My Top Five Favorite #Horror #Films Of All Time

For my film selections, this is my criteria:

Does the movie startle you, make you anxious, get your heart pumping or just plain gross you out?


The Shining—Easily Stanley Kubrick’s greatest achievement, in my opinion. This film has a crazy concept. A husband and father is going to kill his son and wife. It’s so mysteriously atmospheric, that it creates a disturbing feeling, because it’s so unnatural, and you never know what could be hidden around each corner.But for me anyway, what’s most frightening about The Shining is the fact that I don’t know why I’m so terrified while watching it. I just am.

Halloween by John Carpenter—The synthesized music with piano and keyboards creates tension. The camera moves from 1st person (as the killer) and 3rd person (as the unsuspecting victim) quite often. The atmosphere is very Midwestern with leaves falling and taking place on Halloween, makes it a perfect and nostalgic horror film about stalking babysitters. John Carpenter wanted to make a great movie and that’s what he did. Unknowingly, he created the blueprint for modern day slasher films.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)—Tobe Hooper is easily known for Poltergeist from the early 80s but in this film he just went raw and gruesome. There’s just something creepy about a bunch of kids in a van ending up in the middle of nowhere in this town full of strange people and falling into a trap of a group of insane wackos, including the famous leather face, living in this old disturbing house who eventually kill almost everyone. The kills are amazing (using weapons like sledgehammers, meat hooks and of course a chainsaw) and the fact that it takes place in scenes like a home made butcher shop and a room with bones, feathers and a chicken in a cage just makes it all the more creepy.

A Nightmare On Elm Street—I first saw this when I was about 9 years old and I just loved it. The boiler room scenes, dragging the dead body through the high school hallways and a girl being attacked by the invisible killer all around the walls and ceiling in her bedroom was just astonishing. Honestly its about the way certain locations are filmed like a bathtub scene or a jailhouse one that causes shock and frustration for the viewer because only you (the audience) and the kids in the film know what’s going on. The adults disbelieve their stories because they’re covering up the truth. Another cool factor, the killer has a burnt face and knives for fingers on a glove. Visually its quite stunning. Wes Craven made his directorial mark with this one.

An American Werewolf In London—The opening sequence at the bar and the two backpackers walking down the foggy road late at night create fear and tension until that shocking attack happens.The remainder of the film, while there are plenty of comedic moments involving dead people who talk to the main character, involves our protagonist gradually becoming the antagonist and then closes with a major scene with a werewolf roaming the streets of London terrorizing everyone. I haven’t seen another werewolf film this entertaining, fun and scary. Way to go John Landis (director).

Amazing Bed & Breakfast #Galena #history #guesthouse


Abe’s is a former city brewery in Galena. Located 10 minutes away from the Mississippi River. The “Albert” is the site of the former ice house for the brewery and the bathroom is a kind of cavern or grotto that extends into the limestone hillside that was part of the original icehouse.


The owner-artist created tiles of different dog breeds around the fireplace. They can be purchased at the gallery next door.


The bed in the Albert is a work of art!

The suite is spacious, warm and inviting filled with exceptional details everywhere I look. Their Saint Bernard “Albert” stands guard over the entrance to the shower. Black painted twin heads.

Cute kitchen for storing leftovers from the nearby Fried Green Tomatoes restaurant. In the freezer there were fresh coffee beans from a local coffee shop. There was even a grinder on the counter.

Sandy served a fabulous breakfast that’s “to-die-for!” French toast, sausage from Piggly Wiggly, fresh fruit, coffee and orange juice. Great conversations. We felt so welcomed into her home.


Now here’s a little poem I wrote:

Grinded up some coffee beans this morning

fresh from the freezer

poured a fresh cup

listening to the Beatles


In the background

It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life for me

feeling good


Smiles drip from the face

sitting by the fireplace

potbelly stove

black iron


Ceramic tiles of dog faces

on the wall

metallic leaves dangle from the ceiling

master bed has a firm mattress four feet above the ground


It’s a work of art

naked statues surround it

let’s come together right now

wanna go for a walk?


(all photos of the bed & breakfast taken by Denielle Noe)




My Peace Train

I’m sitting in a Metra train right now. The upper level gives me peace and solitude. Whenever I head out to downtown Chicago, I refuse to drive. Stress is kept at a minimum on work related journeys.

My head rests against a vinyl cushion. Feet are stretched out on a fold out seat beside me. Trees glide by the window. King Crimson plays in my ears on my iPhone, which I am holding now while typing this blog post.

Robert Fripp is an intense guitar player.

Anyways, it’s a rainy day. A sleepy day. Today’s change of pace from a regular day at work is nice. I don’t mind the errands I must run for the accounting department. They buy me lunch too!

Alone to think. It feels like recharging before I return to the office. Breath. Pause. Breath again.



She’s Crafty

What you are looking at is some really talented clay art that my oldest niece, Amanda, made recently. I am especially proud of her crafts. She and her sisters love the new game out there called minecraft. Personally, it’s not for me. But what I have gathered is that it is the LEGOS for our new generation of virtual, iPhone and computer using kids nowadays. Everything is techno. It’s basically a sandbox without getting dirty. It inspires creativity and a way to feel proud of something you can build or invent for others to check out and enjoy. What else can I say? Whether I like a game or not….I can appreciate the idea and ways to escape the burdens of school, stress and to simply have fun!