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Saturday, October 31, 2009

13 Days of Halloween - More Lessons Learned


Hello, Faithful Readers! I apologize for not living up to my promise to do another 13 days of Halloween this year. Life happens, and unfortunately, the blog sometimes has to take a backseat. Even though I was unable to do all 13 posts, the good news is I think I can squeeze in one tonight!

For those of you who don't already know, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I thought I'd share another quick list of helpful things I've learned from Halloweens past. I'll summarize my list from last year, then continue it. If you'd like to read the breakdown of items 1 thru 8, you can read it here.

THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM PAST HALLOWEENS

1. Temporary hair color isn't necessarily temporary.

2. If your costume comes with an explanation, you'll be better off finding another costume.

3. Never ever go first into the haunted house.

4. Wigs are itchy.

5. If the candy looks like it was made in the 70s, it probably was.

6. No one has the patience (or appreciation) for black and white horror movies.

7. Carving pumpkins isn't nearly as fun as it looks.

8. This tip is for all the kids... HIDE YOUR CANDY BAG!

9. If you've started a new job, ask around and make sure people dress up on Halloween BEFORE you decide to show up in costume.
There is nothing more embarrassing than showing up to work dressed as an evil witch with full-on face make-up and pointy hat, only to discover that your straight-laced uptight co-workers don't "do" Halloween. Well... I would imagine it would be. I mean, I would have never done that. Ahem...

10. If Halloween falls on a Friday or Saturday night, don't expect as many trick-or-treaters.
This may not be true for your neighborhood, but I've noticed that when Halloween falls on a weekend, instead of going trick-or-treating, people go to parties and such. In fact, each year, I've noticed a general decline in door-to-door trick or treating. This is probably because more people are participating in Trunk or Treat and other safer alternatives. Makes me kind of sad and nostalgic for the good old days, when neighbors all knew and trusted each other and you didn't have to worry about all the awful things parents worry about now days.

11. Fake blood stains EVERYTHING.
The label on the tube might say it's washable, but I have yet to find fake blood that doesn't stain your hands, stain your clothes, stain the countertop... So just use it wisely, keeping this in mind.

12. If you want a unique costume, check out Goodwill.
Most women are concerned about showing up to a party where someone else is wearing the same dress - a horrible faux pas. However, I'm always concerned about buying a pre-made packaged costume, for fear that there will be three other female vampires at the Halloween party, all with the same get-up. And I don't sew, which means I utilize Goodwill for creating my costume. One year I scored a lovely paisly headscarf, peasant top, old ratty crocheted shaw with fringe, and a really cool patterned, volumous skirt - I added a curly black wig and some big hoop earrings and was a pretty convincing gypsy fortune teller. I carried around a snow globe and would give it a good shake and forcast the weather. "Looks like snow tomorrow..." :)

13. Don't be THAT house.
You know, the one house on the street that passes out pennies or toothbrushes or pencils. If you don't have any candy, just shut the door and turn out the porch light. Word travels fast on the trick-or-treat streets about bummer houses, so you won't end up getting many visitors to your house anyway. The one exception I will make for this rule would be stickers or temporary tattoos, but only if they are really really good ones. ;)

14. There are lots of different kinds of horror movies - find out which ones your crew likes before you fire up the DVD player.
This could be an expansion or off-shoot of item #6. There are the thrillers (Rear Window), the gore-fests (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), the monster movies (American Werewolf in London), and the dark atmosphere type films (Sleepy Hollow) and the psychological thriller (Session 9). There's even the horror action flick (Alien) and humor horror (Shaun of the Dead). Find out where your viewing audience's preferences fall on the horror spectrum. It might turn out the most they can handle is It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. And that's okay. Be courteous, and don't give your Halloween party guests nightmares... unless of course, they want to have nightmares... bwah ha ha. :P

To read all 13 posts in last year's 13 Days of Halloween, just click here. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Musical Interlude - U2

Today should be the start of my 13 days of Halloween here on my blog, but since it's Musical Interlude Monday, and since I'm attending the U2 concert tomorrow night, (YES!!!) I've decided to break protocol and share a little music from our boys from Dublin.

I will admit, I was a little late to the U2 party. When they were hitting it big with "The Joshua Tree" album, I just didn't get them or their music. I suppose I should mention that they were hitting it big around the same time in my life when I was listening strictly to do-whop and oldies music. (I was a weird kid.) So I just wasn't listening to mainstream radio period. Flashforward a few years, and I guess my listening ears had matured enough to appreciate them. I've grown to love them more and more ever since.

Here's my favorite song by U2, called "Stay (Far Away, So Close)" from their Zooropa album. I love this song because of the word pictures the lyrics invoke, combined with the music. It really paints an image in my mind. And the metaphors or language chosen for the lyrics seems so simple but at the same time is so complex. Bono is a genius at turning a phrase. I also love how the song starts out so quiet and intimate, and then it grows in power and intensity and Bono's voice just breaks through and soars on the choruses. There are better songs in their catalog (especially ones that showcase the Edge's amazing talent more), but I guess this song just hits me in the right spot. I can empathize or relate to the desperation and longing in the song. It vividly reminds me of a certain time in my life... pretty cool, when music does that!

You Tube won't let me embed the video, so just click on the picture below and it will launch the You Tube video in a new window.

Stay (Far Away, So Close)
by U2
Green light, Seven Eleven
You stop in for a pack of cigarettes
You don't smoke, don't even want to
Hey now, check your change
Dressed up like a car crash
Your wheels are turning but you're upside down
You say when he hits you, you don't mind
Because when he hurts you, you feel alive
Hey babe, is that what it is

Red light, gray morning
You stumble out of a hole in the ground
A vampire or a victim
It depend's on who's around
You used to stay in to watch the adverts
You could lip synch to the talk shows

And if you look, you look through me
And when you talk, you talk at me
And when I touch you, you don't feel a thing

If I could stay...
Then the night would give you up
Stay...and the day would keep its trust
Stay...and the night would be enough

Faraway, so close
Up with the static and the radio
With satellite television
You can go anywhere
Miami, New Orleans
London, Belfast and Berlin

And if you listen I can't call
And if you jump, you just might fall
And if you shout, I'll only hear you

If I could stay...
Then the night would give you up
Stay...then the day would keep its trust
Stay...with the demons you drowned
Stay...with the spirit I found
Stay...and the night would be enough

Three o'clock in the morning
It's quiet and there's no one around
Just the bang and the clatter
As an angel runs to ground

Just the bang
And the clatter
As an angel
Hits the ground

Monday, October 05, 2009

Musical Interlude - Skillet

Here's a little music to round out our Monday evening. Take two guys and two gals who really know how to rock it out and what do you get? You get one of my favorite Christian bands (that actually gets played on secular radio stations - how cool is that?) - Skillet. My favorite song off their album Comatose is "Whispers in the Dark". Unfortunately, they haven't made a video for that song yet, so here's their video for another song off that album, "Rebirthing". Like what you hear? Check out the song "Savior". Their new album, Awake was released last month and the radio single "Monster" is worth checking out too. Enjoy!


"Rebirthing" by Skillet
I lie here paralytic
Inside this soul
Screaming for you till my throat is numb
I wanna break out I need a way out
I don't believe that it's gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this womb I'm suffocating

Feel your presence filling up my lungs with oxygen
I take you in
I've died

Rebirthing now
I wanna live for love wanna live for you and me
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow
Rebirthing now
I Wanna live my life wanna give you everything
Breathe for the first time now
I come alive somehow

I lie here lifeless
In this cocoon
Shedding my skin cause
I'm ready to
I wanna break out
I found a way out
I don't believe that it's gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this womb I'm suffocating

[Bridge:]
Tell me when I'm gonna live again
Tell me when I'm gonna breathe you in
Tell me when I'm gonna feel inside
Tell me when I'm gonna feel alive

Tell me when I'm gonna live again
Tell me when this fear will end
Tell me when I'm gonna feel inside
Tell me when I'll feel alive