriah’s form. His lack of a skirt and other frilly things clearly betrayed Uriah’s dreary mood, but something else seemed to have Drew disconcerted. As he stepped into Uriah’s apartment, his freckled face lost even more color.

“How’s your day going?” Uriah asked, failing to hide the concern in his voice.

“It’s fine.” Drew offered a few jerky nods, which were vaguely directed toward Uriah, as he moved over to the sofa. However, he didn’t immediately sit. Something beyond the window, in the backyard, caught his attention, and he kept wringing his hands.

“Are you sure?” He padded over and plopped down next to the seat he expected Drew to take. “You look kind of distracted.”

Drew shook his head and sunk into the faux suede cushions. “I’m okay. I’m just… sad about Sammy.”

Uriah might have noticed how guilty Drew sounded if it weren’t for the reaction hearing his beloved pet’s name evoked. He wiped at his eyes and nodded, lips trembling. He felt the cushions shift, and Drew’s arm was around him a second later, pulling him against his side.

“I’m so sorry,” the redhead murmured, genuinely apologetic despite the stiffness in his gesture.

“It’s not your fault.”

Drew fell silent as death, and Uriah squeezed him until his tears dried and he could steady his voice, having swallowed the lump in his throat.

“Do you want something to eat?” he asked, trying to change the subject.

Drew shook his head. “No, um, I’m full. I just ate.” He looked like he wanted to vomit.

“Oh? You said you forgot something in the oven?”

“Yeah.” Drew waved his hands as if trying to fan that topic away from himself.

“What was it?” Uriah pressed, hiding his skepticism behind a familiar curiosity.

“Just a casserole. It was, like, turkey and green beans or something.”

He didn’t know what kind of casserole he’d made?

“Oh. Sounds good.”

Drew nodded, sighing a second later. “Sorry, I should have brought you some food. It’s just been one of those days.” He shook his head.

“I understand. Plus, I said I didn’t want anything anyway.”

After that, the room became unusually quiet. Drew wasn’t talkative to begin with, but they normally found something to chat about. Uriah wasn’t uncomfortable with silence, and found a movie for them to watch instead. Nevertheless, he couldn’t ignore Drew’s lack of interest. It was as if he wasn’t even in the same room, on the same couch.

The idea that Drew would be that upset over Sammy’s death simply wasn’t plausible, especially because he didn’t seem that upset. He was unsettled by something, but it wasn’t loss. It felt like he wanted to tell him something but couldn’t bring himself to speak.

Somehow, he still managed to find Drew’s presence comforting and soon dozed off on his shoulder. When he woke, Drew had shifted so that Uriah’s head was on his lap. Normally, they both snoozed together, but whatever was eating at Drew, Uriah noticed when he woke several hours later, had prevented him from napping.

“What time is it?”

“About 6:30,” Drew replied.

Uriah rubbed his eyes, feeling that he was forgetting something. The werewolf that howled from the old movie on the television reminded him.

“I need to go take pictures of the moon.” For his blog.

“Why?”

“It’s full tonight.”

The air became tense. Drew froze, dead silent for long enough that it would have stood out in Uriah’s mind had it not been so addled by sleep at the time.

“I thought that was last night?”

“Well, it’s technically full for three days in the cycle, but tonight is the actual full moon,” Uriah explained.

“Oh.”

Drew’s eyes darted to the window. The sun was beginning to set, painting the sky a warmly-colored farewell. As soon as Uriah was off his lap, he jumped up from the couch, wringing his hands again and fixating on the door. Initially, Uriah didn’t pay him much mind. Drew could be very timid. However, the darker it became, the more Drew seemed to struggle within himself.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine. I just think I need to get going now.” He let out a sharp sigh.

“Really? You’re not staying the night?” Uriah’s eyes looked hopeful, almost pleading for Drew to change his mind.

“Well, I have to get up early for work, and I’m sure you don’t want me waking you up.” He side-stepped around the coffee table, Uriah the only thing between him and the door.

However, Uriah moved with him. “I really don’t mind.” It wouldn’t be the first time Drew had slept over when he had work the next morning.

“I didn’t bring any clothes though, so…”

Uriah concealed his disappointment, but it was more overshadowed by concern. Drew moved past him to the door, slipping into his shoes. Uriah tried to glue himself in place, but he turned on his heels with a huff.

“I feel like something’s wrong. Please just talk to me,” he begged.

“Really, nothing’s wrong. I just have some things to do before bed.”

“I can tell you’re lying.”

Drew said nothing, head hanging in shame. He twisted the doorknob, but Uriah caught his hand before he could step outside.

“You know you can tell me anything,” Uriah reminded him, but Drew didn’t turn around. He intended to say next, “I’m worried about you,” but the syllables choked off in his throat. Drew’s fingers became a set of claws, digging into the meat of his palm.

wolf
“The werewolf that howled from the old movie on the television reminded him.”

Never ending nightmare

I was walking down a long dark hallway, barefoot. My footsteps squelched wetly. The dim flashlight I held was almost useless.

Slowly, I took one foot in front of the other trying not to let a sound escape my lips. The floors squeaked with every step I took. There seemed to be a figure in the distance, but I couldn’t make out a face, only the shape of what appeared to be a human.

Fear shook my entire body, but I continued towards the dark figure. I walked closer and closer. Suddenly I stopped. I realized what I been stepping in, what made the floors wet, was blood.

I wanted to scream, but couldn’t. The dark figure was much closer now. He looked like a human but had a large mask covering his face. He turned and faced me, it seemed he was insulted by my presence, though he did not say a word.

He turned toward me. In his hands was a long, blood stained sword. He hoisted the sword above his head. . . .

dark hallway
“Slowly, I took one foot in front of the other trying not to let a sound escape my lips.”

A flash of lightning and roar of thunder woke me up. I shot out of the bed I was laying in.

I was sweating and shaking. All I could see was darkness. I rubbed my eyes. I remembered then, my boyfriend, Jake, and I had rented a hotel room for the night. He was not beside me when I woke up. Jake must have left the room while I dozed off. The little alarm clock beside the bed said in bold red numbers 9:00pm.

I slipped out of the covers and staggered into the bathroom to wash my face. The warm water made me feel a little better. Jake came back into the room as I was drying myself with a hotel towel. He had gone out to rent an X-box and to pick up some food. He decided I needed to play a scary game tonight. Jake loved to see my reactions, but I was really not in the mood.

“Oh come on, you know it’s all fake. And I’ll be right here with you.” I was still hesitant, however, when he handed me the controller.

The game began and it wasn’t really scary, much like a predictable, bad horror movie. At least until one point in the game.…

Without warning it became darker and much more scary than it had been before. The halls to this game resembled that of my dream. The floors were wet and the only thing that made them distinctive from the one in my dream, was that this was water.

“All right… Stop it! I can’t do this anymore!”

“Aww, you’re such a baby! Here, let me play for a while.”

I handed him the controller and he began to play. About an hour later the game seemed to be building up suspense.

Lightning rebounded off the walls, with a loud crack, killing the power. We both turned to the window, then looked up at the dark ceiling.

The only light into our room now was from the thunderstorm.

“This damn cheap hotel, this is the last time I take a suggestion from Michelle.”

“Do you just want to go to bed now?” I asked hoping, praying desperately that he would say yes.

“Nah, I’m not tired at all. Do you want go out for a drink?” He asked casually.

I didn’t want to disappoint him, but I was terrified to leave this room. I stayed silent, then dismissed those horrible thoughts.

“Sure, it’ll be great to get out of this stuffy hotel, and clear my mind with some good beer.”

He and I both laughed, then got up off the floor. He grabbed a flashlight from the drawer nearby. I got up and put a new pair of pants on, grabbed a jacket, and left with Jake at my arm.

I was the first one to exit our room. To my horror my dream was alive, the hotel’s hallway became the hallway of my nightmare. Every detail from my dream was correct, although I hadn’t yet seen a figure at the end of the hallway. To my slight relief the liquid on the floor was not blood…just water leaking in from the ceiling and windows.

A flash of lightning coursed in through the windows and rebounded off the long hallway. It illuminated the floor. I didn’t want to see anything more, so I turned around and stared into the chest of my boyfriend. Suddenly all around us it got colder. I began to shiver.

Jake had paused for a long time waiting at the door, trying to get the flashlight to work. He was banging against walls, tapping it with his hand, or twisting it to try and get it to turn on. When it finally did, I looked up into his face and saw a look of horror.

“Hey, who the hell are you?”

My eyes widened, and I froze “no, no. . . .” I thought.

I didn’t want to, but the way Jake turned his arm made me accidentally look at the figure at the end of the hallway. Once my eyes locked on to it I couldn’t turn away. I was terrified, my breath caught in my throat.

It looked like a man from the chest down, all except his head. Its chest was bare and scarred. He had on some manner of bloody apron. In his hand was a long sword. I tried to keep my consciousness, but could barely see through a haze of panic.

Then unexpectedly, it was gone, and the dim ceiling lights revived throughout the hall.

I relaxed for minute looking at the light, how wonderful the light is. How it can banish evil.

It made me smile, until I felt a seeping liquid at my feet. Then heard a thud. I turned aside painfully slow. Jake lay dying at my feet, his blood flowing across my shoes. In his back a large gash that was spewing blood all over his black jacket. Blood gushed from his mouth, though he tried to breath.

I couldn’t stop the instant tears that overflowed in my eyes. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t  breathe, I couldn’t even make a sound. The monster reappeared in front of us once again. Slowly walking towards me now, the sword stained with Jake’s blood. I wanted to scream but couldn’t. The dark figure turned and faced me. He hoisted his massive, bloody sword over his head.…

 

Good Luck

late
“Georgia resolved to take a quick glance at her watch that she had somehow remembered to strap on in the midst of her morning’s madness.”

It was a rather disastrous brisk September morning. Georgia had snoozed her alarm one too many times, and suddenly every step felt one step behind. She managed to pull on a button-down shirt and her cleanest pair of slacks in record time before realizing, to her chagrin, that her shirt was inside-out.Her efforts to get back on schedule were entirely fruitless and her attempts at rushing were only making her slower. It took a few tries to get her left shoe on and to get the buttons of her shirt in line.

Georgia’s frown fell deeper when her telephone rang incessantly from the kitchen and she just about lost it when she answered and her mother was on the other side of the line, expecting for a long conversation. She was required to clock into work at 8:30 and at this point, arriving before 9:00 seemed like a dream.

She found herself out of her favorite blueberry Eggo waffles and was forced to shove a couple of slices of lackluster wheat bread into her toaster to retain a semblance of her normal breakfast. Her hands reached to pull out her hair when she caught a whiff of her burning breakfast from across the room. Of course she forgot to adjust the toaster setting, she thought bitterly. In the midst of her sprint to retrieve her burning toast, she forcefully slid across her kitchen’s tile floor into the edge of the counter.

Georgia could already feel a massive bruise forming as she reached over to clutch her throbbing side. Her anger and frustration off the charts now, she kicked a nearby stool over, causing an unfortunate domino effect that upset a stack of her sorted papers in all different directions.

Feeling as if her dignity was in shambles, she dutifully retrieved the papers that were now spread across her kitchen and stuffed them haphazardly into her burgundy briefcase. Georgia resolved to take a quick glance at her watch that she had somehow remembered to strap on in the midst of her morning’s madness and her frown transformed into a downright scowl.

She crunched on her burnt toast and hauled her iota of pride out the door with her briefcase and car keys in tow. There was hope when her car started, but New York City never failed to provide her with dreadful traffic on a day to day basis. Her car crawled down avenue after avenue at a reliable pace of something less than a mile an hour. She figured that at least in the confines of her car, she was safe from some of the outside world’s morning hysteria.

As she approached another momentary standstill, Georgia checked her watch once more to discover she was already ten minutes late. A few more left turns, she thought, hoping her unexpected bad luck wouldn’t push her tardiness past 9:00.

She could see her building in the distance around 8:44 and the nearing proximity triggered her mental search for an adequate excuse. She parallel parked a block away, not willing to risk jamming herself into more traffic. After stepping out of her car, shutting the door, and checking if her efforts to lock the vehicle had done the trick, she raced off in her kitten heels toward the skyscraper that was her workplace.

Georgia had yet to give up on making it to work as early as possible (which she had yet to accept was still plenty late). Suddenly, her heel wedged into a crack in the concrete and snapped clean off, sealing her fate.

It was only a few seconds after this fortunate mishap that she lifted her head up to spot an airplane barreling towards the tower that she had been heading towards. She was frozen now, helpless as the aircraft collided with the building, setting a massive explosion of fire and smoke into motion.

Her briefcase plummeted onto the concrete and its contents floated away towards the chaos before her.

Georgia was still; her first instinct was not to run to her car screaming like the crowd building around her, but to stare thoughtlessly at the machinery that had wedged completely through her office floor. She doesn’t remember when she lowered herself to the concrete but sometime between the loud screams and sirens she woke up again. She found herself clutching her broken heel to her chest, musing about her good fortune.

Is fall television still a big deal?

For decades, television programming has been centered on a big viewing tradition, Fall television.  America’s biggest, oldest, and most watched broadcasting networks such as NBC, ABC, CBS, & FOX pretentiously advertise the upcoming viewing season with endless TV commercials, and ads that appear in other news outlets such as magazines, newspapers, and social media. But this is a tradition that should be done away with in 2015.

Fall TV used to be a big deal. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Fall TV used to be a big deal. Graphic by Katie Gibson

For starters, TV executives often tend to cater to one specific group of viewers. The 18-25 year old demographic. Since the invention of TV, this demographic was who watched the most Television programs; however, times have changed, and the average young American leans more toward online streaming services.

These streaming sites which have caught most people’s attention, such as Netflix, Hulu plus, or Amazon prime, have come in and changed how and when young adults watch television.

Not only boosting cheap monthly prices, but also giving viewers the ability to view at their demand. TV execs should take notice of this drastic change and cater more specifically to an audience of a certain age. Since viewing patterns have changed so should they.

Also, many 18-25 year olds myself included, don’t seem to watch television the way our parents did. So, having a fall primetime schedule is useless.

Of course, there are popular shows from Fall TV that have premiered recently and raked in some of the best ratings cable television has seen in the past few years. For example, shows like Fox’s Empire or ABC’S How to Get Away with Murder, have gained a huge following becoming trending topics on social media site twitter every week once a new episode premieres, even having their own special emoticon each week that relates to the show. But that’s the only good that has come out of TV in recent years. Big networks like those aforementioned should, have their hottest new shows sent directly to online streaming services.

Maybe then they will gain a bigger following and re-captures those sky-high ratings of past decades. Do you agree or disagree with my sentiments? Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section.

I’m basic and I’m proud

As the leaves begin to turn a colorful array of bright shades, the temperature lowers and suddenly everything is pumpkin spice flavored. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and as the internet keeps telling me, this makes me “basic.”

On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, basic girls everywhere are proudly showing off their Starbucks cup of pumpkin spice latte (PSL), their infinity scarves and of course, the famous Han Solo outfit (boots, long-sleeve shirt and a vest). There are tons of memes spewed all around the internet making fun of girls who get uber-excited because it’s finally fall.

I’m one of these girls, and I’m not ashamed of it.

Even SpongeBob is in on the Pumpkin Spice craze
SpongeBob says, “I am basic and I’m proud!” Graphic from Reddit

I won’t lie, I get a PSL almost daily. I have a proud collection of fall-appropriate boots, vests and scarves. I love taking pictures of the fall leaves and filtering them to the point of obviousness.

I love the cold weather and curling up in my organic cotton blanket while watching Netflix. Fall is what I call my “Pinterest season” because I look up fun new ways to layer my fall outfits every single morning before I walk to Starbucks.

I’m not ashamed to be called “basic” because it’s who I am. I’m not going to stop liking things because a bunch of boys on Twitter keep making fun of us girls who indulge in the season’s best characteristics. I’m not going to try to suppress my cravings for all things pumpkin-flavored and I certainly won’t be ashamed when I post pictures of my dog frolicking in the seasons brightly-colored foliage.

The thing about being “basic” that gives me no shame is the fact that if I tried to suppress my enjoyment of all things fall, I’d be called a hipster as well.

“No matter what you do or what you like, there’s always going to be someone who has a criticism.”

For example, I love black clothes. Ninety percent of my fall outfits are made up entirely of black or 50 shades of gray. I even wear black shirts to my workplace, along with black pants and shoes. I like black because it’s flattering to my pale skin, it’s easy to match with anything, and despite the fact that dog hair is completely obvious on black clothing, they rarely look dirty. Because of my affections of all things black and mysterious, my coworkers and friends call me “goth” or even “emo.”

Honestly, I thought when I came to college I had left those days of immature name-calling behind me.

The point I’m trying to make is that no matter what you do or what you like, people are going to try to put you in a box. Don’t mind them, because you know who you are and what you like.

Do what makes you happy and comfortable and forget what anyone else has to say, because their opinions on you don’t matter. People who take the time out of their day to make fun of your affection for PSLs or Han Solo-styled layering are insecure in themselves. They can’t be confident in their interests and hobbies, so they take time to criticize yours. It sounds like dorky mom advice from elementary days when your parents said the bullies are “just jealous,” but it’s the most honest, simple advice you can give yourself.

So lift your PSLs high, my fellow basic ladies. Be proud of what you like. Others see it as conformist, but you’re just doing you.

Everything you need to know about American Horror Story: Hotel

It’s almost that magical time of year again when Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk release yet another long awaited season of “American Horror Story”. If you’re anything like me, you’re a little nervous for this season because it revolves around newcomer, Lady Gaga’s, character rather than Jessica Lange who usually plays a lead role. Never fear, however, because here is what you need to know before the premiere on Wednesday October 7th.

1) Taissa Farmiga will NOT be in this season.

Yes, it’s a huge bummer. I really thought she would come back for this one since it’s been an every other year type deal for her since season one. However, she has other filming commitments so while we will be missing her on the 7th, we will hopefully be seeing her soon in her upcoming projects.

American Horror Story kicks off their fifth season with "Hotel."
American Horror Story kicks off their fifth season with “Hotel.” Graphic from Pop Matters

2) Jessica Lange WILL be in this season.

When Lange, the usual star of the show announced that she would not be returning for season five, our hearts were understandably crushed. However, one of the show’s creators, Ryan Murphy, has confirmed that while Lange will not be playing a huge role, she will make an appearance. At least we can wean ourselves off of her.

3) Darren Criss WILL be in this season.

Darren Criss rose to fame after starring in Ryan Murphy’s hit show “Glee” (although I fell in love with him while watchingA Very Potter Musical” way back before his “Glee” days) and now after some vague Instagram remarks, it is apparent that Criss will be making an appearance on American Horror Story: Hotel.

4) Max Greenfield WILL be in this season.

Yes, Schmidt from “New Girl” is checking into the Hotel. Let’s all pray that he doesn’t die, although knowing Murphy and Falchuk, he probably will.

5) Evan Peters will be playing a serial killer.

Yes, you read that right. Sure, he shot up his high school in season one, but he ended up being a reformed bad boy. In all the other seasons, he played pretty moral characters. This season, we’re going to see a different side to him.

6) The plot may include something about the story of Elisa Lam.

If you don’t remember, Elisa Lam was a 21 year old Canadian tourist, who back in 2013 was staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles when she died. She went missing and was found days later in a water tank on top of the Cecil during an inspection after guests complained about low water pressure and funny tasting water. Bizarre and incredibly creepy security camera footage captured Lam acting very strange in the elevator as she presumably rode up to her death. She appeared to be interacting with an invisible being. The autopsy report showed no drugs in her system, making this video even more disturbing as it could never be explained.

The hotel had been the temporary home of a few serial killers and many people who believe in the supernatural say that one of their spirits killed Lam. Many fans of American Horror Story are expecting the new season to touch on this case ever since Ryan Murphy dropped hints that the show would cover famous Los Angeles hotel deaths from over the years.

7) Ryan Murphy says this may be the most disturbing season yet.

If you’re like me and you hate blood, you might want to sit this one out. Not wanting to miss out on a great season, I just plan on watching this one through my fingers as usual.

If you want a taste of what’s to come, check out the opening credits and this first look, released a few days ago.

Recent changes on Netflix

Whenever fall or any cold, rainy day hits, I binge-watch Netflix. I barely watch TV anymore. Our generation is obsessed with Netflix. The month of September has passed, and with the upcoming month of October, Netflix is making a lot of changes. Here’s where to find out what’s coming and going in Netflix this month.

Maybe you should actually watch Netflix and Chill before your favorite shows leave. Graphic from Know Your Meme
Maybe you should actually watch Netflix and Chill before your favorite shows leave. Graphic from Know Your Meme

Whenever Netflix adds some more movies or TV shows, they always decide to take something out, leaving us with bittersweet feelings. We want the new shows, but we don’t want to lose the old ones. I believe that it’s important for the Netflix industry to do this every so often because they don’t want the audience to get bored of the same content and we always want new movies or TV shows to watch.

Some highlights from this article that the CW network fans should be excited for are additions of many favorites like “iZombie” Season 1, “The Vampire Diaries” Season 6, “Jane the Virgin”, “Arrow” Season 3, as well as the new series, “The Flash” Season 1.

Netflix is definitely better in the fall are because of all the horror movies that are added to its library. Many horror and/or thrilling movies are being added this month including: “Boogie nights”, “Curse of Chucky”, “The Devil at 4 O’clock”, “The Nightmare and even a favorite TV show”, “The American Horror Story: Freak Show”. Unfortunately some movies like “The Nightmare on Elm Street”, “The Devil’s Reject”, and “The Exorcist” are being removed, so viewers might want to watch them before they’re gone.

Along with new content that Netflix brings, unfortunately many are leaving this month. Some others that we are saying goodbye to include: “Ella Enchanted”, “The Braxton Family Values”, “Saturday Night Live” and many more.

But not to worry, because more is coming until October 31st, so we will survive this fall, binge-watching our favorite site, Netflix.

Radford Diaries– a day in the life of someone who survived the flooded campus

Dear Diary,

All of last week, the sky rained down on students. Once I woke up for my 8 am class on Tuesday, I went outside without an umbrella or rain jacket. As soon as I took a step outdoors, I stepped on a deep puddle. I ran back upstairs to my room and grabbed my umbrella and my rain jacket; the necessities that you’ll need to survive this aggressive storm.

Walking to class was everyone’s worst nightmare, the entire campus was a big puddle. I was angry the whole day not understanding why the campus wasn’t closed and that I had to walk to get to class.

It was so surprising that some classes weren’t canceled, because parking lot Z and FF were closed since they were flooded. That was a huge problem for many freshmen or other students who parked there.

In addition, many roads were closed so students or faculty who commute had problems getting to campus or going back home. problems getting to campus or lot zgoing back home.

The basements of Russell and Stuart were flooded. Nobody told me that Radford experiences this kind of weather at orientation, but thankfully I had my rain boots available.

We’re expecting hurricane Joaquin, and I’m hoping that the campus will be closed, and praying we won’t lose power.

Also, next time it storms like this, everyone will be prepared and not walk outside in their sandals and shorts. I saw that happening a lot and I think it’s crazy.

A few good things that came out of this storm are that I stayed in my dorm all night and I finished a lot of my assignments and didn’t procrastinate as much as I normally do, and I have a reason to stay inside and get extra sleep.

Hope everyone stays safe and dry as we overcome this chaotic weather change!

Four Foods You Need To Make This Fall

Pumpkin Croissants

All you need for this tasty and easy treat is 3 ingredients. You will need croissants, pumpkin in a can, and marshmallows. First open the croissants, pull them apart and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Next, open your can of pumpkin and scoop one spoonful on each croissant. Then, open your marshmallows and place one in each croissant on top of the pumpkin. Finally, roll the croissant up and place them in the oven for 10 minutes on 375 degrees. You will have a delicious, and quick, batch of pumpkin croissants.

Get your bake-on this fall! Graphic from Sugar Pie Farm House
Get your bake-on this fall! Graphic from Sugar Pie Farm House

S’mores Dip

For s’mores dip you will only need 3 ingredients as well! Chocolate chips, marshmallows, and graham crackers. Empty the bag of chocolate chips into a skillet and spread them evenly on the bottom. Next, place marshmallows on top of the chocolate chips and make sure they are all covering the chocolate. Place the skillet in the oven for 15 minutes on 350 degrees. Take it out after the time is up and use your graham crackers to dip into the dish! You will have indoor smores in no time!

Pillsbury Ready To Bake Ghost Shape Sugar Cookies

Not everything has to be homemade! These cookies can be found at any local grocery store and are very cheap. They are delicious and will taste homemade, even though you just pulled them apart and put them in the oven to bake! They are festive and taste great!

White Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts

Again, all you will need is 3 ingredients! You will need white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, and strawberries. You will also need wax paper to set your ghosts on. First, heat your white chocolate chips in the microwave and melt them all down to liquid chocolate. Next, set strawberries out spread apart on wax paper. Take your melted white chocolate and pour it over each strawberry. Finally, take the mini chocolate chips and place 2 as eyes for the ghost. Place the strawberry ghosts in the fridge for an hour to let the chocolate set. Take them out and enjoy your cute and yummy white chocolate strawberry ghosts!

Why fall is the best season

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“I love walking on the orangey green leaves and hearing the crunchy sound, filling you with memories of when you used to jump into a pile of leaves as a child.”

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace, as I have seen in one autumn face.” This statement by John Donne is perfectly valid in my world. Autumn (or fall) is the best season, there’s so many reasons to love it! The leaves are changing colors, it symbolizes a new change in your semester here at Radford, the atmosphere is so calm and helpful for days you want to stay inside and read a book and drink coffee. Also holidays are just around the corner.

What I love about autumn is the beauty that it holds, the freshness in the air, the chills after a sip of hot chocolate. I love walking on the orangey-green leaves and hearing the crunchy sound, filling you with memories of when you used to jump into a pile of eaves as a child. Other things I love about fall are comfy sweaters, pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, pumpkin everything, rainy days, new TV shows, football season for the sports fan and the calm before the holidays!

Speaking of holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving are the best in my book. I loved dressing up and going to trick or treating, and we get to go back home and see our pets and family again and finally eat real food after two long months of studying hard, when you find yourself around the table with you family and closest friends. It’s very special not only being with them, you also get to reflect on yourself and show your gratitude towards the things you’ve gained for this year. Other reasons to love fall are that you aren’t sweating like crazy walking to your classes that are so far away from each other, haunted houses, one word: boots, being able to be okay with being lazy and of course winter is coming which means snow and Christmas!

Fall is a new start of endings, wearing scarves and cozy coats, and the sunsets are beautiful, making gingerbread, and pumpkin cookies, and going home for Thanksgiving. There’s absolutely no argument to this. Can anything top that?

The climb

Red leaves fluttered downward, carried by the wind toward the asphalt of Cherry Street. The newly risen sun barely peeked over the mountains surrounding Appleton, its rays not yet strong enough to break up the morning fog that hung like heavy curtains over the ground.

Mrs. Anderson opened her heavy front door slowly, its hinges creaking with effort. Frigid air streamed through the crack between the door and the jamb, making her bones ache from its icy touch. Quickly, she wrapped her flannel robe tightly around her sagging breasts, refusing entrance to the cold gust.

She clutched her cup of coffee with both hands like a talisman as she made the long descent down her driveway toward her mailbox. One step at a time, she told herself. Cold as it was, it wouldn’t do to fall a quarter of the way to the mailbox. None of her lively yuppie neighbors would be awake at this hour, leaving her utterly without help if she should fall.

coffee cup in old hands
Photo By: Danielle Johnson. Photo of: Kristinia Contreras

Pausing for a moment, Mrs. Anderson took a sip from her mug. The currently lukewarm coffee slid down her throat, offering no reprieve from the temperature. She disappointedly poured the last sip, chock full of coffee grounds, onto the grass that bordered her driveway. The break over, she secured her empty mug within a deep pocket of her robe. She continued on her trek, side stepping down the last section of pavement.

The ground beneath her was finally flat. Mrs. Anderson breathed a sigh of white, steamy relief at arriving safely at her mailbox. Her cheeks wrinkled with her smile as she opened the mailbox to retrieve her news.

She opened the newspaper to listen to the headlines before summoning the effort to climb back to the warmth of her living room.

“ARREST MADE IN RAMPTON JEWELRY THIEVERY,” one newscaster screamed from the paper. “A break was made in the case last week when Detect-,” the newscaster was cut off when Mrs. Anderson flipped to the Lifestyle section, uninterested.

“The Top 5 Pie Recipes You Need This Fall,” the perky voice of a female reporter drew Mrs. Anderson’s interest.

Seeing the picture of the spiced pumpkin pie featured, Mrs. Anderson’s wrinkled smiled returned, her eyes growing wet. The recipe was one of her mother’s, from the early 2000s. She felt the heat emanating from the wooden fireplace of her childhood, so different from the false, gentle warmth brought by her current fireplace screen.

Deeply ensconced in another time, Mrs. Anderson didn’t care one bit that her feet were growing numb, toe after toe.

Spring: the underrated cousin of the seasons

Summer and winter are grossly overrated. As much as I love basking in the summer sun and the fun of preparing for Christmas, spring deserves more credit than it gets.

Spring is a magical time of year. Dead grass and trees slowly begin returning to their leafy-green glory and flowers create a brilliant, colorful scene as they peek their heads out of the ground. Many poets have written about the glorious return of life during the spring — but in modern times, spring seems to be the most underrated of the seasons.

Spring is also a wonderful time for self-transformation. As we shed our heavy winter coats and begin to sport sandals and shorts, we can also grasp the opportunity to make changes and grow in our lives. Spring cleaning has become one of my new favorite yearly rituals. I recently felt an enormous amount of stress due to school. I would sit in my room for hours looking at the mess of papers, trash and old clothes I never wear any more. So, I started to clean. I filled a large storage container with things I didn’t need or want anymore, and prepared it to be donated to Goodwill. As I packed those things away and removed them from my room, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

Just as leaves fall off trees in the fall and grow back in the spring, I believe people go through similar seasons. We end the year with New Year’s resolutions, start fresh and grow as people. It’s easy to feel lost at the beginning of a calendar year as you set new goals and prepare to make changes, but in the spring, those changes can be seen and felt as they emerge from within ourselves.

Although I literally shed the weight of extra items in my room, many of the changes spring can bring are intangible. Perhaps you started a new skill and were just losing faith in your abilities- spring is a wonderful time to hone those skills and begin to see results. Maybe it’s just because I grew up in Florida and am inspired more by the sun than the cold of winter, but something about the warmth of spring seems to kick us into gear as we make changes.

There’s a reason many DIY and at-home projects are started in the spring- it’s because everything’s fresh. Just as nature is replenished and things grow, we find ourselves wanting to do the same.

Spring is an exciting time of year. No matter how much you love winter, after the holidays it’s easy to yearn for warm weather again. This year, as the tulips begin to bloom, take time to think about the changes you want to make and start taking steps toward reaching those goals.

My UGGly obsession

UGG boots aren’t the prettiest of footwear. They’re bulky, they kind of make your feet look like elephant feet, and they’re well…UGGly. They’ve gotten a lot of crap, especially in the last couple of years. I remember hearing comments every now and then from hipsters, mostly, about how hideous they were when I was in high school. When I got to college, the hate for UGG boots got a lot more intense.

UGG boots are nowhere near cute, but they’re comfy! If you want to feel like you’re wearing slippers, but still feel slightly adult while going to class, UGG boots are for you. Not only are they comfy, but they’re very warm during the winter. Sheepskin, the material UGG’s are made out of, is a special material that regulates your body temperature. In other words, you could wear them any time of year and they won’t get too hot or too cold.

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“They’re bulky, they kind of make your feet look like elephant feet, and they’re well…UGGly.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

I’ve noticed that through years of wear and tear with my UGGs, they’ve never gotten stinky like my leather boots sometimes do. This is probably because the material UGGs are made out of “breathes” so moisture doesn’t get trapped in them. Granted, if you wear your UGGs in really damp conditions, they will get ruined and start to smell. But I’ve worn mine in 3 feet of snow, and they still look and feel brand new.

UGGs are really expensive, which is one of the big downsides to them. However, if you’re looking to invest in a pair of really comfortable winter boots that will last for years, UGGs are a great investment. I would definitely recommend getting the care kit for UGGs that includes a spray that really waterproofs them. I never bought one, and mine still look barely worn, but if you just want that extra security, go for it.

Of course, PETA has gotten onto UGGs accusing them of animal cruelty. I bought my UGGs before these accusations, so I can sleep at night. But honestly, PETA isn’t the most honest of organizations. In many cases, the videos PETA (and other organizations) uses are from black market slaughter houses where, in many cases, the animals aren’t being used as meat. UGG specifically uses sheepskin from meat processing companies that would otherwise be discarded. One article written by an employee of the meat industry explained that sheepskin has become more expensive due to the popularity of UGGs. Companies are competing to get the sheepskin from meat companies that would just discard it.

Whatever your opinion is of UGGs, whether you think they’re ugly or not, they’re here to stay. I know I’ve never even thought that my UGGs were cute, but they’re comfy and practical and that’s what matters most to me. One of the biggest issues I’ve had in recent years when shopping for clothes is that many times you have to sacrifice practicality for cute clothes, unless you want to pay an arm and a leg. Although my UGGs were expensive, they’ve proven to be durable and trusty, which is more than I can say for a lot of my clothes.

All Things Pumpkin

Everybody sees at least a minimum of 10 “fall” posts on various social media a day. It’s a pumpkin spice latte (PSL), a tree with color-changing leaves, or an Outfit of the Day (OOTD) with riding boots and a scarf. No matter what it is, they seem to be the sure sign that fall has finally arrived. And you know what fall means? Pumpkin EVERYTHING.

Pumpkin candles, lotion, soap, bread, drinks, sauces, snacks, the list goes on and on. Some people might think that others like pumpkin stuff because it’s “in”, because “everybody else loves fall and pumpkin things”. Well, I am here to tell you that may be the case for some people but not all. I have to admit, I’m one of those people who is obsessed with fall, but not for the reasons you may think. Yes I love my pumpkin cupcake candle and wallflower, but I also love the color of the trees changing in the mountains.

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“It’s a pumpkin spice latte (PSL), a tree with color-changing leaves, or an Outfit of the Day (OOTD) with riding boots and a scarf.” Photo By: Danielle Johnson

Growing up, I learned to appreciate fall and quickly it became my very favorite season of all. I’m always in awe of the beauty that comes with fall. Even when you take a step back and think about how fall is really all of these things dying to get ready for winter, even then death is beautiful. The mountains have always been my favorite place and will always be. Driving through seeing the leaves fall, the colors change, and summer come to an end is still exciting to me. I love cooler weather, I love long sleeve shirts and light weight jackets.

For me, my love of pumpkin comes from my love of fall. Pumpkins are symbolic of fall, that’s when they grow and are harvested. You don’t see pumpkins popping up when spring rolls around because that’s not when they are in season. Just as flower buds and blooms show the world spring is here, pumpkins reveal it is time for fall. Although I’m not big on PSL (I’m not a coffee drinker either), I love everything pumpkin.

I love carving pumpkins. Pumpkin pie is my favorite pie. Pumpkin everything seems to remind me of family and happiness. Pumpkins are symbolic of fall but also of many other things; pumpkins lead up to Thanksgiving, which is another reason I love them. Seeing a pumpkin reminds me that there’s always something to be thankful for. They’re reminders that this is just one simple season, not only on a calendar, but also in our lives. There’s always something so simple and comforting about a pumpkin; even though the life span of a pumpkin is very short.

So when you see someone post about their first or second or even 25th PSL, just try to think “maybe pumpkins are important to them”. I know it sounds silly and some do it because it’s a fad. That happens and there will always be those people who do it because it’s trendy. But most people, who have a real love of fall, have a real love of pumpkins.

Events of September: What’s going on at RU

As students begin settling into a routine for the new semester at RU, they’re beginning to find new activities and events to attend that enrich their college experience throughout the fall. This month is no exception, as multiple campus events, and even a new restaurant opening, are competing for the attention of students, giving them more choice than ever. While it’s possible to get through college merely by going to classes and hanging out with an established group of friends, events put on by the McConnell library and R-Space are great ways to broaden your horizons and really make the most out of your college experience. No matter what anyone says about this school, it’s almost impossible to complain about being bored.

On September 22nd, McConnell library will be hosting a “Living Library” event. This will see multiple people from all walks of life having conversations in which they tell stories gained throughout their lives to interested students. These people are being described as “living books”, and the event is intended to “challenge prejudices, encourage understanding, and promote mutual respect”.

Come to the Living Library! Graphic from RU Living Library Facebook event
Come to the Living Library! Graphic from RU Living Library Facebook event

This event promises to broaden the perspective of students and introduce them to lives and stories that they wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise. When you apply to go to college, you’re expressing interest in a period of learning as much as you possibly can, and an event like this is a perfect opportunity to learn practical information and viewpoints outside the confines of a classroom.

September 21st will see the opening of a new restaurant on Main Street. El Lucero Tienda will be the town’s second Mexican restaurant, going up against the already established Diamonte’s in the fight for the wallets of students looking for good food. According to the owners, the new establishment will serve as both a restaurant and a bar, something they’re very excited about. The hiring process has led to them picking up a cook that they have a lot of faith in, excitedly exclaiming “She can cook!” when asked about the food. For students who are starting to get tired of the same food that the meal plan offers, El Lucero Tienda could be a welcome breath of fresh air.

More regular events, such as intramural sports and the rock wall in Preston, are also great ways to branch out during your time at RU. No matter what you choose in the coming month, we implore you to go out and experience something new. Continue to check back with Whim as we periodically inform you of new and exciting events that will be taking place on campus.

Family: You gotta love them

Once a year, families gather to share a meal and talk about what’s new in their lives. They discuss their trials and tribulations and give thanks that they’re together this year. This sounds great, but most college students know that this aspect of the holiday inevitably leads to uncomfortable questions from relatives. Continue reading Family: You gotta love them