Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Ahhh, it's here at last!  The wonderful day where you can dress up as whomever or whatever you want (although, hopefully within some bounds of reason), gorge yourself on candy (Pixy Stix are my addiction this year), and delight in a magical mixture of spooky and silly.  Yes, my darlings, this is Halloween!

As previously mentioned, our backwards little city held its "official" trick-or-treating yesterday afternoon.  It started out slow, just as it has in years past.  In the first hour we got about 3 groups of kids (so, MAYBE 8-10 children).  Hubby and I had decided to stop the show we were watching, in case things picked up.  They didn't.  In fact, it started to rain around 2 or 2:30.  Ugh.

So we decided to start carving our pumpkins, a tradition that I don't think I'll ever grow too old for (people might deny me candy if I tried trick-or-treating, but I'll be damned if a store is going to reject my money and deny me a pumpkin to carve).  About 10 minutes or so into carving, the doorbell rang.  Some kids were braving the rain to get their candy.  In fact, we seemed to get MORE trick-or-treaters in the rain!  That, my friends, is something I can respect, and to those kids, I tip my hat.

When we finished pumpkin-carving, we finished our show (American Horror Story pilot episode - perfect for Halloween).  Then it was time to choose one of my annual Halloween movies to watch.  We decided on "Young Frankenstein" (because Mel Brooks is always a good choice) and made a delicious chuck roast for dinner (which had been marinating since 8 PM the night before).  We watched a bit of 'Punkin Chunkin' to wrap things up before Hubby headed to the garage and I headed to my computer.

Today, I am sadly sans costume.  I was going to paint my face black and white, put on my panda ears and frown a lot (get it?  I was going to be a sad panda!), but it just seemed like a lot of effort when I don't plan on going anywhere.  Instead, I'm just calling myself either a stressed college student or a disgruntled employee, no costume required.

Alas, I will NOT let my lack of costume or the grey, cloudy day ruin my Halloween!  Tonight, we shall watch another of my Halloween movies (possibly 'Repo! The Genetic Opera') and toast some pumpkin seeds.  And in the meantime, there's plenty of awesome Halloween music waiting to be heard!  Need a few examples to get you started?

1) "Thriller" by Michael Jackson - Probably the most epic music video ever, "Thriller" is a perfect Halloween anthem.  Werewolves, zombies, and kick-ass choreography; what more could you need?  Of course, if you're looking for something a little different (or don't have time for the almost 14-minute long video), Glee's mash-up of "Thriller" and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs' "Heads Will Roll" is also a ton of fun. 
2) "Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley - If you didn't grow up listening to the radio around Halloween, then there's a tiny chance you aren't familiar with this song.  Fix that.  Now.
3) "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett - A staple of any good Halloween event.  I'm still not exactly sure how to do the monster mash, but I'm pretty sure any kind of movement will suffice as long as you're having fun. 
4) "Calling All the Monsters" by China McClain - If you have kids, or if you just love the Disney channel, then you're most likely torn between hating this song for being overplayed and loving it for being so damn catchy.
5) "This is Halloween" from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' (written by Danny Elfman, my hero) - Boys and girls of every age should love this song AND this movie.  If you don't, no sweat.  I'll just judge silently from afar.

Now go get your ghostly groove on and have a happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Halloween Revolution

So, in looking at the website for the lovely city of Greenfield the other day, I discovered that our "scheduled" trick-or-treating is from 1-4 PM on Sunday, 10/30.

Hold up.

WHAT?!  That's insane!!
1) Early afternoon trick-or-treating?  Lame.  That's fine for trick-or-treating events at the local mall or the zoo, but not for the real deal! 
2) Trick-or-treating is the best part of Halloween.  So why the hell would you do it the day BEFORE Halloween?  That's like hunting for Easter eggs on Saturday afternoon.

Hubby says that it's been this way in the Milwaukee area his entire life.  Ew.  I can't even imagine growing up that way.  In Madison, we had no restrictions on trick-or-treating, and I sincerely hope it stays that way.

Here's how it went.  Younger kids usually starting coming through around 5 on Halloween night, looking cute and shyly asking, "Trick or treat?" (as if anyone's not going to give candy to the adorable little pirate or princess standing outside their door...).  As it got later (and darker), more kids would come out and form clumps moving from one house to the next.  The whole process usually lasted about 2-3 hours, depending on when you got started.  When you were done, you headed home to check out the night's haul, eat yourself sick on candy, and finally go to bed.

There were rules.  Some were imposed by parents: Must carry flashlights or glow sticks at all times, say thank you, stay in the neighborhood, don't leave each other behind and, for one sad year, don't eat any candy until it's been checked out by a parent (that whole needle scare had parents pretty freaked out).  Others were self-imposed, almost unspoken, but universally understood: Don't ring the bell if the porch light is off, take turns ringing the doorbell (even if that meant racing for the privilege), let little kids get their candy first (bigger kids will be able to get to more houses and will get more candy anyway), etc etc.  Of course, some houses would get TP'd, and there was the occasional egging, but for the most part, the rules we followed kept Halloween fun and safe.      

It works for Madison.  Why can't Milwaukee make it work, too?  It can't just be a size thing; my best friend in Las Vegas says they don't have scheduled trick-or-treating, and Vegas has Milwaukee beat several times over in the "Who's Bigger?" contest.  It can't just be crimes, because crime happens damn near everywhere.  Milwaukee just seems to have a stick up its ass.

That being said, I truly hope we get some rogue trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.  Kids need to experience the joy of trick-or-treating as it's intended, or else they'll never understand how truly awesome it actually is!  Someone needs to lead these kids on a Halloween revolution and reclaim October 31st as their own.  They need to take back All Hallow's Eve and tell Milwaukee to back off their holiday.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Disney + Halloween = YAY!

In 131 days, hubby and I will be headed back to Disney World to vacay with my bestie and her hubby.  That's just over four months, and already the longing for Disney is strong.

On our honeymoon at WDW, some of the most fun we had was at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  Yes, I can see how some of you may think it sounds extremely lame, but as long as you like Disney and having fun, it's anything but.

If you want to learn more about it, check out my guest post on The Disney Hippy's blog!

Friday, October 21, 2011

This is Halloween...

OK, so the Brewers aren't in the World Series.  Sad, but, I'm still happy and proud of them for taking it as far as they did.  Too bad we'll likely never see Prince Fielder in a Brewers jersey again, but, it happens.

Anywhoozles, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Halloween is my favorite freakin' holiday.  I love Fall.  I love candy.  I love dressing up.  So what's not to love?

Last year on Facebook, I posted my favorite non-scary Halloween movies.  Here's the list:
The Nightmare Before Christmas (also good for Christmastime!)
Corpse Bride
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (I guess this depends on your definition of 'scary' ^_^)
Repo! The Genetic Opera  (OK, this one's a bit gory, but definitely not a horror movie or anything)
Hocus Pocus
It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
Edward Scissorhands
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, the MOVIE...  Epic.)
So I Married An Axe Murderer
Young Frankenstein
Donnie Darko (again - depends on what you find scary)
Clue (Really, this movie works ANY time of year)
Casper (Yes, I know I'm 27.  I don't care.)
The Addams Family

I know there are TONS of others.  Really, any Tim Burton movie works this time of year (especially 'Frankenweenie').  There are movies like 'Coraline' (no, it wasn't a Tim Burton movie, look it up) and 'Ghostbusters' that you could totally watch, too.  Lists like this one include flicks like 'Practical Magic' and 'Idle Hands' as viable choices.  The Harry Potter movies certainly have a halloweeny feel to them, too.  And, of course, Disney has a plethora of made-for-television or straight-to-DVD Halloween movies to choose from (I won't lie, I've watched 'Halloweentown' a few times...).

Everyone has special things that make their favorite holidays special to them.  Mine is watching my favorite non-scary Halloween movies, and I plan to start this weekend.  
Are there any awesome (but not terrifying) Halloween movies I've missed that are on your must-watch list?  Let me know and I'll try to check them out! :)


Saturday, October 8, 2011


Before I forget to mention it, Hubby, two friends of ours and I went to Game 5 of the NLDS last night at Miller Park and got to be there when the Brewers won.  I don't think words can adequately describe the feeling of being there, but I had to mention it because it was probably the most epic win I've ever experienced in person.  My ears are ringing a little more than normal today, but it was beyond worth it.  

Next stop: NLCS.  Let's go Brewers!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Scary Stuff

And no, I'm not talking about Halloween kind of scary.

One of my best friends was in a car accident this week.  For the most part, she's OK, but she's understandably shaken up and is sore from the impact.  I wish it hadn't happened, but I'm certainly glad it wasn't worse.

The first time I really remember someone close to me being in a car accident was one of my aunts.  As I remember the story (it was a long time ago now), she was on her way to work and caught a red light at an intersection.  The light turned green and, naturally, she went.  So what happened, you ask?  An ambulance that was coming up to the newly red light at this same intersection got a call.  They hit their lights and continued through the intersection, t-boning my aunt.  Yep.  My aunt was hit by an ambulance.  Of course, then they had to send another ambulance to help, since that ambulance was clearly out of commission.  My aunt broke part of her spine and had to wear a halo for something like 6 months.  Thankfully she's doing fine these days, but needless to say, she was wary of that intersection for quite awhile.

Of course, I had friends get into fender-benders in high school, but nothing that really sticks out in my mind as especially bad.  The next big car accident I can recall was when one of my parents' neighbors fell asleep behind the wheel (at a stop sign, I think) and died.  I'd grown up with his kids, and he had been the Uncle Sam in our neighborhood's 4th of July parade for years.  I remember going to the wake with my parents, and I realized that Dad and I have a very defense mechanism in those types of situations.  We make jokes.  Not loud enough that others can hear, since we don't want to be disrespectful, but it's how we cope with things so that we don't fall apart.

I, fortunately, was not in an accident until about 3 years ago.  In fact, it would've been this coming weekend in 2008.  A few friends and I were headed to Six Flags for Fright Fest.  We were about to make the left turn to get to the park entrance, but the traffic was crazy.  The friend who was driving wasn't sure when she'd be able to go, and there wasn't a turn arrow to be found.  A moment of opportunity came up and she started to go, but hesitated.  One passenger was yelling, "Go!  Go!" and another was screaming, "Wait!  Stop!" and by the time the driver made a decision, it was too late.  The first car we thought was going to hit us managed to swerve out of the way.  The car behind that, though, hit us dead on in the rear passenger door, right where I was sitting.

If you've ever been in an accident, you've probably experienced a lot of the same things I/we did.  First, to this day I can't remember the actual impact.  I remember seeing the car coming, tensing up, and then I remember the feeling of the car being spun around me (since I was kind of at the pivot point), but not the actual point of impact.  When the car stopped, it took about a minute for me to realize that my glasses we no longer on my face.  In fact, they were behind me.  Next, the friend sitting right next to me (in the middle, cushioned between two of us) and I realized that our ponytails had come out.  Yep, the force caused our hair ties to come loose.  One of us called 911 while the driver called her insurance company.  None of us seemed particularly hurt, so we didn't request an ambulance.  One came through later, and my boyfriend (now my hubby), who had come to pick me up, told me he wanted me to get checked out, but it wasn't there for us anyway.  

We had to sit around at the gas station on the corner of the intersection for hours.  It turned out that I had kicked my left leg with my right leg and given myself a nice bruise.  There was also a scrape on my arm, and it might've been a bit swollen, but aside from that and a headache, all seemed well.  Since I took the brunt of the impact, everyone was even less damaged than I was.  I won't go into details, because it was a LONG afternoon, but we eventually decided to forget about Six Flags and just call it a day.  

The next morning when I woke up, my entire body hurt.  I have never in my life felt so stiff and achy.  I was walking like Frankenstein for the better part of the day, and it felt like someone rammed a pole straight up my spine.  Don't even get me started on my neck...  Aye yi yi.  I'm sure some people do fake whiplash, but when it's for real, that shit HURTS.

Looking back, I probably should've gotten checked over after the accident, just to make sure everything was OK.  Fortunately, I healed up after a few weeks and was back to normal.  Well, physically.  Even now, when I'm in the passenger side of a car and we make a left turn with oncoming traffic, I tense up and hold my breath.  I don't do it on purpose, really.  I think my body just doesn't want to feel that pain again, so it's become a knee-jerk reaction.      

For anyone interested, the driver of the car that hit us was really shaken up (she couldn't have been older than 16 or 17), but otherwise alright.  Both cars were pretty much totaled (I had to climb out the other passenger door to get out, since mine was partially caved in), but all the people involved were relatively unscathed.  

Since then, I've been in two "accidents." The first was when I was driving from Milwaukee to Madison at night in a snow storm.  I was going maybe 25 MPH on the interstate when my phone rang.  It was my mom, and I didn't want her to worry, so I answered.  "Where are you?"  "Crashing.  Can I call you back?"  I grazed a guard rail, which was not the best thing that could've happened, but certainly wasn't the worst. 

The other was a situation where Hubby was at a stop sign, about to turn, and got rear-ended by a minivan.  Fortunately, the only damage was a small part of the van (like part of the headlight, maybe) and no one was hurt.  Phew.

Moral of this post?  Buckle up, kids!  It can get bumpy out there...


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Epic Win(s).

Just a quick note to share how very excited and proud I am of all the great Wisconsin sports teams that played this weekend.  Two wins for the Brewers, a slaughter for the Badgers, and a 4-0 record for the Packers.  Wisconsin may never see such an epic sports weekend again, and I just had to make note of it.

Sconnie pride!!  <3