Halloween Die-ary: September 16, 2018

I goddamned mowed the goddamned lawn today. Like it was July or something. It angered me that the grass blades felt the outrageous liberty to stretch at the sky instead of bending humbly under the weight of dead leaves. On top of that it was extremely hot. I had planned to store the AC units today in a joyful ritual of pomp and circumstance…but we needed them. Doesn’t whatever weather god is responsible for New England know that I have foam tombstones on my mantel?

But we rallied. First we spiderwebbed and batteried the interior decorations. They’re done. Completely done. It’s awesome in our living room. It might not win any Martha Stewart awards, but I love being in that room. I was so lost in them, that these words actually came out of my mouth to my wife, “You know, we have the layout to do a home haunt.” Terrifying. I plan on doing a video soon to show you guys our Halloween HQ.

Then we hit up Target for the first time this season. These days, Target is a bit of a Halloween mecca of food and decor, even if that homogenizes all of our Halloweens a little bit too much for my comfort. The coolest thing there, in my opinion, were these gray and orange Jack-o-lantern tombstones. But I couldn’t quite find a path to buying them. It felt to me like they needed to be a set, which would make it mantlepiece or bookshelf ends (and twice as expensive) and our mantelpiece is too thin for them. So we walked away with a potion bottle topped by a gold Jack-o-lantern stopper. The tombstones are still in my thoughts and prayers, though.

Back home, we watched the new Scooby Doo movie, The Ghastly Gourmet. There was a lot to like about it. The ghost was actually creepy looking (which is an issue with modern Scooby), the New England setting was perfect (although I’m biased). And it had some of the most evocative opening credits in recent years. The celebrity chef stuff got annoying, though.

After that I had some writing to do. It’s OTIS Club Newsletter Day, and in today’s issue I included bonus photos from our Saturday Vermont trek and a giveaway of a 40-year-old Halloween-themed Anoka, Minnesota beer can. If that strange string of descriptors read familiar, it’s because I wrote about my set of them here during the 2016 OTIS Halloween Season.

At one point, my youngest was playing with toys on the kitchen floor. She came to me and said, Do You have any monster toys I can use? She was totally acting out a Scooby scenario with her dolls and ponies. It’s the question I’ve been waiting to be asked my entire life. I took her into the basement, where I have more than a decade worth of monster toys in boxes from another life and let her rummage through one until she found an appropriate sized monster. She chose a Bigfoot to menace her other toys.

Once the kids were abed, we tried, tried, tried to test out our newly complete Halloween bubble with a Halloween movie: Boo! A Madea Halloween. I know, I know. But this movie is such a Halloween oddity, that I’ve been meaning to watch it since it came out in 2016. We lasted half an hour in before we turned it off. So way before the monsters show up. It felt like I was watching the first cut of a movie. Just real awkward pacing and dialogue, and I didn’t feel like mutually cringing with Lindsey tonight.

At that point we didn’t have time for another movie, so we watched an episode of the BBC show Jonathan Creek. The show debuted in the 1990s, and seasons and specials have released every few years or so in that BBC kind of way. It’s about a man who engineers tricks for a stage magician, lives in a windmill, and solves impossible-and-sometimes-supernatural-seeming crimes. I’d seen most of the episodes back in the day, but not all of them, so I’ve been slowly making it through the full (so far) series for about a month now.

Today was the second anniversary of my mother’s death. Last year, we did Gin and Boris II as an oddball way to remember her. This year I decided not to do anything. Just tried to let it be a day. But that sort of backfired. Jonathan Creek was a show I discovered with mom back in the early days of BBC America. It kind of became our thing for a time. So I’m sure there was something subconscious going on about even starting this show a month ago.

Now I’m having a Woodchuck Gumption hard cider, putting the final touches on a book proposal, and then I guess it’s a new week.

But a week that I will meet with my Halloween shell fully intact and ready to dive back into depending what the real-world has waiting for me.