In just a few weeks 2007 will come to an end and I just can't wait to kiss it goodbye. It doesn't really deserve a kiss; maybe I'll just flip it off instead. Or maybe I'll stab it, bury it, and dance on its grave. The important thing is, it'll be over, never to return. I know 2008 will be a vast improvement over 2007, and I'm looking forward to it with almost a sense of desperation.
El Gato Gordo got sick two weeks ago and had to have surgery for bladder stones. The dry prescription diet he's been on the last few years has evidently not done its job. My vet and I have changed his diet to primarily canned food (prescription) and I'm hoping for a more successful outcome than his dry diet provided. It may also be better for weight control. (God knows he needs that!) He seems to be feeling really good now; he's much more playful than he was before.
Last Friday morning I got into my car to go to work and the car refused to move forward or backward. Why? Because it was sitting on four flat tires. There were small slices the size of a knife-tip visible in each sidewall. A roving band (or perhaps just a duo) of morons was out that night, merrily slicing its way through the neighborhood. I presume it was not an individual; that sort of thing is probably much more entertaining when one has an audience. They got one tire on a car across the street and at least four cars around the corner. It's yet another reason I want to flush 2007 and (almost) everyone in it down the cosmic commode.
The good news is that now everyone here is healthy. Spiffy and Dimitri just shared a brief kiss and all is well with the world. 2008 will be fabulous. It will. You'll see.
Random Thoughts and Other Stuff
I'm still dealing with the loss of my dad, a man who expected to live forever, and who fell woefully short of his goal. It's strange not being able to talk to him or e-mail him. I have some voice mail messages from him on my cell phone and I will never be able to delete them. I listen to them from time to time, and I can hear his physical decline with each message. I can't believe I'll never hear his voice again. It's been over two and a half years since my mother died and now I can't remember what her voice sounded like. There's no way I'll ever be able to delete my dad's messages, so I guess I'm stuck with Verizon for life. I'll definitely have to pay those bills on time.
Despite the recent loss, life goes on. I adopted my dad's cat Dimitri, and he's even larger than Pink was. Hard to believe, I know, but Dimitri is about twenty pounds of solid cat-fat. His physique is testament to my dad's cluelessness about people of the feline persuasion. Dimi is a nice boy and he's already made friends with my dog Rusty (The Chainsaw.) My girl-kitty Linnie loathes him and Spiffy (Dawg of the Dead) only wants to chase him. Nevertheless, Dimitri has settled in and he's doing well.
Zombiefest is coming up in a few weeks and the organizers are putting together a tribute to my dad. They have also invited The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania to set up a booth there to take donations and begin adoption proceedings for rescued animals. Sandy, Rich and the entire The It's Alive Show cast and crew are generous, caring people. Zombiefest will be held October 27 & 28 at the Pittsburgh Expomart (which is not really in Pittsburgh, but rather in Monroeville at the infamous Dawn of the Dead mall). In addition to the traditional convention stuff (signings, vendors, etc.), they are planning a Zombie Ball and another record-breaking Zombie Walk at the mall! All the best Dead people will be there. Even Dawg of the Dead will be there on Sunday, hawking her SpiffyCards. Fifty percent of all SpiffyCards proceeds that weekend will be donated to the ARL. For you zombie-haters (GASP!) out there, Max Brooks himself will be in attendance, no doubt giving tips on surviving the zombie plague. Yeah, like that's possible.
I have one more thing I want to say before I sign off tonight, and that is "thank you" to all the people who have left condolences on my blog, my MySpace page and in my dad's guest book on the P-G website. It is heartwarming to see how many people loved my dad. Thanks for your kindness and expressions of sympathy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Horror fans are the nicest people in the world.
My dad, Karl Hardman Schon, a.k.a. Night of the Living Dead's Harry Cooper, succumbed to pancreatic cancer just after midnight on September 22. He was exactly 80-1/2 years old.
He spent most of his last summer undergoing tests to determine why he was losing weight, but the cancer wasn't discovered until the end of August. At that point the cancer had advanced beyond surgery or treatment. The prognosis for pancreatic cancer isn't good under the best of circumstances, but I'm sad and angry that he had to spend his last precious days and energy being constantly poked, prodded and misdiagnosed. He deserved better.
My dad was a great guy -- always the life of the party -- and it's the good times that I will ultimately remember. He was smart, funny, talented and a lot of fun to be around. I loved spending time with him and I will miss him more than I can say. He enjoyed attending conventions and mingling with fans. It really tickled him that Night of the Living Dead was still so popular and he really loved it when fans would tell him how much they hated Harry Cooper. (He was nothing like old Harry in real life, thank God, yet he agreed that the cellar was the safest place.)
Oddly, the IMDB had, for years, erroneously listed my dad's birthday as September 22, 1922. I tried several times to correct it, to no avail. His actual birthday was March 22, 1927. I discovered last week that they finally corrected the date. It seems eerie now that his date of death would turn out to be September 22. My dad would appreciate the "coincidence" -- if, indeed, there is such a thing.
There will be no public memorial service, but anyone wishing to do so may send donations to The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania, an organization that was near and dear to my dad's heart.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also has a Guest Book where comments may be left.
I'm back ... again!
It's been a long time since I've been able to post a blog or update my site, but as of late last week, I'm back! This time it's for good. I am finally the master of my domain(s). GhoulNextDoor.com and SpiffyCards.com are finally under my complete control so there should be no more outages and lags between updates. Total world domination is at my fingertips. ;)
Stay tuned for more substantive posts; right now I'm going outside to make the most of my Memorial Day weekend.
Oops, I almost forgot!
Tuesday, October 24 at 8PM, The History Channel will be airing Fear Files, a documentary about Zombies in Voodoo and in popular culture. The program will include interviews with Sid Haig, Rob Zombie, Joe Knetter, Sharon Ceccatti, Clayton Hill and me (along with many others). Check your local listings.
Conventions and Sick Cats
I want to apologize for my lack of attention to updates and e-mails on GhoulNextDoor.com and messages on MySpace. I'm not intentionally ignoring anyone -- I just haven't had any time to sit down and read and reply. Rest assured that I will, but it may be a little while.
In the last month, I've attended three great conventions and met oodles of really cool people. Fans of the horror genre are definitely the best people on the planet! I hope to find some time this weekend to post some photos from Crypticon, Cinema Wasteland, and Rock and Shock. I have several beautiful new tattoos to post, as well.
I was pretty well caught up with messages and mail after Wasteland, and then one of my cats (Pink) went into chronic renal failure (along with a heart murmur to further complicate matters). After five days in the hospital, he's back home with me and being treated with meds at various times of the day, a special diet (which he hates) and lots of love (which he tolerates). As a result, I haven't been logging too much time on the computer. Spiffy (Dawg of the Dead), Rusty (The Chainsaw) and my other kitty Linnie are royally pissed off that Pink is receiving so much attention, but they'll get over it. He's in pretty dire straits at this moment and I'm trying to get him to eat and drink to regain his strength. He despises the kidney diet that's being forced on him, and the phosphorus binder I have to give him is making him constipated (I suppose this falls into the category of too much information), making him want to eat even less, so I'm giving him canned pumpkin to alleviate that problem. It's a vicious cycle. If anyone has been down the FCRF road, and has any tips, let me know. If you're the praying kind, please mention Pink in your prayers. If not, just send some good thoughts his way. He needs all the help he can get.
It's Alive! (again)
Pittsburgh's first-ever Zombie Walk will commence Friday, September 22 at 7:30PM at The Town Tavern on the South Side. At 8:00PM or thereabouts, zombies will begin shuffling, staggering and shlepping to The Rex Theater (about four blocks) for a night of fun and BRAINZZZ! The festivities will include music by DEATHMOBILE and The Forbidden Five, comedy by Stiffy the Dead Clown (don't worry, kids -- dead clowns aren't nearly as creepy as live ones), and a classic zombie movie! I wonder which one it will be.
The Zombie Walk is being organized by none other than Pittsburgh's hottest horror hosts Professor Emcee Square, Pointy, Fritz and Stiffy, of The It's Alive Show. Dress up, come out and show some love for ZOMBIES and for It's Alive!
(Click the banner for more info.)