My new neighbors are still in the process of painting and such before they move in. They hadn’t thought about trick-or-treaters until they saw me putting out a couple decorations this afternoon.
Mom can probably tell you exactly many how many kids came by their house any year for as long as they’ve lived there. But when the neighbors asked me, I had to admit that I don’t really know. When the husband asked whether four bags would suffice, I allowed that it probably would.
The skies have been overcast for most of the past week. Right around sunset, it finally rained. Not a heavy downpour, and it only lasted a short time. But it was enough.
So far, fewer than two-dozen kids have come by this evening.
The new neighbors will probably never believe me again.
The first batch of Christmas lights went up on December 7. In keeping with an old family tradition, it was bitter cold when I put them up. I could have waited until the following Wednesday to put them up when the weather forecast was calling for temperatures in the mid-50s, but that would have involved following another family tradition and putting up Christmas lights in the rain.
The streetlight in front of the house gives the scene a kind of orangeish glow. It’s not intentional, but I’ve come to think of it as Christmas meets Halloween. One person I showed the photo to said the lighting combined with the candles in the windows gives the impression that the house has eyes.
The remaining lights went up the following weekend. That was followed by a week of rain and then a cold with the result that I didn’t manage to take any more photos until this past Monday. The details in the large version are a lot sharper because I learned from my previous mistake and used the tripod this time. (That made a huge difference.)
The additional light makes the “eyes” a bit less pronounced, but I’m not sure the multi-color lights are a good combination when paired with the blue icicles. Throw in the orange highlights from that street light and the Halloween effect is even more pronounced. So…
(Or should that be Merry Chrisween?)
As mentioned a few days ago, I attended a Halloween party in The Kentlands this year as a zombie. It was my homage to the Frederick Jaycees’ Haunted Hayride.
One of the fun things to do after working at the hayride was once things were over for the evening, a group would usually go out for dinner, still in makeup. When a group of a dozen more zombies walks into a restaurant, it never fails to get the attention of the other diners and frequently led to opportunities to promote the Haunted Hayride or (better yet) the Jaycees.
I had no sooner mentioned this then Julie spoke the fateful words, “I dare you to go over to Whole Foods dressed like that.”
Get into mischief? Me? 🙂
Well there was no point in a zombie going shopping without an audience. You have to a few people going along to witness the silliness and (of course) take a few photos. So after seeking out a few people dressed in what passed for everyday street clothes, Julie, Melissa, Stephanie and I set out for our little adventure.
I don’t know how she managed to capture a photo of them (I didn’t even see them myself) but during the walk to the store, Stephanie managed to capture an image of what I can only describe as ghosts.
The person working at the meat counter left right before I got there, so I couldn’t ask him about any fresh brains. But don’t you think that stuff behind the glass looks rather cerebral?
There was someone working at the fish counter though. She took it completely in stride when I asked, “Do you have any fresh brains?”
“No.” she replied with a laugh, “Maybe next week.”
“Damn, just my rotten luck.” (On the other hand, can you imagine if she’d said yes??!!)
Most of the other shoppers in the store seemed to be oblivious to the dead guy walking the aisles with them. It makes me wonder, at 8:30 pm on a Saturday, is it possible that the other shoppers were the real zombies?
When I walked into the produce department, one of the stockers was unloading a box of some sort of melons. At first I didn’t think he saw me looking over the papayas on the other side of the display, then the woman at the fish counter got his attention and trying not to laugh he called back to her, “Yeah, I see him.”
With not quite a week to go until Halloween, of course there was an endcap full of Halloween candy. What a perfect place for a zombie to stop and try to blend in!
And over in the chips aisle, there was another ghost!
The few shoppers who did notice me in the store tended to look at me very strangely. (I don’t understand why.) It wasn’t until arriving at the checkout that any of the other shoppers was willing to make eye contact. Along with the cashier and the bagger, she was clearly entertained. But again, most of the shoppers zombies in the other checkout lanes were oblivious. (It somewhat reminded me of a scene from Dawn of the Dead with the zombies returning to the mall, unaware of their own demise.)
Many thanks to:
Julie: For suggesting this escapade.
Stephanie: For taking on the role of photographer.
Melissa: For a complete lack of adult supervision.
I wonder what sort of mischief I can get into next year?
A few days ago, I promised a photo of my costume from last weekend’s Halloween party.
This get up is, of course, very similar to how I was made up last year when I was chasing people through the cornfields, and that was quite deliberate. The Frederick Jaycees didn’t run their Haunted Hayride project this year, so this was my “Tribute Costume.” (You can’t tell from this photo, but the shirt is a Haunted Hayride “Event Staff” shirt from the 2006 season.)
There is also a series of photos from an adventure I went on during the party, but those will have to wait until at least this evening.
The original plan was to draw a rabbit on it and carve the lantern so you could see the rabbit. There were a couple reasons for this, one was that everyone carves faces or ghosts or (if you’re really good) a witch on their Jack-o-lantern. So I was going to draw a rabbit.
The other part of the plan was to take a photo of the Jack-O-Lantern (with the rabbit on it) and put it on the Shore Leave web site for Halloween. (The convention is named for the Star Trek episode titled “Shore Leave.” The episode includes a brief appearance by the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, so the convention adopted the rabbit as a mascot.)
Carving a drawing of a rabbit onto a pumpkin was definitely ambitious, but I thought it was doable. I’ve been drawing rabbits and putting them on the convention web site for the past several years. This was just a new medium is all.
It was easy enough to draw a rabbit on the pumpkin. It was an unfamiliar medium, but aside from a little extra waviness in the whiskers, it was pretty straight forward. That’s when I realized how much detail is involved in those rabbits. The teeth, the whiskers, the noses, ears, and so on. I’ve been getting better at carving pumpkins, but that amount of detail was going to take most of the night. (Note to self: It might be a good idea to start carving the jack-o-lantern a little earlier than 10:45pm on the night before Halloween.)
So, it was clearly time for Plan B:
Yes. That’s right. I carved a jack-o-lantern with a jack-o-lantern on it. I call it the “Meta-Lantern.”
Those with a sharp eye may have noticed something amiss though. There’s a figure lurking in the shadows off to the meta-lantern’s left. What the heck could that be? Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Could that be…? Let’s turn up the lights and see if that’s who I think it is….
Oh no! It’s a Captain Jack O-Lantern!!!