Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Lulu will never be able to sleep after reading this book.

This Halloween, I’m not passing out candy.** I’m passing out books. (This is not the noble gesture it might seem. Last year, we had zero visitors for Halloween.)

I’ll be participating in All Hallows Read, a grand Halloween tradition which, according to their website, dates all the way back to this blog post. In a nutshell, the great Neil Gaiman proposes that during the week of Halloween, or on Halloween night itself, you give someone a scary book.

You already may be an unwitting participant. If you found a copy of a scary book lying around town this past Tuesday, just waiting for a stranger to pick it up and begin reading it, chances are it was left as part of the All Hallows Read Book Drop. (Of course, it also could simply be a cursed book left for you by a creature of the night hoping you will unleash evil upon the world, but I digress…)

It’s not too late to participate. Just think, you’ll help fight tooth decay, the shadowy yet powerful sugar lobby, and illiteracy all in one fell swoop.

Any scary book will do – in the wrong hands, a book on do-it-at-home dentistry or 1970’s fashion might scare the daylights out of someone. But if you’re stuck, here are my suggestions:

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (a plug for the man who invented this haunting new tradition, and a fantastic read to boot)
  • R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps series (for the younger set)
  • The Pit and the Pendulum (and other short stories by Edgar Allan Poe)
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker (another oldie but goodie)
  • Pet Sematary by Stephen King (any number of Stephen King books will do)
  • The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (a terrific series of graphic novels which are the source material for the AMC television show)

What scary book will you be giving this All Hallows Read?

**I will, however, be eating candy.


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Winter is Coming –George R. R. Martin

Winter Is Coming

In the Seven Kingdoms this means it is time to reinforce the Black Watch — tough times are ahead. In New England this means time to get the long underwear and boots out of storage — tough times are ahead.

Last night we had our first snow, a dusting really.

A first snow does not a winter make. A first snow is a reminder. Reminder: I abhor/loathe/despise being cold! Staying warm is my priority. Always.

This dusting of snow and a quick peek at the updated forecast (high of 41 Saturday) has made me realize I need to rethink my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume. I gave it a try and I can’t wear my shell with my puffy winter coat. My turtle tee doesn’t fit over my coat. Do I really need the coat? Um, yes! Staying warm is my priority. Always. I can’t help but think back to my rant about sexy-time Halloween costumes with a twinge of guilt. Most likely the only reason I’m never showing leg dressed as Spongebob (beside pride) is because the end of October is cold!

This turtle is fierce indoors but a coward when it's cold

So long Donatello! My fierce costume is going bye-bye! But I’m keeping my shell. It is a sled and winter is coming.

Update: Patrick sent a text, “NPR just said 5 inches of snow tomorrow.” Sledding time! Cowabunga!

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When I dress up for Halloween it is never sexy. My costume is usually a last-minute compilation of things I found in my closet. So, at Halloween parties, when I find myself in a room with hot ladies wearing next to nothing and I’m dressed like a tourist with socks up to my knees, a floppy hat, a baggy Hawaiian shirt, and name tag, what can I do? I’ll tell you what I do. I get drunk, thank myself for being covered up (what if I trip?), and vow the next year will be different. The next year is never different. I already have my costume for this year. Even when I plan in advance… Not. At. All. Sexy.

But I get it, ladies. Tis the season! I’m not here to judge you (false!) or your barely-hidden lady parts. Strut yourself on Halloween! But I’m starting to think maybe you are trying too hard. Whatever happened to the classic slutty black cat or sexy devil? This happened:

So, which of these are the most ridiculous (LAME!) excuses to get sexy on Halloween?

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Scariest Home Movies

If you’re like me, you take your scary movies seriously. Every Halloween season, I try to watch as many of my favorites as I can. If, however, you’re like Gilly, then you just don’t have the time nor the temperament for these shenanigans.

Recently, a friend of the blog steered me to this list of the Top 50 Scariest Movies of All Time. It’s a pretty good list; there are even a few on there that I haven’t seen. But rather than make Gilly watch all these movies, I’m going to summarize them for her – and your – benefit.

Here are capsule reviews of their top 10 Scariest Movies of All Time:

10. Carrie – I went to school with this girl. Seriously. Except for the part where she kills everyone at prom, we all thought she was a pretty sweet girl.

9. The Exorcist – At first I thought it was an exercise video, and man, was I disappointed. Until it got to that part with the neck-spinning and ceiling-walking, and then I realized it was a yoga video. Gilly likes yoga. Maybe I should ask her to watch this after all.

8. The Shining – It’s a great movie, but it feels a little bit dated now that everyone has switched over to compact fluorescent lamp light bulbs.

7. Nosferatu – Possibly the coolest movie ever made during the height of German expressionism. It’s not to be confused with Madonna’s “expressyourselfism.”

6. Repulsion – I haven’t seen this one, but I’m pretty sure it’s the story of my teenage love life.

5. Night of the Living Dead – George Romero became famous for this documentary about the Republican primaries.

4. Bride of Frankenstein – Aka, the movie with the most awesome hairdo ever. Do you think I can convince Gilly to adopt this look?

3. Halloween – In which Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. He shows up with a giant knife, ending in a bad day for the Peanuts gang.

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – I’m pretty sure this is a fantasy film made by democrats about the Republican primaries.

1. Psycho – An entire generation quit taking showers after this movie came out. We have Hitchcock to blame/thank (depending on your perspective) for Woodstock.

So that’s their list. Still, there’s a truly scary movie that somehow – unfathomably – missed the list. White Chicks was nowhere to be found.

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Last week, we showed you our “outrageous pumpkin” designs. Here’s the final product:

Scary Jack and Befuddled Frank

What we failed to mention was that our masterpieces were not quite finished. To perfect our outrageous pumpkins, we needed to add two more elements: Time and Nature.

At last, we can reveal to you our new and improved, more-outrageous-than-ever pumpkins:

Moldy Jack and Lobotomized Frank

In loving memory of Jack…

…and Frank

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I know who I want to be for Halloween, and his name is Ron Ben-Israel. For those of you who do not know who Ron Ben-Israel is, he’s the secret love child of Dr. Evil and Willy Wonka. He’s also the host of a new show on Food Network called Sweet Genius.

Food Network describes the show as a “sugar-packed competition series that challenges America’s premier pastry chefs to create magical and inventive desserts given inspiration, surprise ingredients and a finite amount of time. The chefs must compete in three unique pastry challenges judged by Ron Ben-Israel — the Sweet Genius himself — who will critique their work and determine who will receive the $10,000 cash prize.”

But the real genius in the show is in the marketing. (Need proof? Watch this promo for the show NOW. You’ll thank me later.) Sweet Genius dares to ask the question: “Are you a sweet genius?” Inevitably, your answer will be – how did this man get his own television show?

And the answer to that, dear readers, is the real sweet genius of the show. Ron Ben-Israel’s gift is in simultaneously combining Uncle Fester creepy with Liberace flamboyance in a way that is simply mesmerizing.

Take the show’s set. Ron Ben-Israel stands on a platform looking down upon his chef-testants like a pastry god among mere mortals. A conveyor belt brings forward the “inspiration” (a tiny carousel? a Mardi Gras mask? the entire cast of Broadway’s The Lion King?) and the “secret ingredients” (squid ink? candied apples? the entire cast of Broadway’s The Lion King?) all while a robotic female voice that sounds like Hal 2000’s evil stepsister describes the many uses of said items to the audience.

After the contestants have whipped up their dessert concoctions, the Sweet Genius will judge their work and intone solemnly, “One of you will be like me – a SWEET GENIUS.”

If, like me, you can’t get enough of this show, then you’ll understand why I have decided that I will be a sweet genius. You’ll understand why I’ve decided to dress as Ron Ben-Israel this Halloween. And you’ll forgive me when I’m still dressed this way when November 1 rolls around.

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What could be better than Halloween or Food Network competitions? How about Halloween AND Food Network competitions! This week, I discovered the Food Network’s Challenge: Outrageous Pumpkins. I think I’ve found a new calling in life.

An artist named Ray Villafane dominated these competitions with pumpkin carvings that blew my mind. Carvings like this:

"Shattered" by Ray Villafane

And this:

"Medusa" by Ray Villafane

And this:

"Jackhyde" by Ray Villafane

Inspired, Gilly and I held our own Outrageous Pumpkins competition. Here are the results:

Who will win this battle of Outrageous Pumpkins? You decide!

We’ll be expecting that call from you soon, Food Network.

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