I am still: rooting for Althea in Project Runway. I think it's going to be all girls in the finale this year!
I smiled. "You're the cutest thing ever," I said. Then Biscuit noticed I had the screen door pulled. She stood up on the couch. Looked at me. Looked at the door. Looked at me again. This time, the look on her little furry face could best be described as The Look of Destruction.
"Biscuit ..." I said. And I tried to give her the look of, Whatever You Are Thinking About Destructing, Don't Do It.
RoboDog jumped from the couch, ran at the door, then through the door, knocking the screen door off its hinges. The door clanged to the porch. Biscuit landed beside the door in a proud little thump and looked back at me, her tail wagging. Then she came back inside, hopped on the couch, and fell asleep.
So my dog is feeling a little feisty today. I blame Halloween. It makes animals do weird things, right? (Or is that a full moon?) Things are already getting crazy here, is what I'm getting at. So there is no better time to make a list of Spooktastic Reasons I Heart Halloween. Here goes:
Halloween is fun:
Because I met the Ninja Turtle next door. My neighbor, Alex, saw me outside, tossing the tennis ball with Biscuit. He climbed out of his fort and came over to say hey. Pause to add: Alex is a little boy, not a weird old man who builds tree forts. Resume story: Alex is going as a Ninja Turtle for Halloween (Raphael). Fact: I feel much safer in my neighborhood.
Because Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is playing at the IMAX! Usually, our IMAX only shows educational films and that's, uh, fun and educational. I guess. But Harry Potter showing on a ginormous screen?! I am beside myself. I won't tell you how many times I've seen the movie now. When Harry Potter is the topic of conversation, I board the triple decker bus to Nerdville real quick.
Because Sarah said this: "My jack-o-lantern would make Ichabod Crane soil his breeches!" and it made me laugh.
Because I walk around singing "Nicoriah, Nicoriah ... Grinch is gonna get-cha, Grinch is gonna get-cha." All. Day. Long. It replaces "Part of Your World" but only for a day. Everybody loves the Christmas Grinch but the Halloween Grinch gets neglected. Have you seen the cartoon? In this film, the town of Whoville is afraid of the mean Grinch who lives on the mountain. Lucky for them, he only comes out one night every year. Because the Whos, (not to be confused with The Who) are terrified of the Grinch, they stay in their swirly houses on Halloween night, lock all the doors, bar all the windows, and wait until the night is over to go resume harvesting their turnip mugurnips.* But a brave little Who named Nicoriah decides staying locked up in his house might be worse than facing his fears and meeting the Grinch. What follows is a typical trippy Suessical movie with lots of fun music. My favorite song lyric is: "I wouldn't go out on a night like this for a dollar and fifty cents!"
Because all of these wild colors are making my heart spin. There's a Sandra McCracken song I love called "Chattanooga." City songs are sort of like songs about your name. Or maybe not your name, but I'm egotistical enough to like
songs about my name.** I found the song because I was looking for a song about my city. Lucky for me, the song happens to be written (and performed) by a songwriter whose brilliance continually blows my mismatched socks off.
The song is sort of about a city, but more about a season of change.
When I'm old, wrinkly, loud(er) and own the pink moped I plan to buy on my 88th birthday, I think I'll realize Chattanooga marked a big transitional time for me. Chattanooga was a season when I had to shake off old faith cliches and get authentic. A season when I stopped chasing dreams and caught a few. There has been plenty of sad here, and I know sad is inevitable. But Chattanooga has been full of love and surprises too. Which brings me back to what I was saying: This city is pure magic in the fall. Every year in October one perfect sunset melts over the mountains and stays long enough to convince me more good days are coming.
You wear poverty like riches
And your tears like spring rains
If time and history were my love
There's not a thing that I would change.
So can I drive you to Chattanooga
Where the city in October looks like fire
Changing lanes on this restless highway
between this living and desire.
(- Sandra McCracken, from the song Chattanooga, off her Gravity Love album)
Because I get nostalgic about old Halloween costumes. There's this pic I like so much but I can't find it. It's a picture of me, and my best friend Melanie when we were kids. Melanie was a pumpkin that year and I was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I carried a little toy dog around in my candy basket :) I already told you about some of my favorite Halloween costumes, I think. One year, I was Rainbow Brite. One year, I was Sleeping Beauty. My mom bought me a sparkly tiara that I wanted to wear all the time, long after Halloween was over. Also, I wore white Reeboks that year. Cause nothing says princess like high-tops.
As I got older, I grew out of the princess phase. Do you remember the scene in Mean Girls when Cady goes to the Halloween party dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein? Because she hasn't lived in America, so she thinks Halloween is about dressing up and having fun? And all the girls at the party are wearing bunny ears and underwear? Hilarious. I felt like I connected with Cady. I always assumed Halloween was a time to be funny. Snarky. Somewhat creative. A few years ago, I decided to go to a Halloween party as Sonny Bono because my friend, Tony, said he would be Cher. I was so excited. I ordered a wig. Then I asked Chase and Tony to pick up a mustache at the Halloween store so I could complete my ensemble.
Those degenerates brought back a gray and black mustache, like an old man mustache. I tried to color it with a sharpie, but that was no good. Then the wig came and it was NOT the wig in the online picture. It looked like a bad Bible play wig. I put the wig on, which I had to hold in place by tying a scarf around my head. Then I put on the mustache. I did not look like Sonny Bono. I only looked like a very ugly, very confused little man. Like a hippy version of Rumpelstiltskin. So we scrapped the outfits two hours before the party and decided to go as Harry and Hermione (no gender bending). And for a last minute change, I think it turned out cute! My hair won't curl even a little bit, so the hair wasn't so great, but otherwise I think we did good. That's our Hogwarts tribute in the pic (I don't know why it's in black and white ... I can't find the color version.) Also, Tony's glasses are fake but I thought they looked so cool on him.
Because I'm going to see a play with my family. It has nothing to do with Halloween. My dad and brother picked it and say it is one of the funniest things they've ever seen. I don't know if I should be excited or scared.
Because I have an excuse to watch spooky movies. Not gory gross movies, but movies that make me nervous. Like the Sixth Sense. Or Wait Until Dark. Or Signs. Or that movie with Michelle Pfeifer and Harrison Ford where the house is haunted. Or The Great Pumpkin. When I was a kid there was this show that came on Nickelodeon called "Are You Afraid of The Dark?" Creeped. Me. Out. But I couldn't stop watching. And Goosebumps books scared me. Goosebumps was as hardcore as I could go for scary books though. Here's today's public service announcement: it's okay to dislike books other people rave about. And it's okay (and advised) to walk out of movies, or away from books, that you know will bother you in a big way. I can think of a few movies I truly wish I'd never seen.*** I can think of books I wish I'd never read. Everybody is different, and some people aren't bothered by scary stuff. I wish I was like that, but I'm not. Suspense doesn't bother me. But horror bothers me. It gets stuck in my imagination and I like my imagination too much to have bad stuff rattling around in there. Sarah says Mary Poppins is the scariest movie ever made. She might be onto something:
Because last night, while the wind was howling, and leaves where scratching against the glass, I put the final touches on one of the best scenes in The It. There's a full moon and fallen snow, shadows and strange, flickering eyes ...
And while I was writing the scene, I listened to this song.
Because Adam Lambert's album cover looks like a Lisa Frank folder. So. Awesome!
Because on November 1st, Halloween candy goes on sale. If you dig past all the bags of peanut butter nasty in the brown and orange wrappers, there are mini-Snickers to be had. Don't give up! Never give up!
Because in November, I get to bust out the Christmas music! Then comes the cookie shooter and The Christmas Honks. But I can't talk about that stuff yet. One festivity at a time.
So let's have a virtual Halloween party. Anybody dressing up this year? What was your favorite costume when you were a kid? If your friends managed to put together some snazzy outfits, list those too. A friend of the blog deserves mention here: My friend Jimmy, man of wifeandman, dressed as a rolled tree one year in high school (taped leaves to a black shirt, then twisted toilet paper around the leaves). Do you have a favorite spooky movie? Favorite candy? I wish we could all eat cupcakes and play Clue, but this will have to work. Loved your memes so much, btw :)
If treats are more your thing, you should scoot over to Jenny's blog. She's giving away some copies of her new novel (to a few brave reviewers). Take this opportunity to snatch that book up! Jenny's novel, Just Between You and Me, is one of the best novels I read this year. It's full of great writing. The humor is smart. The struggles the characters wrestle through made me tear up. And the characters, my word. The characters in this novel will steal your heart. One thing I love about Jenny's writing is that she's never afraid to throw her characters in tough situations. Another favorite thing is that the characters struggle with their faith, but never in a cliche, saccharine way. And another favorite thing is the way I feel after I read one of her books. I don't just have the happy bookhigh that comes from reading. I feel weirdly brave when the book ends, and it rocks when a novel can make me feel that way. Just Between You and Me is my favorite book she's written. I'm giving one away on here (hopefully sometime in November) and I can't wait to talk more about it. Even if they're all gone on her blog, you should treat yourself and pick it up.
My dog just barked and wagged her tail. She's a Jenny B. Jones fan too.
Or perhaps Biscuit is planning to smash through the window next. Sometimes Biscuit watches football games with Dad on Saturdays. I think she might be getting the wrong idea ...
Hope have a truly sweet and spooky Halloween night! :)
* I made this up. I don't know the names of WhoCrops. I just remember Nicoriah's dad was farming stuff. I think.
** And there are so few songs about Natalie. The Killers have one. Josh Kelly has a beautiful one. But just in general, I guess Natalie isn't so easy to work into a song. Too many syllables or something.
*** Mothman Prophecies. Fallen. There are more, but mainly those.