Monday, October 31, 2011

Evil Gourds

Now that Halloween weekend is over with and pictures of costumes and shenanigans are going up on Facebook, I'm really feeling like I just sucked this year. It definitely didn't help matters that I've had a cold for the last 9 DAYS and I may never recover.

But I'm not going down without a fight. I bought a bag of candy "in case we get trick or treaters."

I baked a delicious pumpkin bread...

From a boxed mix at Trader Joe's.

And I sat down for a little crafting. Presenting, Martha Stewart's Fanged Pumpkins:

Yeah, those are hers. Mine will come later. And I'm renaming them Evil Gourds.

I saw this idea back before I got sick and generally meh, and hurried out to buy a few gourds.

Then, on my next stop at the drug store, I looked for a few sets of Dracula teeth. Weirdly, all I could find in the seasonal aisle was a sack of 15 sets of RED teeth.

I could've kept looking for some less odd ones, but they were on clearance and came to about $2. You can't pass up a deal like that.

The instructions for fanged pumpkins call for map pins to hold the teeth in place and to create the beady little eyes on these suckers. In an uncharacteristic stroke of luck, I already had a set of red pins from a sewing project. Score!

My materials sat around for days and days until finally I realized I was running out of time. Devin ran out to the store to get me a pumpkin carving kit so I could get started. He came home with a motorized one that seemed pretty bad ass.

Time to get to work! Step 1: Draw a mouth.

Step 2: Cut the mouth hole.

Done and done. What? That's totally the same gourd from before. Ok, you got me. I had a little trouble, even with my power saw. Turns out gourds are hard as rocks. It broke my little poking tool. Evil gourd! I switched to this mini pumpkin and the knife went through like butter.

Step 3: Scoop out the guts.

Step 4: Adhere the little teeth to the mouth hole with pins.
Since I kept the holes kind of small, the teeth mainly stayed in on their own.

Step 5: Shove in 2 more pins for eyes. And behold...


I was going to give up after this one, but then I decided to try another.

Again, it was hard as a rock, but poking holes along the cutting line helped a bit. Although I nearly broke my fork.

Once I conquered that one, I had the confidence to go back and try the original gourd and in the end I wound up with quite a spooky trio.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Paranormal Apathy

I always think I can't handle horror movies so I avoid them at all costs. But every now and then, I'll give in and give one a shot and find that I'm completely disappointed. There are a few moments of tension, sure. And the occasional something popping out from a closet and making me jump out of my skin. But the rest is usually bad dialogue, fake blood, and obvious plot points.

Now here we are in Halloween season and I'm still trying to find ways to get me into the swing of things. So why not try watching a horror flick? And why not pick the low budget phenomenon that launched two sequels (and counting)?

I'm going to watch Paranormal Activity.

Oh, and I'm going to live blog it. Here goes nothing.

1:10 - Wait. This is supposed to be their house? Oh I'm sure. That's a reasonable home for two 20 somethings in San Diego.
8:56 - Katie discovers her keys in the middle of the kitchen floor. My first thought: the cat did it. Then I remember not everyone lives in a house full of unruly animals like I do.
21:12 - A door opened and closed a little. Getting kinda bored here.
22:40 - A terrible scream from the other room!
22:47 - It's just a spider. It IS a really gross spider though.
27:00 - We have a nightmare. Katie wakes up and is out of breath. I had a nightmare last night. Devin said I was making frightened noises. She wasn't even making noises.
27:30 - A clomping noise downstairs. Let's go investigate. Better be murder. Oh, nope nothing.
28:40 - Why don't they have to go to work?
30:02 - Micah promises not to buy a Ouija board. Do you think he will? I think he will.
31:42 - A loud horrible monster scream! And then nothing.
33:40 - Micah keeps asking Katie "Do you hear that?" I hear nothing. Maybe it's one of those sounds that only younger people can hear. You know, like how they have those ring tones that you can only hear if you're a tween and adults can't hear them so tweens can get secret phone calls?
34:45 - Crap I haven't been paying attention and now we have a microphone involved to pick up ghost noises.
38:30 - Katie got out of bed and stood around for a while. Then she wandered downstairs. I thought maybe the ghost demon was going to throw her down the stairs. It didn't.
39:40 - She's on a swing and she doesn't want to go inside. Wait, Micah! Don't go back inside to get blankets.
41:08 - Or else the ghost demon will turn the TV on in the bedroom and play static...
44:04 - Oh snap! He bought the Ouija board! I called it.
46:05 - Katie got mad and they stormed out of the house, leaving the ghost demon to start moving around the little Ouija thingy. And THEN the board caught on fire.
47:57 - Now they're back home and they're fighting. This is awkward.
52:40 - Micah baby powders the floor.
54:38 - Monkey foot prints in the baby powder!
56:19 - An open crawl space!
57:20 - A mystery object in the crawl space intrigues Micah and he goes in to investigate. Now we're getting somewhere!
58:00 - No, we're not. It's a picture of Katie as a kid that's all burned around the edges. So this demon ghost collects pictures. Maybe it's into scrapbooking too.
1:00:02 - The light just came on downstairs and now there are a lot of banging noises and the door slammed closed. There are only about 20 minutes left in the movie so this must be the exciting conclusion!
1:00:04 - They made it through the night. Damn it.
1:07:30 - Ghost demon broke a picture of Micah and Katie. Then it breathed in Katie's hair.
1:10:02 - Ghost demon came into the bedroom and pulled back the sheet, exposing one of Katie's feet. Now her foot is going to get so cold! She's done for.
1:12:25 - I have to pee. Let's wrap it up, folks.
1:15:32 - Katie is mysteriously a crying heap on floor. And... I guess it's just going to stay a mystery because that was the end of that scene.
1:16:50 - Ghost demon yanks Katie from bed and pulls her across floor!
1:18:13 - Katie is alive but with a bite mark on her back.
1:19:00 - Katie is now catatonic, holding a cross, which is making her hand bleed.
1:19:36 - Hideous leopard print rug they have in the living room.
1:21:29 - Katie is sleep walking again. Now she's head downstairs.
1:23:00 - Horrible scream from downstairs. Micah runs to help Katie.
1:24:29 - Ohhh... So that's how it ends. Hmph.

LAME. 2 minutes of minor fright, 10 minutes of spookiness.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ghostbusters on the Big Screen

Fair warning: you're going to be disappointed by this post. It's a brief interlude, but I felt it important to prove to you that YES I still get out of the house. Regularly. Honestly.

This year my favorite holiday, Halloween, is getting buried under the new apartment shuffle and the general distraction of pregnancy. I don't have a costume underway... I don't even have an idea! But last night I managed to do something that was Halloweenish, however tangentially. Devin and I went to the movies to see Ghostbusters.

I don't know why, but I thought this screening would be more of an event. Something like Rocky Horror Picture Show, although no one gave me any information that should've led me to this conclusion. I thought there'd be people in costumes, a packed theater, maybe someone selling merchandise. But it was just kinda like going to any other movie, any other night. There weren't even many people there.

Still, I think there's benefit in seeing something in theaters that you've seen 100 times before on TV. There were moments and jokes I'd completely missed before like, "Listen! Do you smell something?" and "I recorded a 20 minute work out and played it back and high speed so it only took me 10 minutes."

There wasn't a whole lot to take pictures of to document this little outing. I tried snapping a few from our seats but it seemed to be embarrassing Devin so I stopped.

It may not have been a big to-do, but it was a nice night out. If this ho hum post in some way made you want to check it out, there's one more chance to see it next Thursday!

Monday, October 17, 2011

First K.I.S.S.

If there's one lesson I've learned from moving in and out of our house in about 18 months, it's that it doesn't pay to be awesome. By this I mean that I was so fueled by a desire to be awesome that during our time there I made-over nearly every single room AND the backyard so it could really be our own and reflect our style. But as we were packing up and I was yanking down wall decals and window treatments, I asked myself, "What was the point?" Perhaps it's because I'm seeing this all in crystal clear Pregnancy Vision, through which even making my own sandwich seems like too much work.

So now that we've dug deep and pulled together enough stamina to get the new apartment mostly unpacked and settled, it's time to think about how to dress up the place. And I've decided, this time around, to adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle. As you may know, K.I.S.S. stands for Keep It Simple So-I-don't-drive-myself-crazy-and-spend-money-I-don't-have-on-an-apartment-I-already-know-we-won't-live-in-forever, stupid.

Allow me to offer up the dining room windows as a case study.

Notice the light pouring in, illuminating the clutter. Welcome to my nightmare.

All of the other windows in the house are covered with blinds. And not vertical blinds that I hate. Nice blinds. Phew. But these dining room windows are bare.

My first instinct was to repurpose the cherry wood blinds from the spare bedroom in the old house. This would be preferable to curtains, as the blinds could stay raised halfway to steer clear of the air conditioner.

At the time this thought occurred, we still had possession of the old house and I took a moment to measure the blinds... only to discover that actually the windows they covered were two different sizes and thus, so were the pair of blinds. I guess I'd forgotten all about that. This would mean I'd need to make a trip to Ikea to buy another set in either of the two sizes, then take down the blinds from the old place, then take down the curtain rod already in the new dining room, and then install the old blinds.

But that was the old me. Applying the K.I.S.S. method, I said "eff that" and left the wood blinds hanging in their place, telling the old landlords they could keep them. And I decided to just take advantage of the perfectly good, already installed curtain rod hanging over the windows when we moved in.

Luckily I still had the curtains from the old living room. So after about 10 minutes, our sunlight and privacy problems were solved.

Ok, I took this picture several days later after I'd had more time to clean. I WISH that part had only taken 10 minutes too.

"But wait!" you exclaim as you closely study this picture. "What about the air conditioner? The curtains are blocking it and if you open them, you're back to being exposed."

Very astute observation. You know what I'm gonna do to solve that problem? Absolutely nothing!