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November 01, 2010

Ah, Halloween . . .

By Heather

Ah, Halloween. What a great holiday. Grownups wearing all kinds of weird guises and--oh, yeah! It's for the kids!

Usually, I have a few real kids--my nephews, the cutest little boys in the world, in my opinion, of course. We do things like Zoo-Boo and Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween. But, this year, it became an adult holiday.

We have a band, you see. And "players." This is because I came from a theatrical background, and have friends like Harley with real live careers. So sometimes we're all players in what we call something-that-resembles-entertainment at various functions. Sometimes we do dinner theater, and sometimes we're just a band.

RT vampires Now, the "Slushpile" could be a group that ranges in size from five to fifteen, because if you're in the Slushpile, we're sorry to say that it's a life sentence.

This year, we were asked to play for the Memnoch the Devil ball in New Orleans. Obviously, everyone could not attend, but we gathered our group, including Dave Simms, Greg Varicchio, Brian O'Lyaryz (yes, folks, that's how the name is spelled when the Irish immigrate to Cuba before heading to the states), Shayne Pozzessere, Juan Roca, and moi. As usual, we had a single day to get things together.

Somehow, communication had been lost. Brian usually plays bass, but he was playing drums (that damned F. Paul Wilson, off working as a writer, when he's supposed to be our drummer). But we had all learned different songs, so in our two-by-four rented rehearsal space, we tried to get it together. Worked out fine--there were five bands, so no band had more than a half hour to forty-five minutes on stage, so we were good.

One of our favorite numbers is “House of the Rising Sun.” MSNBC caught us on that number, so we were quite honored. We may be on the cutting room floor, but that's okay--if no one tells us that, we'll never know.

Images Now, the Memnoch the Devil ball is fun. And interesting. Some real vampires attend. And some folks just out to have a great time. The costumes were amazing. It was great, and we were thrilled.

But that was Friday. Saturday night, we went to the Endless Night ball. More incredible costumes. Images-2 And a real vampire or two--it is New Orleans.

It's Halloween as I write this. Early still, but people are out in all manner of costumes--and in the colors of the NOLA Saints--yes, they play today. The Steelers. Those damned Steelers. (So, they played well!) In Miami, they're still saying that the Steelers "stole" the last game. So, if I weren't a major league Saints fan to begin with, I'd have to go with my own city's childish refrain and hope that the Saints in turn stole a game from the Steelers.

103513-big-daddy-hundekostuem-dog-costume (Just saw a dog in an unbelievable costume! Halloween in NOLA.)

Only problem is, most parents seem bright enough to keep their kids off the streets in the French Quarter. Bourbon Street is people-grid. The costumes are fantastic. It's a wonderful time. But I do miss my two little guys, and the wonder in their eyes when they see the sights of Halloween . . .





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I had little kids coming out my ears, Heather -- and it was great. I need a week to recover, but you know what's weird? I never used to care about Halloween, and now every year I love it more, buy more decorations, get more into the spirit of it -- what's up with that?

Heather, I love that dog! Hey, and we need a video there, OK?

More doorbell action this year than in the past two! Zombies to Pirates to Gnomes to Ninjas to Ninja Zombies, etc. et al, any combination you can think of. Things lasted almost two hours precisely, and it was more fun than it has been in years....

Ours went on for at least 4 hours, and we ran out of candy long before we ran out of kids. We live down the street from a block called Hempstead, where the residents go all out and draw in crowds from miles around. They close the street to traffic and have mounted police and EMT people hanging out. I'm waiting for the sun to come up so I can see what kind of residue is left on my lawn.

Hopefully it's all candy wrappers, and no dead bodies.

Heather, your holiday sounds incredible! (Glad the Steelers were able to oblige . . . I guess.)

My crime scene was smaller this year, but attracted more kids. (When we use the red flashing bubblegum light, we discover that people stay away. They think there's a real cop on our street!) Only one kid asked if he could take home our severed foot.

I sent the leftover candy to work with my husband. For my own safety.

Nancy, with my collection of skulls, skeletons, spiders, bats, and a severed hand, we really could have fun on Halloween!

I have way too much Halloween decor for my own sanity, and can't seem to quit collecting it. There's just something amusing about posing skeletons having cocktails and wearing old circle skirts. It's all about the fun, baby.

Harley, what fun! Hope your yard is intact. Karen, too bad I didn't know about your collection when someone offered me some skeleton earrings a couple of years ago!
Different picture here, for the moment, anyway: my apartment is at the dark and quiet back of a little old semi-California courtyard complex . . . for the past few years, no one in the 'back' apartments has decorated or invited trick-or-treaters. So, last night, not one candy solicitor showed up at my door. It feels mean-spirited to say I was glad, but here's the deal:

Years ago, we had small throngs of darling little fairies and ghouls, which I loved. You just want to hug the adorable little ones, but I usually just make sure they get some goodies, if they're too shy to reach. But, we've never been Hempstead, or even the closer and more downscale Oak Street or the upscale Montana (trick-or-treating on Montana Ave. is from 3-5 in the afternoon, I believe).
In the past few years, our little neighborhood has tended to have mainly (literally) marauding bands of older teens who have either gotten some alcohol or are on their way to get some, and are loud and boisterous and somewhat intimidating. Last night was the same: I heard shouts, laughter, roars and running out in the street a few times, and at least one huge 'whomp!' that sounded like something VERY heavy dropped from a great height . . . ??? I didn't go out to investigate, but there were no sirens, so, one assumes all is well.

BTW, anyone know what costumes Me, Margie and her Steve of the moment wore?

We had TWO trick or treaters! TWO! SO lots of leftover Twizzlers.

Heather, your Halloween sounds much more glam. (And I'd LOVE to sing with you someday. I play a mean tambourine...and am a reliable backup...)(If you dont care too much about being in actual TUNE.)

This is the first year in a while I've lived in a neighborhood that might get trick or treaters and I had to work, so I still don't know if I would have had any. We did get a few into the store and they were adorable.

In Panama, we lived at the top of a steep hill, and had many requests for water to go along with the candy.

No treaters here -- I didn't even buy candy to give out. I had some change and my storytelling CDs to offer if any did, and I turned on lights, but it was quiet.
Love the photos of others' parties. Maybe next year I'll make plans to do to one ;-)

Not as many tricksters or tr eaters this year but the little ones were darling. One little girl was carrying her fairytale wings in her hand and a little two year old lion was asleep on his father's shoulder as the Dad did the candy duty. Very precious.
The teenagers were exuberant and very polite..very heartening, indeed.

The princesses Trick or Treat my MILs street. There have never been Trick or Treaters where we live, and then MIL gets to see the granddaughters. She lives near the City/County border. She gets carloads of junior thugs whose costume is bummish clothes and a pillow case. The neighborhood was smarter this year. The neighborhood kids Trick or Treated early. By 7:00 there were at least 5 back yard parties, if you lived there or were invited. No candy for the thugs or their mommies in the cars.

Me, I was the pizza dude for the 23 consecutive Halloween. I got to the block party after the girls were done. I went to a bunch of house parties all weekend. We provided pizza to three trunk or treats as well.

We used to have a lot of trick-or-treaters, but since my friend and neighbor, Betty, was murdered a couple of years ago, the kids in our neighborhood have been having parties. It's sad to see all of the change, but we are a tiny community, somewhat isolated, and the shock of losing our dear friend has frozen us in place a bit. http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=56991

[Storyteller Mary, I left you (and anyone else interested) a link to my kitty pics on Elaine's Halowe'en post.]


Salem has the fright train running from Boston and people who come from all over the world to party. In Early October, it starts getting pretty crowded here, you have to leave your car at home and walk into town. On Halloween, you have to fight someone off just to park in your own driveway. No one cares, though because it's so much fun. Last year, I was a judge at the Hawthorne's costume ball. This year was much more low key. Just a few hundred trick or treaters. The Salem witches walk by candlelight up to Gallows HIll to honor the dead. Everyone else just seems to be partying until late into the evening. Today, it's all over and our population went back from 300,000 to our normal 40,000.

When I took my niece on a New England cruise, she chose Salem as our Boston shore excursion, and we were both intrigued by the idea of Salem for Halloween. It sounds like great doin's!

Reine, so sorry about your friend. . . hard to move past something that dreadful.

Kitties and puppy too cute!!! Thanks!

Cat Who . . . series is by Lilian Jackson Braun
list of books in order

Storyteller Mary, hi. Yes... thank you. He stalked us both- and other women in the neighborhood. I'm glad he's in jail, but he has escaped before. People had reported his behavior, and he'd been questioned with nothing anyone could do except send him on his way- until he killed Betty and was ID'd with DNA. He went across the South, and some in law enforcement believe he's had other victims.

Hallowe'en can be so much fun. I'm glad the children here in our little area are having parties. I miss seeing them come by in costumes, but we are all so cautious now! Not that any of us was innocent before... sorry.

Thanks so much for the link. The Cat Who... series looks like fun. ^..^

I hope you enjoy Qwill and Koko. They were my "emergency" books for a while, saved for times of great need for comfort. Now I have so many favorite authors that I know I'll always have plenty.
Staying safe but leaving room for fun. It's a hard balance to achieve.

halloween is for the kids? Since when. That is definitely news to me...I'm totally gonna rock out on Halloween!

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