And Then I Got Spooned By a Ghost

Nine years ago today, I crossed something off my bucket list. As a lifelong Stephen King fan, I have always wanted to stay at the hotel that inspired The Shining. Not just that, though. As a giant lover of all things paranormal, I have a bucket list goal of staying in as many haunted hotels as I can, so when I found a Groupon to stay at the Stanley Hotel, I jumped on it. Two goals for the price of one? How could I possibly pass that up?

This was pre-Jeff, so I packed my things, rented an SUV, and headed west with my trusted travel companion, my little brother Allen. We were two dorks on the road, and we were ready for adventure. We spent a night in Boulder, but that was a teaser. In addition to staying at the hotel, we had purchased tickets for their ghost tour. One way or another, we were going to be scared.

We arrived at the hotel and checked in. When they told me the room number, I nearly died. We were staying in 218. Wait a minute, I thought, the haunted room is 217. We were going to be next door to ghosts! Turns out, their room number system doesn’t work that way. We were on the other side of the hotel, but for a second, it was nice to dream.

Not long after we arrived, Allen and I headed to the basement for our tour. We got lucky. Our tour guide knew her stuff, and she loved telling us all the various ghostly legends tied to the hotel.

One of the first things she mentioned was that guests would sometimes smell the perfume of Mrs. Stanley, the wife of the man who built the hotel. Of course, I have to be clear that she never mentioned what type of perfume Mrs. Stanley wore. It was interesting that the tour guide mentioned that, because a while later, as we were standing outside of room 217 listening to the story of how Stephen King came up with the idea for The Shining, the odor of roses descended upon us. How interesting, I thought. While I was thinking it could be a haunting, I wanted to be sure to approach the situation from a rational point of view. I didn’t say a word to anyone, but I moved over by the stairwell as our tour group prepared to move upstairs to our next haunted spot. As the members of the group passed me, I paid attention to the smells of their perfumes and colognes to see if anyone wore a rose-scented perfume, but no one did.

Definitely interesting.

I didn’t say a word about it until the end of the tour. At that point, I said I smelled perfume and had a guess of what type of perfume Mrs. Stanley wore. She asked me what the smell was, and when I said roses, she grinned. At that point, Allen and a few other members of the crowd mentioned that they smelled rose perfume as well.

Spooky? Not really. Cool? Definitely.

The rest of the evening was fun. We met up with my friend Shao and her brother and tried some BrewDog beer. It was great and memorable, even all these years later.

Of course, at one point, the evening came to a close, and Allen and I returned to our room. This is when things get spooky. I was lying in bed with my back turned to the outside of the bed when I felt someone spoon against me. I knew it wasn’t Allen (we’re not those kind of siblings, thank you), mainly because there was no bed behind me. I was lying on the edge of the bed. Whatever spooned me was floating in midair.

As soon as I felt it, I whisper-shouted, “ALLEN! Something spooned me!”

Saying the words broke the spell, and whatever wrapped itself around me disappeared. Thank god.

What does getting spooned by a ghost feel like? Well, like getting spooned by a human…just a little more spectral. It was weird, that’s for darn sure.

I wish I could say that, that’s all that happened, but soon after, Allen called out, “Mindy! Something tucked me in!”

At least the ghosts were friendly.

Did I Learn Anything in 2012??

While 2012 started out on the sucktacular side, it ended up pretty spiffilicious. Seriously, I went from being horribly depressed to having wacky dating adventures, finishing a novel, meeting HBJ (the hottest guy I know!) and just having some darn good fun in the process. In all, I’d count the year as a success just based on those things alone, but as I like to reflect upon the previous year’s hilarity, I figured I’d give you a look at what all I learned over the past 12 months. So sit back, relax, loosen your belt and prepare to laugh.

  • I am more than a bit obsessed with Funko dolls, amassing a collection that includes Freddie Krueger, Michael Meyers, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, Beetlejuice, Sally, Jack Skellington, the Mayor, Edward Scissorhands, two Captain Americas and Edna Mode. They are amazingtastic.
  • My cat has now taken to guarding my pajamas from ebil.
  • Battlestar Galactica is the bomb-diggity, yo.
  • Krampus is as Krampus does.
  • Apple’s “will fit your ears” earbuds do not fit my ears.
  • Batman has satisfied me.
  • I heart Tarder Sauce, aka Grumpy Cat.
  • Ermagerd, Gersberms.
  • Adam Scott is still hot.
  • Nic Cage is the greatest actor in the history of ever.
  • Adding cherry vanilla flavoring to NyQuil only means it tastes like cherry vanilla-flavored devil juice.
  • You can actually have hot chocolate that does not taste like hot chocolate.
  • Even at the age of 33, it is still possible for me to fall out of bed.
  • Chocolate soda is nowhere near as awesome as it sounds.
  • I have a crush on Neil Degrasse Tyson.
  • It’s Obama’s fault that I miss Suzie and no longer live in Texas.
  • If Oprah described War Horse: YOU get a death scene! And YOU get a death scene! YOU get a death scene! EVERYBODY GETS DEATH SCENES!!!
  • Little baby people don’t have sideburns. They have to grow them when they’re older. But if your little baby already has sideburns, that’s awesome. Don’t be concerned.
  • Also, two beavers are better than one. They’re twice the fun. Ask anyone.
  • It’s good to be a geek.
  • My new apartment is haunted by a polite ghost who writes hello in the mirror, knocks on the door and folds socks.
  • I English good.
  • The idea of playing defense in softball is to catch the ball with your glove. Not with your mouth. Not with your bare hand.
  • Just because you’re 33 doesn’t mean you can’t have a Captain America-themed birthday party.
  • Teddy Roosevelt is a BAMF.
  • While lemon in your Coke is delicious, drinking Coke right after eating a lemon granola bar leaves you feeling as though you drank dish soap.
  • You can burn your eye with shrimp if your Japanese steakhouse chef has bad aim.
  • Rainbows taste like bacon.
  • I can blame Spiderman for all my problems.
  • I apparently dated a pirate.
  • Harry Potter Puppet Pals are even more amazing live.
  • All you need is love and a cat.
  • Zombie burgers are soooooooo good!
  • I cannot listen to the beginning of “Somebody that I Used to Know” without singing my ABCs.
  • The greatest meme in the history of memes is Thor learning to text.
  • Do not, under any circumstance, make Oprah angry.
  • I’m about as big of a Tommy Lee Jones fan as you can get, but there is not enough fandom in the world to get me to see a movie about him and Meryl Streep trying to have sex. Ever.
  • Squats are a tool of the devil.
  • Mrs. Captain America does have a nice ring to it.
  • I have witnessed with my own eyes that it is possible to eat a bowl of cereal while driving.
  • My dentist is the devil.
  • Ten years later, Suzie and I can still tear up the River Walk. And it’s still Cleavage Friday.
  • I can touch my nose!

Honestly, I learned so many awesome things. This is really just scratching the surface, but man was it fun. And so, I leave you now with what’s pushing me to learn some more awesome things in 2013. Enjoy!