Halloween Wrap Up, 2013 Edition

Welcome to November.

Yes, I am fighting off the post-Halloween blues right now.

As of this writing, I am waiting to go out to the last official Halloween event for this season (at least as far as I am concerned). For those who were following along with the list I posted
earlier, that would be the midnight showing of John Carpenter’s The Thing. I am really looking forward to this as I am currently in the middle of my third audiobook dealing with cinematic horror and this movie has featured prominently in all three.2

Not to be all sentimental and Hallmark cardish, but I’m focusing on not being sad because it’s over, but being happy because it happened. Towards that end, here are some of the highlights of the last week or so.

The Sixth Annual Monster Mash for Literacy Bash was a success. I think the actual head count may have been down from last year but we more than made up for it in raffle ticket sales. I was personally pleased that I had friends from different aspects of the meat world life (including some
Motor City Haunt Club people) who attended.3 All in all, the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers was able to raise quite a bit money for the Siena and Domnican literacy organizations. Part of this is due to the fact that the kind people at VFW Post 9222 refused to take the full rental price from us. This is our second year there and we love our hosts.

My contributions to the food stuffs seemed to go over pretty well. I made Dexter slides, something I have attempted on numerous occasions this year. I think I am pretty much done with the whole sugar and corn syrup confection making thing,
4 but I know what recipe to go with should I ever want to make them again. We also made a cannoli filling dip which seemed to be rather popular. It was especially good with the cookies someone else brought.

This party also saw the unveiling of Lilith’s Kiss, a drink I designed for last year’s party but which we were not able to use due to difficulties in acquiring the ingredients
5. This year everything was a go. I think the whole thing was quite yummy. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one drinking them.

I should also mention that while I did not win any awards for my costume (although I hear I was only a vote away from scariest), The Mrs took home two Boners for her costume including Most Original. Since it was my idea and I did the work on that, I’m counting that as a win for me too.

The next few days were spent getting ready for Halloween. Wednesday I hit
B. Nektar Meadery. Unfortunately I was unable to get their extremely limited edition release (the 40 bottles were sold out way before I got there), I did snag a few bottles of the Smoked Pumpkin Caper. I also restocked my usual flavors.

Normally I would have stayed there and watched
The Rocky Horror Picture Show while sipping a mead or two, but I did not have time. I had to jet out to Ann Arbor for the showing of the original vampire movie Nosferatu. Yes, it is even creepier on a big screen with live organ accompaniment.6

After this I sat downstairs for may annual Devil’s Night viewing of
The Crow. Traditions are important.

The weather on Halloween was windy and rainy, so this year’s display was fairly minimal. I had the traditional cemetery and a number of figures about the yard including Ash, some demons, and a werewolf. Unfortunately it was too wet for most of the electronic stuff and too windy for fog effects. Still I enjoyed myself, sitting outside in a mask and hat, handing out candy, and listening to Doug Bradley read scary stories.

The following day was all about shopping. I always make a pilgrimage to a number of Halloween stores to hit the after holiday sales. This year I made it to four Spirit Halloweens and one Halloween City. I picked up some new masks, some vine-hand gloves which will go perfectly with my pumpkin head dummies, and a number of other items which should appear in next year’s display.

After an afternoon of shopping, The Mrs and I headed out to Howell for the
Howell Community Theater production of Young Frankenstien: The Musical. We primarily went to support our friend David Hayes, but the trip was well worth it. The play is hysterical and quite ribald. The run continues through next Sunday. If you have a chance to take it in, I highly recommend that you do.

This afternoon we joined some friends at
Imperial one of my favorite local restaurants. Last year they had a Dia de los Muertos party which was very popular. Today they spread it over two days. The waitstaff all looked great with their sugar skull make-ups and outfits. I attempted the same, but after covering my face in white I realized that I had already packed most of the make-up in storage and didn’t have any powder to set the make-up. The white started melting off almost immediately. I washed all that off and tried to do just the colors, but the pearlescent make-up I was using was too light to show up on my skin.

Oh well, there’s always next year.

1 In the past I have not had time to worry about this because as soon as Halloween was over I would jump right into the
National Novel Writing Month. It is kind of hard to concentrate on being sad that Halloween is over when you are busting your ass to get a 50,000 word novel written in only 30 days.

2 For reviews, check out my
Goodreads account. Maybe I’ll do a comparison post next week.

3 Thanks to everyone who showed up. I hope that you had a good time.

4 Side note, I was picking up broken pieces of the sugar mix which had ended up on the stove (you call it sampling, I call it cleaning up) and crunching them. I was about to drop another bit into my mouth when I realized it was thinner and clearer than all the others. It turned out my candy thermometer had broken and this was actually a shard of glass.

5 Which are, if you are wondering, black vodka, black raspberry liqueur, and creme de cassis in a 2-1-1 ratio. I originally made it with Blavod vodka, but the folks at the VFW were not able to get this. Instead they found a black vodka from England which had a slight hint of cola flavor. This was infinitely better than the original mixture, quite the happy accident.

Nosferatu is, of course, the first cinematic treatment of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. All of the names, including the title, were changed because the people who made the film did not get the rights to make the movie. What I did not know but learned from the audiobooks was that Stoker’s family sued because of the copyright infringement and all copies of the film were supposed to be destroyed. The fact that it survives to this day is a minor miracle. The version we watched was a recent find with the original frame tinting. It was from a collector in South America.