Oct 31, 2010

Wicked Children



Before Hot Topic was in every mall. Before we ever walked into our first Tim Burton movie, Beetlejuice, and walked out changed. Before Pottery Barn Kids figured out how to make store bought costumes look like homemade costumes and then charge sixty bucks a pop to look like your mom sewed you the quaintest, cutest corn dog costume.

There was the three of us.

I don't even think this picture was taken on Halloween. Drug store witch masks were probably just a grandma gift. Enough to get us posing for the cameras, but really just a fraction of what the next weeks (and years) would hold, which rarely involved plastic masks, but always involved some hodge-podge of our mom's makeup, both our parents' old wardrobes, and our stash of garage sale costume clothes that got reinvented every year.

Pirate mustaches from your mom's stubby red pencil black Maybelline eyeliner.
Ghostly complexions from baby powder that rubs off before you ring the first doorbell.
Middle school bunnies and belly dancers and hippies.
High school zombies and werewolves and mummies.

I love that Halloween has become so popular again. But it's a double-edge sword. Now you can buy almost decoration, almost any costume. I do it, too.

But wouldn't it be cool to have some kid ring your doorbell wearing her mom's castoff silk nightgown and a tinfoil crown and a crazy mess of red lipstick, no princess-out-of-a-box but a princess all the same?

That, or maybe go completely the other direction.

A plastic drug store witch... now that might just be wickedly charming.

Oct 30, 2010

Classic Costume



Always A Bride

Yesterday was my office costume party. We did classic Hollywood monsters, and everyone looked fantastic.

I have to say, going old school Bride of Frankenstein was really cool. Kathleen and I used to do "zombie brides" all the time in my parents front yard which is the Halloween epicenter of their neighborhood. But we kind of got burned out on cleaning off the rot makeup and picking all the dead leaves out of our hair every year, so we kind of got out of the habit.

So at first I was kind of ho-hum about gettin' on my get up. But about fifteen minutes into my makeup and hair I got excited.


She Works Hard For The Money

Nothing says nine-to-five corpse bride like a can of low sodium V8.

Thanks mom for helping me, yet again, whip together another awesome homemade costume at the eleventh hour.

Oct 19, 2010

Mom's Busted Out The Miniatures

One of the first things our mom does for Halloween...


that is, after she puts out the witchy cookie jar...


and lets the grandkids decorate the spooky gingerbread house (okay, one grandkid, Charlie and Kathleen who isn't a kid, not that you can tell by her shoddy piping work)....



is set up the miniature haunted village. Mom actually lets me arrange it every year. One, because I'm the only one who doesn't lose patience with it, two, cause I'm a control freak, and three...


because Kathleen's too busy pretending that one of the figurines is her handbag. Because she's still wearing the remnants of her impromptu Carrie Bradshaw outfit. Which is what makes the bag make complete sense.

It was a busy Saturday that weekend, what can we say?

Oct 15, 2010

A Little. Fright. Reading.

A Little.

The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey. Miniature little picture book I got years ago. Lots of little children meeting an early demise from everything from getting squashed by a train, to drinking to much gin.




Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark a collection by Alvin Schwartz, is one of the books I remember fighting to check out at the school library in elementary. Remember how you were always cool if you were the one with the hot book that everyone wanted, like Where The Sidewalk Ends? Just me? Hm. Anyhow, now I scare the crap out of my six-year old by reading it to him right before bedtime. "Where's my big tooooooeeeeee?" I pay for it later at 1:00 am, 2:00 am, 3:00 am... you get the drift.




The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. May I just say, that Kathleen, Donny and I had our zombie survival plan worked out a decade ago, before all this zombie craze reached a fever pitch. Usually we get turned off a trend once it gets too mainstream. But we could never turn on the undead. Or turn our back on them... cause then they'll chomp you right in the back of your neck. In the bony part where your head attaches to it and all.

One thing Max Brooks' guide made me think of that I never had before, is that zombies can live under water (cause they don't breathe.) So they could just come up out of the ocean to chomp on your bony parts. So, that kind of screws finding a secluded island to live on. Plus, Oklahoma is landlocked.... so, we probably need to update our plan. Perhaps when Donny visits for Christmas.

Oct 13, 2010

My Husband Works for The Empire

Actually, he works as the art director for an alternative news weekly.



So, yeah... we apparently marry into freaky, too. Gotta keep those blood lines pure, right?



Sometimes this is what my living room rug looks like. Almost Buffalo Billish in a way, right?


Unless it's time to break out the Rocketeer costume. Chris' mom helped him make these gloves. Actually, both our moms are awesome sewers. Which really comes in handy when you want to... you know... whip up a super-detailed, over-the-top costume.


And Chris has got to have it down-to-the detail authentic. So when it comes to our kids costumes...



... they are no exception. Chris made this proton pack himself last year after Charlie discovered Ghostbusters. No store-bought, no way. Then the mom's both helped make the jumpsuits, including...


... the baby's. His proton pack was felt and squishy. We actually got him to answer the song "who you gonna call..." then you know the rest.


So, basically, we're passing down the freakdom, and we're passing it down young.

My husband was annoyed with the Rocketeer-in-front-of-the-linen-closet photo I chose to share in this post. Because, 1.) it was apparently was the "bad" helmet (yes, my husband has two Rocketeer helmets... and you're annoyed because your husband watches too much football, ah, well) and 2.) because it didn't show the rocket pack he made from a premolded form thingy that he detailed and finished (which is pretty cool).


Granted, I can't blame him for taking offense. I mean, any self-respecting Rocketeer has gotsta have his rocket pack.

Oct 11, 2010

Once Upon A Time, Buffalo Bill...



My husband, Chris, got me this storybook-style print from artist Josh Cooley for my birthday in July. (It's kind of still curled up right now, I need to get a frame for it.) Cooley does illustrated cool quotes from films like The Terminator or The Professional as if they were a page from a Little Golden Book.

Um. I love children's storybooks. Hello? I love that girl in the bottom of that well, calling out to that yappy little poodle, Precious, in her West Virginia twang. I love to sing along to Tom Petty's American Girl in my car, drumming along on the steering wheel before I'm about to be abducted in a parking lot.

But who do I love even more? Buffalo Bill. That Ted Levine gravely voice. That scene with the, er, tuck in. The night vision goggles!

So now that it's the Halloween season, perhaps it's okay to admit to you that my favorite film of all time is Silence of The Lambs. Not that weird, it did win best picture at the Oscars. But, while most people feel like it's maybe okay to root for Hannibal Lecter (the lesser of two evils in this serial killer show down) I love Bill just as much.

Okay, so, no. I don't love REAL serial killers. Except for my dad. But I do love romanticized fictional characters that burn into your brain, no matter how evil (or maybe because of how evil) they are.

This is because when we were kids we were allowed to watch that stuff. It's weird because my mom was so Mary Poppins, but we somehow just got away with seeing all sorts of crazy-scary movies. I'm pretty sure I had seen The Shining, Poltergeist, American Werewolf in Paris and at least one Jason movie by the time I was eight. Eh. It was the eighties.

Although, that's not an excuse for my dad taking Kathleen to see the ultimate serial killer star-crossed lovers romantic blood bath Natural Born Killers (ahem, in the nineties) when she was twelve... at the actual theatre! But it does explain why she has idolized Juliette Lewis ever since. "How sexy am I now!?"

These days, romantic comedies are a bit more Kathleen's cup of tea. She didn't really stomach Hostel that well when I made her go watch it in the theatre with me. But teased me for delighting in every torturous finger-nail extraction or limb amputation. More butter on my popcorn please!

Listen I'm the oldest. The responsible one. The mom. The square of the three of us siblings. So I've got to have my guilty pleasures, too. I'm not psycho. I cry at romantic comedies, too. I just also happen to tear up at the opening soundtrack to The Shining, or when Carol Ann's mother tells her to "stay away from the light," or, with end credits scrolling, Hannibal Lecter saunters off into the sunset, head tilted just so, hand on his fedora, ... wait, I need a Kleenex just thinking about it.

Oct 5, 2010

Halloween Countdown


It's the most wonderful time of the year.


So what's coming out down from the attic at our house this week?




Halloween of course.



Cheesecloth is a staple.


There's plenty of carving in our future. But for now, just pumpkins waiting for faces.


These get a little attention in the meantime.



This is just my house. Almost a little too cute, verging on a Martha Stewart, Real Simple version of Halloween, right? But don't be fooled, we are some serious Halloween purists around here. No stuffed scarecrow. No way no how. No cutesy harvesty hay bales. Uh uh. You'll see. More to come from this family when it comes to Halloween. I'm sure you're shocked. The freak family loves Halloween.

This is just the countdown.