Happy Halloween!

The end of October has arrived. My favorite holiday is upon us. It has been a month full of fun and interesting activities.

Lord I am exhausted.

At the beginning of the month I had a couple of posts (here and here)about my potential plans for my favoritest month of the year. I have mentioned a couple of this that I did, but not all. In the spirit of completeness, here is a quick run down of what my October looks like.

Boobiethon -- Yes, I submitted photos as did some other people I knew. Over $10K was raised for Breast Cancer Research.

The Crocker House Cemetery Walk and Funeral Tea - This was a LOT of fun (and educational!). I wrote about it here.

Costume Creation - I actually had a lot of fun working on my Halloween costume. I don’t know how many people recognized that I was dressed as The Slender Man. I spent a lot of time with R’s old sewing machine (because I did not want to screw up her uber-expensive quilting machine). I altered a jacket, created extra arms out of pool noodles and black fabric, attached said arms to the jacket, and created a hood/face mask that would hide my facial features. The down side was that the hood was a little warm and the bar the party was at was a little on the warm side so it stayed in my pocket for the whole evening.

Phantom of the Opera at
The Redford Theatre - R and I treated ourselves to a night at the Opera (sorry, had to do it). They had a great print, the organ accompaniment was wonderful, and the movie is a classic. I absolutely love this theatre.

Speaking of theaters, I hit the
Main’s Midnight Movies twice -- for Poltergeist and The Evil Dead.

I sat with
ML and D for the show. She has a great story about seeing Poltergeist as a child and spending a portion of the film hiding under her seat. Naturally it is now one of her favorites.

Brief Aside: She likes the movie so much that it is one of the films she recommends watching on Halloween.
ML, P, and a number of other horror authors (some of whom I know!) were interviewed regarding their recommendations for Halloween night frights. The article was released today and can be found here. Scroll down for the English version.

After the film the three of us spent a little time discussing the problems which will be associated with the eventual remake.

SPOILERS:

Seriously? You have not seen
Poltergeist? Get off of my site.

The opening scene is a stickler. We pan around the house, looking at the sleeping family, while the national anthem plays in the background. We follow Carol Ann back to the television in time to see the usual patriotic images, then the network signs off for the night and goes to static.

I would be willing to be that half of the people in the theater did not get that reference as they had never lived in a time when networks actually went off the air! Now the “television people” who contact Carol Ann are going to have to be the same ones trying to sell her a Sham Wow!

D pointed out that you can’t have the panicked scramble to get the key in the ignition (near the end of the film) compounded with having the key upside down, because we no longer have keys that only fit one way in the ignition (nor do we have separate keys for the trunk/door and ignition). Hell, some cars don’t even have keys anymore.

The final scene is going to lose a lot of umph, too. The family, dazed, shell-shocked, exhausted, file into the hotel room. Dad slams the door. A few moments later he opens the door, shoves out the television, and slams it again. In order to do this today, he is going to have to shove out the entire cabinet (including the cable and video game system) because that sucker is bolted down. Even the remote control is bolted in place!

Last Friday I had thought about heading out to hit a couple of haunted houses. I had originally intended to visit one of the outdoor, haunted hayride places with some people from work, but some untimely and unhappy events prevented this from happening. I waffled about going all day. When decision time finally came, I opted for thrift and exhaustion. I stayed home watching horror movies until I drifted off. I woke around a quarter after 11 and decided that was a sign to go see
The Evil Dead. Sure, I’ve seen it a jillion times, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen it with an audience. The first film, unlike the sequels, is played for straight scares not laughs. It is a little difficult to watch it without thinking of the other movies, but if you can, you are in for some creepy fun. Some of the FX are a little dated, but some hold up, as does the shaky cam. The scene where Cheryl is assaulted by the forest is still shiver inducing.

Rounding out my movie experiences, I went and saw
Paranormal Activity 2 as well. The sequel has more of a slick feel than the original, but it was still spooky enough that when I returned to the empty house I had to fight the urge to check all of the rooms. The only thing I really had a problem with was the reason the cameras were installed in the house in the first place. Once there they are used extremely well, providing different views as well as verification that something other worldly is going on. I would recommend seeing the film (I saw the IMAX version).

Interesting sidebar: After seeing the movie I saw the commercial on TV. There are scenes in the commercial which do not appear in the film. I wonder if the DVD release will have these deleted scenes along with an explanation of why they did not appear (I can already guess why one of them doesn’t).

The big event of the month was the
GLAHW’s Monster Mash for Literacy Bash III. I had a great time, we raised a bunch of dough for charity, and I already talked about it here.

The following day there was another
GLAHW function, the Bad Alien Night at AJ’s. Check out that same post for more.

The house got decorated (with some new stuff, as always). Pictures will be posted soon. The Trick or Treaters received their treats. I estimate 300+ kids based on the amount of candy I passed out. We had to turn the lights of at 8 which is a lot earlier than usual, so I can only imagine how many we might have had otherwise.

If you want to see some highlights of the evening, check out my Twitter stream. There’s some funny stuff in there.

One thing I forgot to add to my To Do in October list was the
NaNoWriMo Kick Off Party. It was held on the 30th. It provided me with a good excuse to take a break from decorating. A goodly number of people showed up to talk about their plans for November, catch up with friends from previous years, and meet people they knew only by Forum handles. This year there is also a book drive, the proceeds of which will go towards funding NaNo. I brought one box of books to the kick off party and will bring more to the write ins.

Saturday evening one of my co-workers dropped by with three of her children. She just swung by to see the display. This made me feel really special and smiley all night.

This was great because I spent another portion of the evening watching UofM lose. Fortunately I also had the annual viewing of
The Crow to look forward to.

All in all it was a very enjoyable, if exhaustingly busy month. I did not visit any haunted attractions (which makes it two years in a row now). I also decided to skip the Damned art exhibit.

Although I want nothing more than to sleep for a month, there is still lots to do. I have to pack up and store all of the Halloween decorations (which is always sad). I will also hit a couple of the Halloween stores tomorrow and see what I can pick up on the cheap. It’s always fun to unpack and say “What the Hell is...oh, right. I bought this last year.”

I have a convention and a series of speaking engagements to prepare for. Who can forget that November means
National Novel Writing Month. I have a nice little germ of an idea that I am looking forward to starting. In fact, I could start it now as it is after midnight, but my brain is a bit fried at the moment. I should probably get some sleep.