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Christina’s Corner: September 29, 2023

After Tropical Storm Ophelia whipped through the East Coast last weekend, it’s been one soupy mess outside here in New Jersey. But the temperature has dropped, to my surprise enjoyment. (I’m a true summer fan at heart.) I’ve gotten away with having my air conditioning units off and with wearing my favorite clothing combination: shorts and a sweatshirt. In a true effort to lean into fall, I even lit a fall-scented candle and pulled out my sweatshirt. Creature comforts, at their finest.

For some more comfort with a touch of nostalgia, read on for my weekend suggestions.

Eat: A friend of mine is visiting Prague, which is one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been. In addition to their incredible museums and history, my friends and I ate like royalty there. One of our favorites? Smažený Sýr, which is essentially like a big mozzarella stick. We had it served on a bun with tartar sauce, much like a burger, but it was oh so much better. If you’re up for a little comfort food, this recipe definitely meets the requirements.

See: This is a time-sensitive suggestion, and if you want to see it, it’s gotta happen this weekend.* In honor of Spooky Season being right around the corner, I’ve been watching and reading fall-adjacent or creepy things. Every once in a while I return to the oft-forgotten and dusty world of the Netflix “My List.” I returned hoping to find something appropriate to pick, and I was not disappointed by Nickelodeon’s 2019 Reboot of the 90s classic “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” I remember being simultaneously enamored by and terrified of the theme song as a kid, with the squeaky swing moving on its own or laughter belonging to no one in an attic, all over the sound of a beating heart.

The 2 episode reboot on Netflix follows the introduction of a new member into the Midnight Society and her story for approval. It contained the same dramatic lighting and creepy carnival atmosphere I vaguely remember from a previous episode. I was honestly impressed by the writing and direction – which is not a surprise, because it won a Children’s Episodic, Long Form and Specials award from the Writers Guild of America and was nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs with the Director’s Guild of America. Simply put, this isn’t just kid stuff. You’ll feel nostalgic, and feel vaguely eerie as well.

*If you don’t get a chance to watch this after it disappears from Netflix on October 2, it looks like it can be watched on Amazon Prime or purchased in other locations. But I can’t promise that, so Netflix and its deadline are likely your best bet.

Do: Buy yourself a neck, foot, or eye massager. I’m going to go ahead and say that you owe it to yourself. Here’s what I believe: life is hard, and life post-cancer diagnosis is even harder. There are few things that make it actually easier. If you have to be stuck on hold seemingly forever with, oh, I don’t know, the Social Security Administration (this may or may not be taken from my real life), you may as well be getting a foot or neck massage at the same time. The eye massager is awesome because it forces you to stop what you’re doing and relax. You cannot text, you cannot read, you cannot check your email. You could listen to something, but that’s about it. Trust me.

Wishing you a cheesy, spooky, at-home massage weekend,