Hallween 2011

I don't recall Superman pooping his pants.

Another Hallowe’en over.

It was the first time I gave out candy in my own house.  Very fun.  Last year we had a food drive so we weren’t able to indulge the trick ‘r treaters, but this year we postponed the food drive for Christmas time so we could do the Hallowe’en thing in our own neighbourhood.

Our neighbours’ strange tendency to socialize and spend time in their driveways turned out to be quite enjoyable on this spookiest of nights.  Everyone was outside their houses handing out candy and chatting with each other… I liked it.

I must say, though, a lot of kids didn’t seem to know the Hallowe’en contract: Demand treats, threaten tricks.  Kids weren’t saying “Trick or Treat.”  I had to force them to say it before I gave them candy and now I’m probably the neighbourhood weirdo.

Thea took Nathanael around the neighbourhood in his Superman costume.  Of course… now we have a bag of candy.  I’ve put it in a bowl to share with guests… Unfortunately by the time we have a guest the candy will be all gone.


Movies for Halloween: Redux

Cover of "Trick 'r Treat"

Cover of Trick 'r Treat

In addition to the excellent movies that I’ve highlighted in past years, here are a few more to prepare your hearts for the spookiest of the seasons.

Psycho: Hitchcock’s contribution (or origination) to the slasher genre.  I was pretty “meh” when I first saw it, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate it more and more.  Incidentally, it’s the first movie that shows a toilet.  And it’s only five years older than the toilet we had in our downstairs bathroom when we moved in.

Trick ‘R Treat: I just watched this for the first time last Halloween.  It went straight-to-video but it’s a really fun/gross movie made by people who obviously adore the holiday.  It doesn’t take itself seriously, but the shifting mists, glowing jack-o-lanterns and crunching leaves will get you in the mood.  For Halloween.  In the mood for Halloween.  I’m hoping I’ll find it on the discount shelf sometime before October 31st.

Arachnaphobia: Frankly, I remember this being a lot scarier when I was younger.  I’ve largely gotten over my fear of spiders.  I can remember being paralysed when a bulging arachnid climbed across my shirt leaving a trail of thread behind her… But the summer landscaping job through university cured me of my bug phobia.  Did I ever mention the time a nest of caterpillars fell on me?  Oh… the movie is fun.

Zombieland: America’s answer to Shaun of the Dead.  I prefer the British perspective because the humans are more incompetent, but I love zombie movies.  And this is a good one.

Frozen: I just watched this with Thea the other night.  Lots of squealing and eye-covering.  Must have been annoying for Thea.  About halfway through I seriously started asking her if we could turn it off.  Not for the squeamish.  Or skiers.

Pan’s Labyrinth: Fantasy against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War.  Amazing creature design and atmosphere.  A great “boo-hiss” villain.  Subtitles.  Who could ask for anything more?

The Wizard of Oz: I bought this on DVD not long ago.  I barely remembered it.  Except that the flying monkeys were scary.  They’re still scary.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (soun...

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: I love the Harry Potter movies and books.  I read the first one in a Childrens’ Lit. class and thought it was alright.  Didn’t care for the first two movies.  Saw Prisoner of Azkaban and was hooked.  I still think it’s the best of the series.  I got the whole set of books for my birthday back in February and read them all addictively for three weeks.  Thea caught up and we read the final book together last month, aloud.  Well… I read out loud to baby. For our last session I read for four and a half hours straight late into the night.  I think it’s going to be one of my fondest pregnancy/new house memories.

Where The Wild Things Are:  I don’t know of many movies that capture what it’s like to be a kid (or at least a ten-year-old boy) better than this one.  It didn’t do too well in theatres.  I think it’s going to be a classic.  The kid wears a costume so I thought I could put it on a Halloween movie list.

Bushy-Tailed Menace

carvingday-003-large.jpgYesterday we carved pumpkins. Well, I mostly took pictures of people carving pumpkins. The smell of that raw pumpkin goop is nauseating.

Andrew and Thea did most of the work of emptying the beasts of their foul bowels.

This is an artistic shot I took. It symbolizes the destruction of the environment and the benefits of pussy willows.



While photography-ing, I simultaneously watched Lily and protected her from the evil of the universe. Unbeknownst to me, she is unable to step down from three inches and fell face-first into the mud. At this point her father removed her from my care so I was unable to take a picture of the event, and only captured the moment preceding the event.

After carefully carving grimacing caricatures and creepy critters onto the four orange gourds (aureate alliteration? absolutely), they were placed by the front door. Hours later they were discovered… maimed and mutilated, their faces gnawed and gnarled, orange mush strewn across the porch. A fat, black squirrel chattered at us from the garden. The culprit.evil-squirrel.jpg

What is it with Burlington squirrels? Not only do they dramatically outnumber the human population, they’re unnaturally aggressive. When I returned from Korea I was excited to see their bushy bushiness scampering about, only to turn around and see one distracting an old woman while his friend stole her purse. Just this morning, another bushy-tailed menace flipped me the bird. The bird and I were both horrified and traumatized.


So, one year ago today (well, yesterday for me… today for you) I asked Althea to marry me. I rushed to ask her before the 31st so it wouldn’t be on Halloween. And I was anxious to show her the ring that I picked. Hard to believe that it was only a year ago.

I’m planning on doing some spooky games and activities with my students tomorrow. I doubt I’ll take the time to dress up, but I want to impart some traditional North American sugar-coated demon-worship to the kids. It’ll be disappointing to look out the window tomorrow night and only see drunken business men instead of candy-seeking tots.

We bought bags of candy, which I’m planning on frugally dispensing to the students in order to save a good portion for myself… since I know that Thea will give away every last piece of sugary goodness to her classes.

I think that’s all the news I have. I’ve been trying to sift through old entries to remove any Google-able phrases and words since I’m averaging around 500 hits a day… which means that most people are visiting the site based on references to Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Some of the search-phrases that bring people here are certainly interesting.

Sorry I don’t have anything more interesting to report. Perhaps I’ll take the camera to school and post some pictures of my classroom and students.


Here’s an old Halloween picture, anyway. I believe I went dressed as the Ethiopian eunuch that Philip converted in Acts Chapter 8. That’s right. I think we had just learned that story in Grade 4 and my mom had thrown together an Arab costume on Halloween morning so… I decided that I was an Ethiopian eunuch. Happy Halloween.