Thursday, October 29, 2009
YAY South Carolina!!!
Following on the heels of scandal after scandal, another Republican South Carolinian politico was fired today. He was spotted parked in a cemetery with an 18 year old stripper, a bag of sex toys and Viagra.

While on his lunch break.

Unfortunately, when the police approached, Roland Corning sped off. He was on a one lane dirt road behind the cemetery when he was stopped. I'm going to assume that the 18 year old wasn't there for free.

Oh, South Carolina. How you amuse me. Who knew I would have a South Carolina tag!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009
(Photo courtesy of - tree destroys truck in Long Beach)

So, it was a little windy yesterday. 10,000 people in L.A. are still without power and that's about a quarter of what it was last night.

Most importantly, half of my Hallowe'en display ended up in the street! Thankfully, the husband was home to retrieve it all and once the winds die down, I'll reset the whole deal.

Thankfully, our power stayed up through the night (Thanks Burbank W&P!!!), so I was able to finish the majority of my gown and set my wig! Tonight, I'll be finishing the gown and doing some baking for our office potluck.

Lesson learned. Next year, I'm doing my gravestones in concrete.


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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Remiss, I say!!! Unfortunately I have spent way too much time at the cemetery this Hallowe'en season as my grandma died last week. Therefore, despite massive preparations ongoing for the Hallowe'en season, I have had some problems with posting and getting photos.

Today, because I feel like I have to post something, I'll post links to some of the haunters I'm stalking around the intertubes these days. I've found them through the Countdown to Hallowe'en.

Shellhawk. I found her pretty late on in the month. Shit. She is powerful talented. Look at this gravestone she made. Now come ON! That's just freaking AWESOME! I wish I could apprentice with some of these people. Like Dave Lowe who not only builds his own props but also is an incredible artist. Here is one of my faves.
Then there's just the all around creepy like SpookyBlue who brings us this terror.
And one of my favorite things about all three of these haunters is that they are EXTREMELY generous and provide how to's for some of their projects. Awesome.

I will indeed be bringing photos of my haunting up to this site. In the meantime, check out some of these other sites.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009
Set up
I've been slowly setting up the new and improved graveyard out front but this weekend is the big push. Today I dragged all of the Hallowe'en props and craft items out of my craft room and made some piles which consisted of:

  • Body parts
  • chain
  • flowers
  • paint
  • architectural details
  • spiders
  • tools
  • lighting
  • cages
  • fabric and patterns
  • kitchen, baking and party supplies
And sorted them in the living room.

Here's some photos.

Tomorrow I drag out the ladders and really get moving on the details.
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Friday, October 16, 2009
Woah. Seriously Ralph?
Happy Hallowe'en!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009
All hell has broken loose
New York trip is cancelled. So, no new gravestone photos but more time to work on my yard display.


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Monday, October 12, 2009
The Witch Next Door

This is a 1965 copy of the book, the Witch Next Door. Norman Bridwell writes a sweet book with some very modern and wonderful morals that stand the test of time.

The first moral: Just because someone is different doesn't mean she is bad.

Second: Mean people suck but usually just need someone to be nice to them.

Third: You are wonderful just the way you are.

Pretty progressive for 1965!

Norman Bridwell also wrote How to Care for Your Monster, Witch's Vacation, Monster Holidays, Ghost Charlie, Witch's Catalog, Magic Matt and the Jack 'o Lantern and the entire Clifford the Dog series including a bunch of autumn and Hallowe'en titles! Mr. Bridwell is clearly a lover of all things Hallowe'enie as well!

Thanks Mr. Bridwell for this book. I loved it as a child and recently bought it to share with my niece.


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Friday, October 09, 2009
L.A. Opera Costume Sale

In preparation for the upcoming holiday (and I don't mean Simchat Torah), I am going to be attending the L.A. Opera Costume Sale this weekend. It's the first time the Opera has ever sold off any of its costumes and items will include capes, hats, full costumes, fans, gloves, shoes and more.

The sale begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 10 at 330 South Alameda and parking is at the Little Tokyo shopping center. They indicate that sizes range from "robust Wagnerian" to "Mozart's petites" and prices range from $10-5,000.

They are selling off pieces from Don Giovanni, Die Meistersinger, La Traviata, Carmen, Idomenio, Romeo et Juliette and many more.

See you there!


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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

No spoilers here, just F to the YI as long as you know there are zombies, people die and there is eating of flesh...

So, Michael and I had a perfect date last night and saw Zombieland at the AMC 16 in Burbank. There were 4 other people in the theater besides us! Mostly because we saw it at 3:40, not because it sucked.

The pros:

Funny. The RULES are brilliant and worked into the movie perfectly. Did not take itself seriously at all, if it had I would have been sorely disappointed. The zombie makeup on the closeup shots was pretty darn good and any bone crushing and eating of flesh was ookie enough to make Michael squirm (see "Squeamish?" for my squirm factor). Woody Harrelson is high-fucking-larious. Perfect, short and sweet explanation of the zombification...really, not what the movie was about and I'm glad they didn't spend any time on that. The digital effects around Los Angeles were great. Soundtrack was pretty sweet also.

The cons:

Slow at some moments. Makeup on lesser zombies was hastily done and not particularly "realistic" also, at one point you could totally tell the dead guy was a bag of fiberfill. Super cheap... Some of the digital effects looked like they belonged on Photoshop Disasters. Abigail Breslin did not get enough shooting in. Wanted to see more of that. Yeah, she's 12 but you're fighting for your brains here people.

Overall, a great, fun movie. Perfect for Hallowe'en laughs!


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Monday, October 05, 2009
Do you have any Grey Poupon?
I went to Joann's etc. today.

Y'know how the corner market has like two brands of soap and the crappy ass generic ketchup that tastes like corn syrup with some tomato flavoring in it and then you go to the Ralph's Fresh Fare or the cool-ass new Pavilions pavilion and there's like 18 different brands of hand molded soap with ylang-ylang and oatmeal flakes and gourmet ketchup from 5 different countries and two American tomato farms with fresh basil and chunks of garlic? There's just no comparison right?

Yeah, well that's the difference between the crappy ass Joann's on Riverside and the Joann's etc. superstore in Porter Ranch. The Joann's on Riverside had like 6 Hallowe'en fabrics and each one sucked more than the previous. Their Hallowe'en decoration selection was, at its best, pathetic. A couple of dented candles, some of last year's stock of plastic pumpkins, a bag of styrofoam bones, a couple of tangled bat garlands and some autumn leaves...

Joann's etc. gives the full Hallowe'en crafting experience. I bought 4 different kinds of fabrics. One just because it was super cheap and cute. I don't even have a project planned for it. They had AISLES of Hallowe'en fabric and as I was checking out, there was more!

The patterns for costumes were actually out of the files on racks so they would be really easy to find. What a concept. I also found the tights that I needed, the fabric for my cape, 18 different kinds of tacky glue and some letter embossers that are going to look AWESOME for my new gravestones!!! Really, including fabric, the Hallowe'en stash at the Joann's etc. would barely have fit into the Joann's on Riverside. Two full aisles of costumes, one entire aisle of folksy Hallowe'en stuff and then candelabras, ribbons, trim, buttons, foam projects, Wilton baking accessories, molds, candies, sprinkles, three (3!) different types of witches brooms and a minimum of 4 witches hats! There were some super cute decorations and some candles that I would have bought were I rich and flush with cash but such is life.

I'll try to make it in on November 1 and see what's left over that I can pick up at a 90% discount.

I promise photos are coming of all of this but in the meantime, check out this cute top and matching purse I made for my niece. Cute, huh? It's a tank top but it was actually cold at the game so mommy put a t-shirt underneath. She's a big Dodgers fan. She also turned 3 last month and started preschool and is the 3rd tallest in her class!

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Sunday, October 04, 2009
A quickie

A quick post before I hit the proverbial hay - I got out today and scoured a couple of yard sales for prop pieces. Found a few and I have next weekend to finish up the majority of my shopping. Picked up a couple of really amazing deals. I love when things I'm actually looking for are going for 50 cents! This week after work will be a blur of spray paint and foam. Gravestones start going up on Tuesday.

I did have my first unfortunate mishap when our gardener thought the branches Michael had collected were waste and chopped them up into bitty twigs. So, I'm gonna have to get out the saw... Well, the peach tree needed pruning anyway.

In the meantime - check out Halloween Town on Magnolia in Burbank. All Hallowe'en, all year round!!!


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Saturday, October 03, 2009
I am not squeamish. I have often bragged that if I was out of a job and needed to change careers, crime scene cleanup could be an option. I have done phlebotomy and I have listened to far too many lectures on HIV-related gastrointestinal disorders during dinner lectures (with slides) to be grossed out by much.

The last few years, I have made some, in my opinion, fairly mild Hallowe'en treats. Unfortunately, my co-workers were/are not as robust as I seem to be.

Last year I made a meatloaf foot. Damn, I wish I had photos of that one. Toenails made of onion pieces and ketchup artfully smeared on the stump with a plastic bone pushed in just for fun. Totally easy. Also, easy to transport to work for the potluck!

I made witches fingers one year but these were not nearly as gross as I wanted them to be. They flattened a bit and therefore didn't have quite the look of actual fingers. But the greenish tinge was quite nice.

Two years ago was really the piece de resistance of freaking out my co-workers. I really didn't expect that practically no one would even try it. I mean, really. It was a lovely chocolate cake. It was made from scratch. No boxed mixes in this house!

I guess, perhaps it was a tad too realistic. C'est la vie!

This year I am planning a host of Hallowe'en treats. I'm not going to go for the gross out at work as I don't plan on wasting my time and money on something that won't even be eaten, but I am going to have a few items at home that will be a little stomach churning!

Bone appetit!


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Friday, October 02, 2009
A nice place to lay your head
Last year I attended a friend's wedding in Pacific Grove, CA. I haven't been up to the Monterey area in many years and I had no idea where I would stay. As I looked through the list of hotels, one quaint scenic hotel after another, I checked on some travel review site and the review that caught my eye was this:

"But the main dislike was the fact that our room - and on that basis over half of the rooms - overlook a graveyard."

I took the plunge. I love old graveyards. I spent pretty much all of my free time in Boston taking photos of historic gravestones and will likely take some photos when I'm up in Rhinebeck in two weeks.

Despite the fact that I have no intention of being buried (cremation and remains tossed surreptitiously and without fanfare off the coast of Hawai'i near Kalapana) I have always appreciated the study of the symbology and ritual of memorialization.

Here are some of the photos I took in Boston and Pacific Grove (guess which are which!)


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Thursday, October 01, 2009
Happy October!
And now it begins!

Last week when my husband called me at work to crow about the lovely city of Burbank trimming the trees in the neighborhood I yelled at him to run outside and grab a bunch of branches from the maws of the woodchopper. I'm sort of hoping for a windstorm between now and Hallowe'en to pick up some more. Depending on the weather this weekend, I'll start working on some spookified trees for the yard. Love free stuff. I might also go yard sale trolling for some props as well... Let's hope it's below 90 degrees this weekend!

In other news, we took my niece to Disneyland this week for her 3rd birthday and it just so happened that Hallowe'en had already begun at the Mouse House. I have to say that while they did spook up the place and the fireworks display was pretty awesome (and inspiring) the whole thing was a bit of a let down (just in the Hallowe'en department - Disneyland itself is never a letdown!).

Here's the scoop:

The official Disneyland map featured the hag witch from Snow White and all of the light post hangers featured both the evil witch and the hag which led me to believe that the traditional Disney villains would be featured heavily in the park. It was not to be. Unfortunately, other than some really great pumpkins, most of the park Hallowe'en decorations were weighted toward the Nightmare Before Christmas.

Don't get me wrong, I like Nightmare well enough, I'm just a traditionalist. I would have liked to see a lot more Malificent, Evil Queen, etc. While kids could get the autographs of Jafar, Jack and Sally, and Cruella deVil, they were located primarily in Fantasyland and seemed to mostly scare the crap out of the kids.

One more complaint, just in case anyone's listening...MORE HAUNTED MANSION MERCHANDISE!!! I looked and the only merch available from the Haunted Mansion was pins and a classic CD. That's it.

On the upside, the fireworks show was great. Lots of fireworks, big and dramatic including a big Jack projection that was really great and Zero flying over the crowd. Loved it.

Also, Space Mountain was SPOOKY! It was a total step away from the traditional Disney and featured really creepy skeletal projections jumping out on the turns. Nice touch!

I didn't get to the Hallowe'ened Big Thunder Mountain - after all, we did have to do some 3 year old stuff which included the Tea Cups twice, It's a Small World (which BTW was redone VERY tastefully and really stuck to the original), Peter Pan and the Merry Go Round. She also got to meet Tinkerbell at Pixie's Hollow, which I think was her favorite part as she loooooves Tink. Fun!

On the whole, Mia's first trip to Disneyland was a huge success and Hallowe'en starts with a big sparkly BANG!!!


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