Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Favorite Halloween Memory

It's is Halloween night. The kids are all out trick-or-treating in their various costumes and parents tag along to wait at the end of the driveways while children collect candy.

One large house near the far end of the street has no electric lights on. The path to the door is lit by torches and the path itself strategically littered with leaves. A well hidden mat, when trod on, gives the faintest of mysterious noises, so quiet you may not hear it. The sound of wind rustling through dry leaves. Children knock on the front door. It is answered by a gentleman with a long white beard in the black hat and cloak of a wizard. Old-fashioned wire glasses perch on the end of his nose.

The house is dark but for the candles lined on every available surface. You can just see the end of a long wooden table, covered in candles and other mysterious jars. A large dragon is perched on the stairs behind him; his head and neck stick out from around the corner. Occasionally he blows steam through his nostrils as his eye watches the door.

"Trick or treat!" the children cry.

"Would you like a trick or a treat?" he asks calmly.

The hesitant children (myself included) answer, "A treat," and are rewarded with candy.

The brave children and parents (my mom included) answer, "A trick," to which he doles out riddles to be answered by the end of the night for a special treat.

"What has roots as nobody sees, is taller than trees. Up, up it goes, and yet never grows."

Everyone ponders. Ask around. All the trick-or-treaters and parents in the neighborhood are talking about it. "What was your riddle?" "Do you know the answer to..."

A couple hours later we return with my mom to give her answer: "a mountain."

My mom is invited in to stand near the table of candles and jars. She may pick her special treat from the mysterious jars. She picks a jar containing a liquid-y substance with good-smelling herbs in it that he assures her is a good health potion. Just put some on as you would a lotion. We walk home curious, excited, and pleased. Most of all, we can't wait until next year to visit the wizard's house.

The gentleman who lived in that house did this for several years. He was one of the only people who knew that Becca and I were from CATS when we came around in 7th or 8th grade. He eventually stopped, but to this day we still refer to The Wizard and his house. I have decided that I am going to do this on Halloween when I have a house. I will be the mysterious witch who gives out riddles and health potions and who, hopefully, gives kids a unique and unforgettable Halloween experience.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Crafts

Halloween is also my favorite time of the year for crafts! I know this first Halloween craft post is a little late in the season, but I hope it can be a good resource in the future.

For this particular piece, I want to focus on pumpkins.

PUMPKIN CARVING
Everyone carves pumpkins, right? Pumpkin Masters has a wonderful variety of patterns to carve and tools to use. You don't just have to make jack-o-lanterns any more! And some people are amazingly talented. I found some awesome patterns that use two or three pumpkins stacked on top of one another in a magazine.

And if you want to keep your work, use a fake pumpkin. You can get these at just about any craft store around Halloween time: Michael's, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, etc.

HALLOWEEN SCENES:
Here is a different idea, especially for using fake pumpkins: Halloween scenes. My mom and I did a few of these a couple years ago and they were a lot of fun.
Pumpkin patch themed pumpkin scene.
At Hobby Lobby, you can find all sorts of miniature things (like for doll houses) to use. I found a wheelbarrow and a small "metal" tub and a picket fence here. The little pumpkins were found here, too. Or you can usually find little bags of them near the floral stuff in Michael's. I also found the mini hay bale at Hobby Lobby.

Michael's has all sorts of little Halloween town figures you can use. Like trees and lamp posts. We put a Halloween town hearse in my brother's and a black horse (with painted red eyes) in my sister's. You can buy mini lamp posts that light up, which is a cool idea.

We used fake moss on the ground of all of them. It gives a great effect. The "corn" in mine is made from pipe cleaners. And we recommend putting a fake candle in the back to light them up.

PAINTED PUMPKINS:
Another great way to present pumpkins. I bought five small fake pumpkins a couple years back. Following some basic ideas for pumpkins in magazines, I decided on a black and silver color scheme and went for it.

I painted two pumpkins silver and two black and left one orange. I like to use a lot of black and silver in my Halloween decor.
Silver painted pumpkins. The ribbons were cut different lengths and glued on and rhinestones added at intervals. The stems are painted black and have a silver-edged black ribbon tied around them. The lettering I did by hand in pencil before painting.

Two black pumpkins with silver stems and the original orange, also with a silver stem and a silver-edged black ribbon. I planned the lettering and free-handed the paint. I used smaller rhinestones to create random swirls on the black and the orange is done with silver paint (with little rhinestones at the end of the swirls).

Another great idea I saw was to cut fake pumpkins in half and paint them with different patterns and mount them on a door or wall.

And remember, there are a hundred ways to paint pumpkins. Some people even do tie-dye. Do whatever feels like you!

COVER YOUR PUMPKINS:
I found another great idea this year that I mean to try out: lace-covered pumpkins. There are expensive covers you can buy, but I would just use stockings. Especially around Halloween, there are stockings and tights with all sorts of fun, lacy designs. Just slip a pumpkin inside and tie it off! Voila! Here is a more specific how-to: Pass the Sushi: DIY Lace Pumpkins.

CLOTH PUMPKINS:
For those of you who end up with all sorts of extra fabric from costumes and projects, here is an idea: make little cloth pumpkins!

I have seen a few ways to do this from making them like a draw-string pouch to following more complex patterns. The draw-string way is easy: cut a large circle and draw it up and tie it off. You can fill them with other things as well, more fabric, cotton, even potpourri.

Here is one that is a little more involved and which I would love to try: Craft Buds: Fabric Pupkins Tutorial.

I have seen all kinds. Some are very detailed, some look like bags vaguely shaped as pumpkins. Be creative!

Please share other pumpkin crafts!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Stores: Where to Shop?

Halloween shopping! How exciting!

There are always the common stores that pop up around Halloween-time. Spirit and Halloween City for instance. If you are looking for gore and creepy, you have hit the jackpot.

Of course your local Target and Walmart will sell a variety of things. I have found good stuff at these places, especially Target. I have even found some great stuff at King Soopers. The stuff I usually go for is more in the way of decorations. Target usually has things like pillows and tableware that are all themed, which I like.

Had to share this Halloween-y picture of Romulus and Remus! And the pillow I got at Target and the blanket on the back of the couch was from Walmart. See? Good stuff.
Another good resource- Party City (or Party America, but I don't know if we have any of these nearby any more). They have a huge selection of costumes and accessories as well as anything you would need for a party. And if you live on my side of town, all costume-junkies (myself included) know about Disguises where you can rent or purchase costumes and accessories from a rather extensive selection. There is another place that I just learned about this year but have not visited (because I hate Cherry Creek...) called The Wizard's Chest. I have heard good things about it. Costume superstore and toy shop, I gather.

The beautiful mask I got at Disguises
For those of you who are crafty, JoAnn has things you can buy and supplies to make things on your own (plus SOOO much fabric and lots of patterns if you feel inclined to make your own costumes). My go-to for other crafty things (other than costumes, I mean) is Michaels. I LOVE this store and always spend waaay too much money here. I will be posting a bit about Halloween crafts and you will see that I have gotten almost everything I use at Michaels (thank heavens they started a reward program!). For those who don't like JoAnn as much (and there are some, that's OK), you can go to Hancock Fabrics.

While not always my favorite store, Hobby Lobby has some really cute decorations! For me, this is a goldmine! Most decorations you find at the popular shops, and even at Party City are rather gruesome. At Hobby Lobby they have some really adorable and fun decorations, perfect for people like me! And of course, they do have crafty stuff you can put together.

IF you can find them (and there aren't many these days), Hallmark stores are great for cute and fun decorations. However, I think the Gold Crown stores do not have the liberty to buy the same stuff, so their selection is much smaller. Hallmark. Since each Hallmark is different, however, the online selection is not very good, either. The best way is to actually go to a store and see what they have.

My mom love Annalee stuff, for Halloween and Christmas. We used to find it at Connie's Hallmark before it closed (38th and Wadsworth). Sometimes you can find them in little shops--I found some in a little shop on Washington Ave in downtown Golden, for instance. Here is the website for those who don't want to search: Annalee: Seasonal Decorations.

Thrift stores can be great places to find some decorations, tableware, and clothing/costumes for cheap. There are so many around, it is silly not to go look. And remember, if you are looking for costumes, you can often get pieces at thrift stores and do some alterations to them. I needed a Kagome costume from InuYasha shown here:
I happened to stumble upon a floor-length, pleated green skirt. So I cut it short and used the remaining fabric to make the cuffs of her shirt and her scarf thing. It turned out great.

If anyone else knows of some Halloween store gems, please share!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Parties

For people like me who love Halloween, Halloween parties are a great way to get the gang together, get in costume, eat fun food and drink fun drinks.

A few years ago, I started throwing my own little parties with some close friends. They seemed to keep growing. Last year marked the beginning of the themed parties thrown my my friends and me.

Last year was Harry Potter Halloween Party. It was a pretty big hit. Except that our apartment was way too small for the crowd that came. We had food, mostly stuff that was mentioned in the books. Some drinks like pumpkin juice (which was quite a pain to make, actually). That and almost all of the food that we made or had guests make was from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook which a friend of mine owned. Chocolate Frogs and Jelly Bellies in many flavors were a must. We also made butterbeer (cold, which we couldn't decide if authenticity should come at the cost of taste... it is supposed to be warm after all...). The recipe we found and tried was basically lots of cream soda mixed with butterscotch schnapps. At the experimental phase we decided it was WAY too sweet. What did we do for the final delicious (and popular) beverage? Added beer. Yep, about half Coors (because it was light and not overpowering in flavor... and cheaper than others...) and half cream soda and added some butterscotch schnapps. I know it sounds odd, but it was quite tasty. I am not sure on the exact proportions, but I'd say just mix it until it tastes good to you.

We strung white X-mas lights across the ceiling and had candles and jack-o-lantern lights all over. We didn't use any other lighting. I had lots of colored streamers on the walls for each house. My talented friends painted Hogwarts House posters which we hung up (and I still have because they are AWESOME).

Latin at the bottom means "Let Sleeping Dragons Lie" I believe. Interesting eh?




My favorite. We agreed to do Ravenclaw from the books so bronze and blue! Yay!

We had a few games. Everyone had to be assigned a house which was done by drawing colored ribbons out of a bowl while wearing our home-made sorting hat (felt). We had a "put the sock on Dobby" game and a Quidditch bean bag toss and we kept track of winners for house points.

Over the door outside we made a cloth "brick wall" (red cloth with a brick pattern painted onto it and hung like a curtain) to go through to get to my door. On my door hung a sign that read "Hogwarts Express" and on either side of the curtain were a "9" and a "10."

I sent out invitations in the mail. They were formatted like the Hogwarts acceptance letters. I used the Lumos Font and I found a picture of McGonagall's signature. For the list of required items, we had divvied up the things we needed and asked guests to bring them in place of school supplies. Here is another good resource: Invitation Letter. I also found a basic owl picture and drew in (on the computer) a square to make it look like it was carrying a letter. That is where I put in the guests' name and address. The pictures below are basically what ours looked like. I know the font looks hard to read, but I had to shrink it for the picture. When you print it out, it is actually quite legible.


This was the image on the envelopes. I typed in names and addresses, also using the Lumos font.

And, of course, I dressed as McGonagall for the party. It was great fun.

We also developed special shots (which were in individually corked glass bottles) for each house. The Ravenclaw one was especially popular, followed by the Hufflepuff. If we can find the list so we know what was in each, I will post them.

For the best Harry Potter Party that we found, go here: Welcome to the Hogwarts Celebration. I wish I could have been at that party... We did take several ideas from her. And I tried so hard to find some plastic or cloth that looked like stone to put on the walls, but no dice. Check it out.

I wanted to post all of the above as references for anyone else who might want to throw a HP party. On to this year.

This year the theme is: Tim Burton movies.

No formal invites or anything too big because we are pressed for time and money.

This is the first year we are renting space for said party. Crazy, eh?

Lots of black, white, red, and grey decorations.

Interesting selections for food and drink.

I will be dressing as Katrina Van Tassel from Sleepy Hollow. I am trying to "throw together" her riding dress and coat. I will have a special costume post detailing that bit. Isaac may go as Ichabod Crane, but I need his help getting his costume together. As such, I am taking care of some of the black and white decor, table ware, and Sleepy Hollow decorations. Food and drinks are another matter.

There are lots of costume opportunities.

I will have a post after the party with pictures and details.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Haunted Houses, Corn Mazes, and Pumpkin Patches, Oh My!

Here in Colorado we have a great selection of Halloween activities available to us.

1. Haunted Houses
If this is your style, you are in luck. There are so many around here. I am not a huge fan of haunted houses, sadly, so I have only been to one. However, sometimes a local family will turn their house into a haunted house (usually on Halloween night) and I have gone to one or two of those in the past and enjoyed them.

The haunted house that I have been to is Field of Corpses. My brother works here as a guide and I know that he has tons of fun. My mom goes every year (but often has a hard time finding people who want to go after one time, ie: me).

Here is a list of haunted houses in Colorado. Try going to all of these in one month. Haunted House.com: Colorado

2. Haunted Corn Mazes
Similar to haunted houses, I suppose. However, a couple of friends of mine dragged me to one of these last year. To my great surprise, I actually had a lot of fun! This was the one we went to: Field of Screams.

There is also Terror in the Corn by Anderson Farms. They also do regular, day time corn mazes. I have heard that both are good.

3. Zombie Paintball Hunting
Yes. This appears to be the "new thing" this year. I know they do this at Anderson Farms and Field of Screams. I'm sure you can find other places as well.

The premise seems to be to ride around in a cart (horse and cart maybe?) and you shoot the actors with paintball guns. I hope the actors make a lot of money because it doesn't seem like they can retaliate.

I haven't tried this one, but if someone has, please share.

4. Haunted Places
There are loads of places in Colorado said to be haunted. Of course, there is the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.

Here is a little list from the Denver Post that I found interesting: Outside Guide: Haunted places in Colorado. And here is a very thorough list of haunted places in Colorado broken up by city: Haunted Places in Colorado. This one I had to check out because there are, allegedly, two haunting spirits in the Macky Auditorium in Boulder and I have a friend who works there. Wonder if I should mention that. I guess she will know if she reads this!

This is usually a little bit much for me...

5. Pumpkin Patches
Ah, THIS is more my speed! Going out on a nice, Fall day and picking pumpkins and going on hay rides, going through mazes and eating caramel apples!

One that I have gone to a few times in the past: Rock Creek Farm. (This year is kind of a bust with the drought however.) Anderson Farms has all of the fun, not scary stuff, too. Here is their main site: Anderson Farms.

Here is a list put out by the Denver Post: Colorado corn mazes and pumpkin patches. I have only been to a couple of these myself, but the list is quite extensive.

6. For Kids and Kid-friendly Events
I want to go to most of these, who is with me?

There are various Trick-or-Treat Streets set up. I heard of one event from a friend with kids called Trunk or Treat where people decorate their trunks and themselves in a theme and hand out candy from one location. It is supposed to be a safer alternative to going door-to-door.

The Denver Botanic Gardens have several Halloween events including a corn maze and re-enactment of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

The Children's Museum of Denver has a Trick-or-Treat street at the end of October and a bug-theme for October museum visits.

The Butterfly Pavilion has an event called Bug-A-Boo that they do for kids around Halloween.

The Denver Zoo does a Boo at the Zoo (and a Boo at the Zoo After Dark) that includes a Trick-or-Treat street and other fun stations to stop at.

And last but not least, the Colorado Railroad Museum does a Trick-or-Treat Train with little fun things on the side.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Essential Halloween Music

More Halloween! This time it's about music. This is my personal Halloween playlist with some other stuff thrown around. All the songs have links so you can listen on YouTube before you purchase songs you've never heard.

For those of you who go for the scary Halloween movies, you can probably find most of those soundtracks. Since I don't, that won't be included here, but if anyone has good resources and suggestions, feel free to share.

Also, much of the Halloween music is sort of alternative or indie style, which is not a whole lot of what I listen to, myself.

You can also buy those spooky sounds CDs, but those aren't for easy listening.

I tend to think about the Harry Potter soundtracks around this time of the year. Practical Magic's soundtrack is also good. Basically any soundtrack from a Halloween-y movie is going to work. (For a list of Halloween movies, see my last post!)

1. Rock Lobster by the B52s. Why is this a Halloween song? Not sure, but many Halloween mixes include this song.
2. Witchcraft by Frank Sinatra. Classic.
3. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr. "I ain't afraid of no ghosts."
4. Somebody's Watching Me by Rockwell.
5. Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers. Essential.
6. The Munsters. One I couldn't find a video of. I am not sure which version I have. None of the ones I found. It sounds like the original theme but has words as well. I got it on The Complete Halloween Party Album.
7. The X-Files Theme Song.
8. Little Shop of Horrors Prologue. Awesome. Or just about any song from this musical.
9. Thriller by Michael Jackson. Of course.
10. This is Halloween from Nightmare Before Christmas. "I am the who when you call 'who's there?'" Gives me goosebumps. Nearly any songs from this movie, really.
11. Beetlejuice Theme Song. Many people also include Day-o (Banana Boat Song) by Harry Belafonte.
12. Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley. "Purple People?!" Not the best quality, but it is old.
13. I Put a Spell on You by CCR. Though I actually like this version better (shock...): I Put a Spell on You from Hocus Pocus.
14. The Twilight Zone Theme Song.
15. Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show. "I was walking down the street just-a havin' a think when a snake of a guy gave me an evil wink..." (Sorry about the odd subtitles in this one, but most of the others didn't have the movie clip with the dance AND good sound so...)
16. The Addams Family Theme Song.
17. Bewitched Theme Song.
18. Spooky by Atlanta Rhythm Section.
19. Poor Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas.
20. Love Potion Number 9 by The Searchers. Potions are Halloween-y, right?
21. Here is a gem: Anything Can Happen on Halloween by Tim Curry. "Has anybody seen my tambourine?" Tim Curry! Awesome, right? It's from 1987 so cut it some slack. From a movie (I don't think it's from the show) called "The Worst Witch," which I still need to watch... Sadly, this one is difficult to find for purchase. It is not on iTunes nor Amazon as far as I could tell.
22. The Headless Horseman Song by Kay Starr. While I generally love Bing Crosby, I found that I don't go for him for my Halloween music needs. If you are interested, he did this song: The Headless Horseman by Bing Crosby from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as well as: The Halloween Song by Bing Crosby and Boris Karloff.
23. Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon.
24. Grim Grinning Ghosts from the Disney ride Haunted Mansion.
25. Little Red Riding Hood. My version I bought from iTunes says it's by The Coasters. This one says it's by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. They sound the same, tho.
26.  Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground. Not really Halloween, but I think it was in one of those many Foreign Werewolves in Other Countries movies and the song is creepy and have you seen the video? Scary!
27. Werewolf by The Frantics. I got this from another blog here: Nerdist: 13 Required Songs for Your Halloween Party Playlist etc. They have some good stuff there. And I liked the part about "That's right, you just listened to Twilight," but I didn't think the second song was Halloween-y enough and I hated the third for that combo. You'll see what I mean if you visit.
28. Witchy Woman by The Eagles.
29. The Closing from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Not in the movie as far as my friend, Veronica, and I could tell.

So there you have it: my Halloween playlist. I hope you find something worth listening to. And please feel free to share your Halloween favorites!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Necessary Halloween Movies

If you are looking for the typical horror movie must-watch list, you are in the wrong place!

What on Earth do you watch for Halloween if you don't like horror films? And how can you love Halloween if you don't like horror?!

I go for fun, silly, and occasionally spooky. So here is a list of Halloween movies that are necessary for me at this time of the year:
  • Halloweentown (I and II) from the Disney Channel. They are fun and light-hearted. I don't own number III, but will watch it if it is available. I draw the line at number IV.
  • Practical Magic. I love this movie (though the book spooked me a bit). The opening is my very favorite part and I love the music for it.
  • Bell, Book and Candle. This is an old movie about witches and love. I think it is charming and fun.
  • Haunted Mansion. Another fun Disney movie.
  • Sleepy Hollow by Tim Burton with the usual cast--Johnny Depp and Christopher Lee. Michael Gambon is in this one as well as the guy who played Mr. Dursley (he's good in this one). One of the few R-rated movies that I like and will watch.
  • Don't Look Under the Bed. Another Disney Channel movie, but this one is nearly impossible to find. It seems that about 6 or so years ago, Disney stopped airing it around this time and there are no copies to be had. I have an old VHS recording (somewhere) or you can watch it in several parts starting with this link: Don't Look Under the Bed Part 1. I love this one.
  • Addams Family and Addams Family Values.
  • Hocus Pocus. I don't think you can have Halloween without this movie.
  • Little Shop of Horrors. Good old Halloween-y musical.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Not scary and not strictly Halloween, but I love it always.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Disney again. This is an older one that is also not really Halloween but is about a witch.
  • Escape to Witch Mountain. Not to be confused with the newer Race to Witch Mountain.
  • Batman and Batman Returns by Tim Burton with the old usual cast--Michael Keaton.
  • Beetlejuice, again Tim Burton, again Michael Keaton.
  • The Haunting. The newer one. Actually, my chances of watching this one are slim to none. But I always pull it out thinking that I will watch it.
  • Nightmare Before Christmas. I have to be in the right mood to watch this one.

And here are some movies that are not exactly Halloween but that I often want to watch around this time:
  • Little Nemo (Adventures in Slumberland). Old, hard to find, but spooky. Not Finding Nemo, mind you.
  • From Hell. One other R-rated movie that I may watch.
  • Hellboy.
  • Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton version.
  • Corpse Bride. Oh Tim Burton, what have you done to my Halloween?
  • Mirrormask. I like this movie, but it seems especially appropriate for Halloween.
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Monsters Inc. Disney and Pixar. Monsters are Halloween-y, right?
  • Any Harry Potter movies. I usually watch the earlier ones where they have Halloween scenes.
  • Matilda.
  • Stardust.
  • Phantom of the Opera.
  • Phantom of the Megaplex. Another Disney Channel movie. What can I say? I like Mickey Rooney.

Many shows have good Halloween episodes that I like to watch:
  • "The Slutty Pumpkin" from How I Met Your Mother season 1. One of my favorites.
  • "Canning Randy" from How I Met Your Mother season 6.
  • "Boys II Mensa" from Boy Meets World season 1.
  • "Who's Afraid of Cory Wolf" from Boy Meets World season 2.
  • "The Witches of Pennbrook" from Boy Meets World season 5.
  • "And Then There Was Shawn" from Boy Meets World season 5. Not the official Halloween episode, but it is appropriate.
  • Most episodes of The Storyteller season 1. I love this series. For Halloween I recommend "Fearnot," "The Soldier and Death," and "The Three Ravens." Maybe "Luck Child" and "Sapsorrow," too. 
  • "Fairy Tales Can Come True" from Cheers season 3.
  • "Diane's Nightmare" from Cheers season 4.
  • "House of Horrors with Formal Dining and Used Brick" from Cheers season 5.
  • "Bar Wars V: the Final Judgement" from Cheers season 10.
  • "Halloween" from Frasier season 5.
  • "Room Full of Heroes" from Frasier season 9.
  • "Tales from the Crypt" from Frasier season 10. 
  • Most episodes of The Addams Family (the old one, I watch them all on Hulu) but mostly "Halloween with the Addams Family" and "Halloween, Addams Style."
  • Most episodes of Bewitched and they have Halloween episodes. Watch on Hulu!
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which also has Halloween specials.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, also see their Halloween specials.

Here is a great list, most of which are shows I do not watch, but that's OK: List of Halloween television specials.

And Anime Halloween to wrap it up!
  • Vampire Princess Miyu series.
  • Master of Mosquiton (though mildly awkward at times...)
  • "Until the Day it Becomes a Pumpkin" from Ouran High School Host Club. Great episode.
  • "Haruhi in Wonderland" also from Ouran. It's not Halloween, but I want to watch it around Halloween.
  • Black Butler is appropriate for Halloween.
  • Spirited Away by Miyazaki. An argument can be made for it.

And there you have it! Anyone have any movies or good episodes to add? Please share!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Last NDK 2012 Post

I know it isn't Halloween related. Though, there are costumes involved, so, maybe it's not too bad.

I promise that this will be my absolute LAST post for NDK 2012!

Here is one more video my friend made-an uncut video of our wonderful Katamari train around NDK. I wanted to share it because it is fun and entertaining.

Uncut NDK Footage

Thought: how do you think trick-or-treaters would respond if I opened the door to them in my Katamari costume? Hmm...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Our Family Holiday: Halloween

This is just the beginning. All October posts from here one will have one major theme: Halloween!

As several of you already know, Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. (I know, I even like it better than Christmas/Hanukkah). If any of you know my family, you know that I come by it honestly.

My mom is into holidays in general, but she loves Halloween. It definitely suits her eccentric style. She likes horror movies and visiting haunted houses (not the ones the local kids put on, but actual rumored haunted places). She gets into the ghost stories and dressing up. Her particular tastes we define as "mysterious." Witches, black cats, lanterns, ghostly figures. Nothing particularly frightening, but things that are potentially frightening. Grave yards, cauldrons, bats, and such.

My sister is a bit of a mix. She watches lots of horror movies and reads much scarier books and stories than I do. For decorations and everything, she is kind of like my mom. Maybe with a little cute thrown in. And I think she gets a kick out of zombies. I am not positive, but I think Halloween is still her favorite holiday, too.

My brother is a horse of a different color. He likes the gruesome and spooky. Gore galore. Moving headstones, tormented souls, restless dead. He works at a local haunted house (one that the local kids put on, not one that is actually haunted) called Field of Corpses. I visited once for him and do not feel inclined to return. Ever. Anyway, he gets into the dressing up and he's an actor so he can do the creepy scary stuff.

My Halloween style is more cute and classy, I would say. Many of my decorations are black and silver with accents of orange. I have a lot of stuff that glitters. And I love jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins. I include general autumn decor- fall colors, pumpkin patches. That is my type of Halloween. And, as many of you know, I also love to dress up. And never as anything scary.

Here are some of my decorations that I made myself (the ornaments I assembled). If you keep an eye on my blog, I will have lots of Halloween posts and I may include some crafts and other neat ideas.
Stay tuned for more Halloween!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Short NDK Follow-up

My friend with the video blog finished his last NDK video, and it is cool so I wanted to share it. For those of my readers who are curious, this is a small taste of what NDK is like. He got some great shots.

RAW: NDK (Nan Desu Kan)

Something that I don't think I shared was the meaning of the name of the convention, Nan Desu Kan. So Nan Desu Kan (Pronounced like Nan Des Con) is sort of a play on the Japanese phrase "Nan desu ka?" meaning roughly "What is it?" Kan is the Japanese-ified word for Con (short for "convention"). So basically, "What is Con?" I always think it is funny, anyways...

And one more video that I wanted to share because it is my all time favorite AMV. I believe it won an award at NDK many, many years ago. I am not sure what for or if the categories were the same then as they are now (I am pretty sure they are not). Please forgive the quality: it is an older video and I downloaded it many years ago. Plus, I am not sure the video application agrees well with Blogger. So here it is:
video
My absolute favorite part is the fight scene with Saito. Saito is a favorite of mine, both in the series as well as the real Saito Hajime in history that he is loosely based on. This video always makes me happy :)

And I could not find it on YouTube or even on the editors page without downloading it, so here is their page and their page for this particular video:
Main Page: Laser Chicken
Information Page for Rurouni Kenshin - Butterfly