Friday, November 03, 2017

Halloween 2017

Happy Post-Halloween! That wondrous time of year when candy just sits on the counter, having long lost its appeal to anyone, young and old, and also of putting away Halloween decor and trying to decide if it's worth putting up general fall-related decorations before doing the big Christmas haul. Sorry, Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, it's November, which is usually what happens after Oct 31.  And I have officially dubbed it "thank you card month."  This is an obvious idea but one I've foolishly never had. I can't explain it. So, I'm going to send out random thanks, or "give thanks" you might say, to as many people as i can think of.  And I might even draw a turkey on the card. I'm pretty skilled these days, you'd be surprised.

But before all of that thankfulness, let's view some pictures of whatever Halloween/autumnal thing I happened to take.  The frequency of my picture-taking these days has reached an all time low but that just makes whatever pics i do have all the more special. Also many of these are Sean's, a detail you didn't care to know.

To begin, a writing assignment Julian did at school. I think I've known him long enough now to know he probably won't actually grow up to be a serial killer; he just likes badness sometimes! And don't we all. Maybe we should all embrace our bad side more.  Furthermore, I'm pretty sure I learned that to be a good story, you have to have a really compelling opener and I don't know about you, but I know I want to read more:
"His name is Stemy. His friends call him bloodhound. He likes
kicking people and must be kept on a leash at all times."

Next up is a pie. I've been making a lot of pies lately. Mostly just the same pie: apple.  I have thought in my life that the apple pie is the most basic, borderline boring pie there is. Sean vehemently disagrees, which is why I even made it in the first place.  But then I was like, you know..? If it ain't broke.  Here's the first apple pie of the season. The pic is sideways but a million points for whoever can guess what the decoration is: 

A couple of weeks ago we took a spontaneous trip down south. We saw Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon (sounds made up), and saw the Cedar Breaks.  And pulled over to random spots for random hikes and also random photos. This trip was pretty amazing because we got the variety of the red rock and then took a little jaunt over to Brian Head which is much higher up and all coniferous and things. Totally different scenery.  Wacky, Southern Utah! Just plain wacky.  So these aspens were just insanely stunning. When I got out of the car it was extremely windy and quiet and I felt, as I always do when I'm down yonder there, that distinct feeling that there actually remain parts of the earth that go relatively untouched. And how wonderful that is. Note to self: pull over and get out more.

One thing we did a few times this fall and not once the entire summer is the canyon campfire. I sometimes battle about it because I have shower schedule particularities but you know what? A fire really is the best, and it's totally worth the day o' laundry one must do the next day.  We huddled by the fire and brought tea and hot chocolate and a book of scary stories and it was pretty great:

A school for special needs kids down the road held a fundraiser they've apparently been doing for years and have fine-tuned to the last possible detail and it was, frankly, amazing. Basically it was Harry Potter world, with a million little details like "hermione's elf hats" for purchase--cool hand-knitted hats for like .2.  And other goodies for pennies. We got so much loot. Also spiders in the hall showing where to walk for games in various classrooms. Sean said, "follow the spiders" and then we both started, understanding the book reference. "OH--!"  Just totally tickled with everything.  Anyway, one room had the sorting hat where you'd sit, someone would place the hat on you, and then play a recording in your ear of the sorting hat sorting you--haha! Love that they had so many volunteers to do all of these little things.  As I walked up to the stool I said, "uhh-- i'm feeling a little nervous!" and sat down before I could properly prep myself.  When the sorting hat exclaimed my house I was a little startled but then, as i thought, realized it sounded about right:


Sean, however, was NOT pleased: 
 "We take everyone!"  ha ha. Sorry, Sean.
Then they gave us pins of our houses and offered these photo ops.   This place was so cool. Also they had a seriously creepy Knockturn Alley, a Honeydukes with goodies for sale (again, for pennies), a racing game of wooden cars (Ron's flying car race) where you got to KEEP the car.  I was like, what?? At every turn.  So generous with their games and event. T'is a good way to get people to be generous back.

Moving on, here we are with a moment of Cat Lap, my favorite thing.  Kitty loves up on me in such ways that i am putty in his paws:
{cry face}
 Next, soups.  Lots of soups being made these days, even though we're having sort of a hotumn, which i am not opposed to.  (I learned that word from reading theSkimm, a daily news email subscription)  Even so, the soups abound and we finally made one we had wanted to for weeks and weeks but is a bit of a bugger: the french onion soup.  Sean and Julian did a lot of the heavy work. I made a pie.  But look! Look how pretty! We invited friends who, through a misunderstanding, arrived 30 min. late and I was seriously like, "where in h--- are you???"  because i didn't want to miss the prime soup moment. (this makes me sound meaner than I probably am. probably) I mean those french onions don't wait for anyone.  It worked out though and was so, so good. Still dreaming about it a little bit:

Next, the costume.  This year, Julian has been binge-watching Voltron, a remake of the 80's show, which airs on Netflix. Airs? I don't think that's right at all. First, is it aires? Second, I don't think anything I watch on Netflix is "aired," right?  This word now is total nonsense to me.  Anyway, what he chose to be was a Robeast, the bad guy in a couple of episodes.  It was cool, to be sure, but we tried to coax him to be something a little more recognizable. Nothing doing.  So, the best dad that he is, Sean set to work and even bought a sewing machine.  Amazing, just amazing.  First, here's Sean hard at work, fitting the boy. But not before fashioning himself a Dread Pirate Roberts mask:

Also, as an aside: What a great name for a pirate. Dread Pirate? Man. It makes me want to come up with other clever combination to amp up a profession. I just sat here for many minutes and can't think of a thing. 

Moving on, here's the robeast:

Part robot, part monster? Every single day for a month, Julian would ask me,
"so, do you have any questions about the Robeast?" and I'd try to come up with something.
I consider this my contribution to this year's costume.



Ha ha! Those arms were so long, and stuffed with foam. A little awkward, but man, it looked so cool. With lights velcroed on and everything which came in handy in the nighttime.  Here is Julian at his school costume parade (led by the local HS drumline--big deal! that sounds sarcastic; it's not. It was cool. Plus I will always hold a special nerdy place in my heart for the drum line.) Anyway, here he is in true Julian style-- cool but acknowledging parents:

My mom came with me, bless her, but I have to say i was pretty disappointed with the parents in general. Maybe it's because I've been in a few parades in my time (brag) and know a little bit about.. what, parade etiquette? But like, NO ONE was doing anything. Just staring at the kids, watching in silence. Maybe shouting out names of kids they knew. But the cheering was pathetic.  I tried to shout out comments and clap and basically looked a fool but i don't care. When you say, "Hey, SNOW WHITE!" or correct the guy who hollers, "Hermione!" when it's so obviously Ginny (colored hair), you know the kid appreciates it.

Next, jack-o-lanterns.  Every year we get all excited to carve pumpkins and then realize that nobody likes to carve pumpkins.  So what we do is we make Sean do it, and that works out pretty well.  Also I force Julian to help because I can. Me, i would but you know, my hands can't have gunk all over them. Sensitive skin...reeeeally sensitive.   Here they are:

Next up is apple uglies, tradition as old as time.  My mom the genius busted out the cotton candy for the first time this year and, excited about a new candy prospect, we were all abuzz with the possibilities.  Sean never tries very hard with his apple but always seems to turn out something pretty great:

 This year I wanted to go for something really really scary so when Julian saw it and exclaimed, "Mommy, that is horrifying" i thanked him, complimented. 


Sean found a Star Trek picture he thought it was reminiscent of and we deduced it must have been in my subconscious the whole time.  Homage: 

for some reason the silvery hair with like, bangs, cracks me up. I like to imagine this creature is trying to pose all seductive. Also i just want you to know, to find this pic, i googled "old star trek scary guy."  ha ha. It worked, obv.
 My niece made this next one and we all oo'ed and ahhh'ed over it. Amazing. Also, it should be mentioned that it was heard from her quiet, totally unassuming mom, "I think I should get a little credit here."  So props to her for wanting the credit to go where it's due.   
I think all of us were mentally scheming as to how to do this trick with the eyeball
gumballs and we were all happy someone successfully executed it.
 This next one is Julian's.  I respect his quest to cover the entire thing with candy and somehow manage to make a face at the same time.

Lastly, I dressed up too this year.  When I saw the costume online I said to myself, "it will be mine. oh yes, it will be mine."  And it was glorious.  Happy Halloween 2017, finally hitting publish on this thing!


Sean said...

A fine tribute to the season!
And, what do you mean I don’t try on my apple uglies?! I just like to take my time and stare at the blank Caramel for a good long time.
That apple of yours was pretty haunting... I’m not sure I was ready to see it again. I guess that’s what the season is all about.

Joel said...

Lots to comment on here. Let's try rapid fire.

I just finished rereading the Harry Potter series. Still so enjoyable. Now I have this awkward couple of weeks before the next book comes out in another series I'm reading. I decided to fill the gap with the first Star Trek: Discovery novel.

I'm a little jealous of Sean's swing skills. I've been contemplating getting a sewing machine for a while and trying to learn.

I have the same trouble with carving pumpkins. Love to have it done, hate actually doing it.

Your costume left me stunned.

Also, why have I been reading your blog all these years but have never stolen the apple uglies idea?

Craig said...

You'll love this: Natalie and I were BOTH sorted into Slytherin on Pottermore! We both started out feeling slightly horrified, and then totally embraced it and loved it. (My oldest son is also Slytherin. Kendra is Griffindor, of course. Natalie's husband also sorted into Hufflepuff and was disappointed.) So hurray for Slytherin!!!

Also, I HATE it when my dinner is cold. So no, you didn't sound rude for being annoyed that your dinner guests were late. I would have started eating without them! (And that would have actually been rude, but I wouldn't have cared.)

All of your other stuff is awesome-- the apple uglies are so weird and cool at the same time. That's an awesome tradition.

And finally, this has me signed in as Craig, but it's actually Alanna typing this, in case you were completely confused who Craig is with a sister named Natalie!

)en said...

Totally not confused. I feel like i know both of you so well now. :)

Eating before the guests arrive is sooo funny. I love it. I've been known to start getting ready for bed when friends are still over. But to me, it's a sign of my comfort level with them. I feel so at ease with you that i'm not afraid to do what i'd normally do at this time of day/midnight.

Yeah! Go Slytherin! hiss..hisss.....parseltongue...

Joel-- your book choice is intriguing. Tell me how it is. I've never read a single Star Trek novel and now I'm wondering why. I'm still in the throes of HP. End of book 6 *pant, pant, pant.* This is me reading to Julian and it's been literal years. I'm enjoying it but slooow going. Also it's getting really scary now. He told me he thought he may have had a nightmare about it last night. Curses, we had agreed that wouldn't happen!

I'm so glad we have (he has) a sewing machine now! We had a sewing proficient friend come over and show him the basics. And the other day when Sean excitedly exclaimed that he could now hem a thing no problem, I knew it was in the right hands.

I know, that butterfly was amazing. I think I might use it in the parade.

)en said...

Oh and Sean, I guess what I mean to say is you never seem to care much when we do apple uglies. While everyone immediately sets out and gets busy slapping stuff on, Sean just sits there staring in quiet contemplation. But I guess you are, as you say, analyzing your canvas. Also it takes you like ten seconds and you're done. Whatever your artistic process is, keep doing you. Next year I'm going to really come up with something good and clever. just you wait.

Joel said...

I totally forgot to mention that I'm a proud Slytherin too, BTW. Yay!

This Star Trek Book is called Desperate Hours, and I like it because it's with the crew that appears in the first couple episodes of the new series but (aside from a couple characters) isn't in the rest. Like the captain, who is played by the awesome Michelle Yeoh. Oh, and the Captain Pike-era Enterprise is in it too. I've only read a handful of TNG books, mostly in my youth, and they were fun too. Metamorphosis is a great Data-centric novel if you want to pick one to try.