Archive for October 2010


originally posted at

For Halloween, we went to the mall to trick or treat.  Then we went to the trunk or treat where they thankfully took the festivities inside.  Then we visited Grandma and Nana’s house to show off our costumes and then hit the jackpot of candy at Uncle Jon’s.  Marissa was a perfect Alice in Wonderland.  Jonathan had a great time being Iron Man and about half way through the evening Brendan warmed up to actually holding his light saber and being a true Jedi.  I was Little Red Riding Hood and had a good time seeing the kids have fun getting their candy.


Pumpkin Carving Time!

originally posted at

Pumpkin carving is a fun activity to do with a boyfriend!
I surprised my boyfriend, Andy, with a pumpkin when he came over.
Andy was more than willing to let me dig out the pumpkin guts.

He finally put his skills to use by outlining the picture.
I was more than willing to let him do the rest of the work.

He is concentrating really hard to carve the pumpkin.

He did a fantastic job!

Look at the wolf howling at the moon.

I then started separating the seeds from the rest of the stuff.

Then I rinsed them, put them on a baking sheet, salted them, and baked them.

The seeds were yummy!
It was a great date!

The Wussification of Halloween

originally posted at

When I was a kid Halloween was one of the coolest holidays. Sure you don’t get presents from everybody and generally there is no snow to play in and no time off from school. You get free candy, but usually it was pretty cruddy stuff, Tootsie Rolls or Pixie Stix and the like. Nothing you couldn’t save up your pennies and get for yourself.

The cool part was the perceived danger. Not just the spooks and ghouls and specters menacing around every corner or the garish/bloody displays in store windows; though those were certainly enjoyable. There was a sense of impending doom or, at least, potential trouble as Halloween approached. Leaves were getting crunchy and piling up around the neighborhood. Pumpkins appeared and eventually became Jack O’ Lanterns, many with actual scary or funny faces (rather than the corporate approved Wall-E/Transformers/Yoda/etc. pumpkin patterns you see done so often today). Stores overflowed with candy, apples, cornstalks and cider displays. Television became a ‘dangerous’ wasteland of B level flicks and classic horror. Even the local, over the air stations got into it with tons of extra movies, ‘Scary Music Video Countdowns’ and other fun bits you didn’t get the rest of the year; a welcome change from Saturday afternoon reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, golf tournements and infomercials.


It all seemed to culminate as you went out to Trick or Treat on Halloween night. Even if things went accordign to plan, you were out… at night. On Your Own!

Dad came a long for a while when you were still little, and he tried to come a long for a while later than that… but eventually it was just you. Maybe you had younger siblings tagging along but that was ok too, despite your protestations to the contrary. You were Indiana Jones with Short Round or that Alfred Molina, who you just can’t really trust. You were responsible for their safety too. Who knew? You might encounter egg throwing goons or candy stealing thugs around any corner… Serious stuff to a young, adventurous and semi-independant kid.

Then there were the scary, local tales: The house you shouldn’t go to, the Mean Old Lady, the Kid Eating Dog, various places where the street lights couldn’t reach for some reason (what was in that shadow?), and who knows how many disgruntled ‘old people’ were actually giving out candy with razor blades/poison/drugs built right in?!

Of course, none of that really happened to anyone you ever heard of. Heck, I bet some kids got their candy nicked, and somewhere there were lame kids that picked on other kids. Sure someone got egged somewhere, but it was usually the house that you knew there were people there but they wouldn’t answer the door for Trick or Treaters. Those guys can scrape congealed egg for the rest of their lives for all I care!

Sticking out tongue

None of that stuff happened to me or anyone I knew so it was just a story to scare you into being wary and Make sure to look both ways! All that.

So now that I’m ‘grown up’, whatever that means, it is with dismay that I see parents taking away all that ‘danger’ from their children. I read a great opinion piece on the New, Safer Halloween we have today. Do you know how many kids have been intentionally poisoned via Halloween candy in the last 40+ years?

One. That’s it, and it was the poor boy’s own father that did it; to get insurance money no less. Perhaps there have been other incidents that were not widely reported, whatever. The bottom line is that it is more likely that your kid will choke on a Charleston Chew in their vigor to down as much candy as possible before the night’s end, than be poisoned or otherwise harmed by some crazy person’s Halloween vengence against society scheme.

The dwindling of honest, neighborhood Trick or Treating is bad enough, but it has been slowly replaced with the hateful ‘Trick or Trunk’ gathering, the corporate sponsored, store to store pseudo trick or treat-lite, and worst of all: Staying Home.

Wave the flag of safety, if you want. Cry “Won’t someone think of the children!?” Now be honest, is it really that? Or is it just easier to have a ‘safe’ Halloween? To hurd the kids all to the local church parking lot and parade them around for 10 minutes, car trunk to car trunk. To keep the kids home altogether?

I know being a parent is a never ending stream of hassles, work and physical struggle. Heck just taking care of my nieces and nephews is a close enough approximation to give me an idea of some of the challenge, but really, Halloween is a sort of special opportunity for kids to feel a little danger, a little power, a little responsibility, a bit like a hero. Don’t take that away. It’s important, and it is worth it.

Happy Halloween everyone!