Sunday Lowdown #192 🎃


Now I know 100% it is fall because I put a bunch of laundry on the clothes line, including our comforter, and when we brought everything inside, stink bugs, looking for places to hide from the weather that had crawled in our blanket, scattered all over the bed. It was chaos, just me yelling, “GET A TISSUE” and Nick freezing, but eventually getting a move on. Then, my trying to catch half a dozen crawling things with one tissue. I’d grab one and drop another. They were also found in the socks and pajamas, but facing one at a time makes it feel less like something out of a B-movie. So, my first-ever Clothes Line Summer has come to an end.

Biscuit Book Club has gone spooky, but just for one book. We’re reading I Am Legend & Other Stories by Richard Matheson. Published in 1954, the titular novella inspired three films. Truly, it is a creepy work. Are the creatures vampires? Zombies? Infected? I’m getting some Holocaust vibes, but that may be because I’m looking for them.

I started my new Horror Movie Log and have been adding the date, movie name, year released, and a couple of thoughts. This was inspired by folks like Laila @ Big Reading Life, who has kept a book diary for ages. My friend Morgan said she wanted to know what I’m watching, so here’s my spooky list:

  • Oct. 1: My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022). American film, good casting, music perfectly emphasizes the meaning, funny.
  • Oct 4: The Reef (2010). Australian film, good special effects, dreary ending, odd pacing (feels both too fast and super slow).
  • Oct. 7: [REC] (2007). Spanish film, couldn’t figure out why cameraman never stopped filming, science stuff confusing, totally ruined because I saw Quarantine, the 2008 American version, first.
  • Oct 8. Housebound (2014). New Zealand film, saw it before, which ruins the spookiness, but a funny/bloody movie, like most Kiwi horror.


My review of How To Survive Your Murder by Danielle Valentine sparked small conversations about elements of the novel, including its YA classification, if other novels have characters obsessed with the genre of the story they’re in, names of characters, and how sometimes people like horror as a teen and grow out of. That’s one to ponder…


We’re switching from slashers to demonic possession. Except, what if the demon shows up in a Midwest suburb, where folks are concerned about things like bringing dip to a block party or planning a school fair? That’s what you get in Suburban Hell by Maureen Kilmer. Check out this horror novel elevated with some “ope” comedy on Wednesday. (“Ope” is a thing Midwestern people say; it is used in a multitude of scenarios).


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 195
Owned Books on TBR Today: 196 — A couple of books I pre-ordered months ago came this week.

No new books on the TBR.


  1. Oh, I am Legend, good book!

    “Ope” comedy, I love it! I say ope all the time. Tell me though, are there any Ole and Lena jokes or is that just a Minnesota thing?

    Wow, I am so glad I don’t get bugs crawling into my clothesline laundry for shelter! Though the scene you describe had me laughing, so thanks for that! You can continue to use the clothesline in winter. I put my sheets and towels out and they freeze dry. It’s a real thing! Though I admit hanging out wet laundry in a winter coat while wearing mittens presents some interesting challenges but also, it’s like a stupid party game at the same time 😀


    • I don’t know any Ole and Lena jokes, but I say “ope” when I run into an inanimate thing, when I do the wrong thing, when it’s time to leave, etc.

      I think I might be done with the clothes line. The clothes dry and then get wet again really fast if I’m not putting stuff out right around noon because there’s so much dew, and the bugs are truly in full force. Also, the birds have taken a liking to shitting on things, too.


  2. I had to Google stink bugs because I didn’t know what they were, and yikes, I don’t think I would enjoy having half a dozen of them suddenly emerging from my clean laundry! Apparently they were discovered in the UK for the first time last year and there’s concern that they’ll become an invasive species, so this might be a problem I have to face in a year or two.


    • If it makes you feel better, they don’t do anything. They don’t bite or pinch, they don’t try to invade your body like tick or anything. They’re just ubiquitous. One time I printed a paper and there had been a stink bug in there, so it left a big streak down my paper. One time I found one in my underwear drawer, and I’ve been on a vendetta ever since. But, you can simply pick them up and throw them out. I don’t even believe they really, truly stink.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad that you had a clothes-line summer. May you have many more! Question is will you be able to pick the time to stop just before the stink bugs arrive? To be honest, that sounded like a horror film all in itself.

    I have been listing all the films I’ve seen. I’m back to 2005. I write them on a wall calendar and decided recently to create a spreadsheet for them. Amazing how many I can’t recollect at all – but, there’s always Google!


    • My problem is I will see an amazing film and then remember so much about it — EXCEPT THE TITLE. And though that film is unique, it can be weirdly hard to Google. So irritating. I think the minute it gets cold out, and starts getting a bit fall, they want inside. Some days it’s still really hot here, but in general, if night is cold, stink bugs want in. You’ll see them on the screen, and it’s like, “Why do you want in?? It’s hotter outside than inside right now!” Oh yeah, frigid nights.


      • I understand completely Melanie.

        Oops, I just see autocorrect thought I was writing “lime” not “line” n the comment you are responding to – harrumph. But I don’t blame the stinkbugs. Sensible critters!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wait…are stink bugs on laundry a thing??? Because I’ve been finding them in my clean laundry lately too. Only one or two so nothing dramatic like you but I’ve never had them inside like this before and now it occurs to me that it’s because it’s normally too wet to hang laundry outside in October.

    I Am Legend was one of the first movies Peter and I saw together in theatres and then we both read the book and had a lot of conversations about what it all really meant!


    • Basically, if it’s getting cold at night, the stink bugs want in. So, you hang your laundry with all its wonderful folds, and in they go to hang out. I grabbed a pair of undies out of my drawer yesterday, and one came falling out. THAT is the stuff of nightmares for me — missing the stink bug and putting the undies on. I’m sure climate change has something to do with it. The laundry stays out longer, the bugs reproduce for an extended season, etc.

      I’m curious what led you to see a horror movie AND read the book. The book can be really creepy, and the desire to sexually assault women comes up too many times for me. Do you remember what you and Peter talked about?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You made me curious about the stink bugs so I looked it up and…they are an invasive species and a particular problem this year. That’s why I’ve never noticed them so much before. (I think they are an invasive species in all of North America, actually.) Apparently our provincial government has a pamphlet about how to get rid of them.

        Re: I Am Legend. I don’t know if this was the case in lots of places but around that time zombies were hugely popular at my university. Your survival plan for the zombie apocalypse was not a weird topic of conversation amongst my social group! So the movie kind of fit in with all of that. And I’m sure it played at this local theatre where you could watch 2 movies back-to-back for $5 because that’s where we watched all our movies. Then Peter read the book and was surprised by how different it was so I read it too. Mostly I remember talking about the ending in the book and the idea of what made someone a monster and when that shifts for the character.


        • Biscuit and I have the book that has more short stories after I Am Legend. We’re starting to notice that the author tends to write men who feel predatory, but then he also writes women who are perfectly aware that these men aren’t safe and try to keep themselves safe. I wonder if he’s actually highlighting predatory men who man initially seem like heroes as a warning. There’s also loads more that feels inspired by WWII the more you read.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I probably use “ope” one million times per day. I only in the last few years learned that it was a Midwestern thing.
    I just finished Elvira’s autobiography last night. What an interesting life! Now I’ll have to look into something spooky if I can squeeze it in. Life = chaos.
    That stink bug nightmare is something else. I might have forced Rob to throw out the whole bed and start over again. 😛
    You might have won America’s Funniest Home Videos if you had recorded it though. 😉


    • I learned “ope” is a Midwestern thing so painfully recently, but actually I was relieved. I realized I’m part of a culture, whereas before I often felt culturally adrift. Many people in my family are adopted, so we’re not sure where we come from, etc.

      The more I deal with them, the more I panic twitch when one touches me. I remember probably 8 years ago one of my students sitting in utter fear until I asked what was up. There was a stink bug on the wall near her, and I went over, picked it up, and shooed it out the window. Now, I react more like a corpse on puppet strings.


      • My birth mother was adopted. I know through my half-brother that I met a few years ago that she found her birth parents who were still in Michigan. Plus, I’ve done some research on and my family has been in the Midwest for forever.

        Bugs don’t particularly freak me out unless it’s an especially nasty little bugger. Rob however has a thing about spiders and beetles, so I’m frequently requested to kill things. Which I let outside and then he’s mad at me because he thinks they’ll just come back in. 😛


    • Yes! I am totally in love with my clothes line. It gets really windy at our house because there is the big open field, and then trees around that, which basically creates a wind tunnel. I also learned that we (at least in the U.S.) use WAY too much laundry detergent, hence the crusty feeling to line-dried clothes. In fact, too much detergent slowly ruins your washer, too.


    • Yeah, I get pretty herky jerky when I’ve been dealing with them for too long, but I do remember that they don’t bite. Or, I try to. You poor son! I’m sure they’re everywhere.

      Yep! I’m still at the journal! Maybe I should tape movie tickets in it, too, just for funsies.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Suburban Hell sounds a bit like the lady’s book club by Grady Hendrix (or the title was something similar, can’t remember now)

    The stinkbug thing sounds pretty gross, but also really shocking – like how did these bugs cling to the stuff when it was on the line? That’s so weird.


    • I’ve read a couple of Grady Hendrix books, and they’re all female protagonists, so I’m not surprised Suburban Hell made you think of him. Anne, I hope you get to my review soon because I seriously think you would enjoy it.

      And oh, their little feeties are quite wily.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, those pesky pre-orders! Sorry about the bugs. Here it’s the end of drying on the line because the sun doesn’t get high enough any more that the garden isn’t shaded by our tall house!


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