Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Eerie-ness in the Mundane

The guy in front of me at the pharmacy - a veritable mountain of a man - also called a bear in my neighborhood - got a phone call and his ringtone? The Addams Family theme. Nice little treat mere steps from the Pillsbury display below. Was he a kindred spirit I wondered? We chatted and he was sweet - just there to pick up some "Thudafed".

Things I like about this photo:
a) It accurately depicts the enormity of the gentle giant from my viewpoint.
b) The fake apothecary jars Safeway puts in their pharmacy window - the blue and green stuff makes them look more like evil scientist props.
c) How much Dos Equis the guy at the pharmacy window is buying - ay caramba!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Getting prescriptions filled at Safeway rocked pretty hard last night. Click to see it in its full, fabulous glory.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Spirit Stop #1

Is it me or are the h'ween stores opening later this year? And is this a Great Depression 2.0 thing?

Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining: The only thing worse than starting the h'ween season too late is too early. Because if I'm seeing too many skulls and cobwebs in August, they tend to lose their novelty by Oct. Just saying.

Which is why it was to my delight that I *just* found my first Spirit store in downtown SF. Much like Target, they were still kind of setting up, with half open cartons of death babies and ho' costumes.

The displays were still a wip but I think they're going to be good, or at least R-rated.

See? I wasn't kidding about those death babies. This has got to be a traumatizing experience for any under 10, but then who am I kidding? There are no kids in San Francisco.

It's hard to make out in this somehow appropriately janky-grainy photo, but yes it appears that they are in some kind of giant crib for devil tots. The fact that they seem to be merely tossed in haphazardly only enhances the effect. Because Evil knows no organization.

The best thing I saw and may yet wind up in my own home was this:

Awesome, right? If I had a few 6-year-old boys at home, it would've been a done deal, but since I do not, it will take some thought.

I've just never been a big cobweb person because it seemed like they require some labor and a lot of luck to get them to look just right. (I think we all have seen those neighbors that give it a half-assed go and it looks like it.) But now that the ease-of-use folks have taken up the torch, er, gun I might have a fighting chance.

I love reconnaissance trips like this but I think this may be my last one before the old itchy trigger finger (the one that enters my debit pin) takes over.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Target Part I: The Quickening

The mother ship was calling me back to the fold. I could feel it when I awoke yesterday morning, much like the vamp victim can feel the mental link with her master. "You may shop, you may not shop, but you must come for the viewing." I believe those were its exact words.

What the hell, I thought, I need some toilet paper and a new comforter anyhow.

I was early yet for the true season - I knew that. There wouldn't be endcaps of orange and black at every turn, but I thought I'd just look and see.

So you can imagine how pleased I was to see the spread of themed food and sodas. Stuff that we never had when I was a kid. Case in point:

Yeah genius right? Slice those squashy foodstuffs with some kind of die cut and they become spectral in a way you know you knew on some unconscious level. 
Now here's an oldie but I still think it's the best looking soda can ever. Period. End of discussion!

Food packagers get so excited even non-sweets get into the act with questionable results. I mean, why a vaguely addressed superhero concept, Goldfish? Why not a ghost or bat? (Scary first, is my motto.) I automatically can picture the mid-level marketing meeting, where the creatives were instructed to steer away from "intense themes" that would upset the toddler target. Oy. Fail.
In all, I was pleased. There was already a crap-load of stuff, but LOTS of empty shelves set aside awaiting their fates. And I got h'ween paper towels - yes!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First '09 purchase

I have so much h'ween crap that I start each season vowing to be very picky, brutal if you will, on what I'll choose to toss on the crypt pile. I try to have objective standards but it usually winds up to be stuff that I just like. Can't really explain it any other way.

Like this:

I mean, do I really need another pez? Does anyone? But every year, I find myself hawkishly surveying the new designs like a very badly dressed Anna Wintour. And this one stole my heart.

Why? I just love how the pez people had the huevos to make it look like a real bat. It's not prettified by any stretch - in fact, it's kind of disgusting. And had it not been about 3 inches big and plastic, I doubt I'd have bought it.

But it's this very contrast that hooked me - it's like the salted caramel of pezzes. And now it'll sit in a cubbyhole of my fireplace for probably another 10 months. Huzzah!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Birthday-H'ween cupcakes

My reputation seems to precede me. At least among those who know me best.

This morning, on the day of my birth, my man woke me up with lighted cupcakes and what the frogs call a cafe au lait.

The cupcakes were especially apt - one choc-orange in honor of my favorite holiday and a white-on-white in honor of...the fact that I am the whitest person ever, I'm assuming?

So there on my "happy camper" plate lies the central dichotomy of my life - the blond, scandinavian chick who likes dark stuff. Kind of perfect. Plus, my birthday card had bats on it.

And tonight? A quiet evening that follows a weekend of high activity - artichokes, J champagne, the season finale of True Blood (how fitting) and the original version of Wicker Man. Life is good.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Midnight snack

The Autumn Mix is here.

No, I don't like it much either. And yes, my Market St. Walgreens seemed to be selling bags leftover from last year. But, yes I bought one.

Why? Because it pairs so damn nicely with orange muscat. Especially after a productive Wednesday at about 11:47 p.m.

The best part is that the candy corn/mellowcreme pumpkin entry on my h'ween list now has a checkmark.

And yes, that is a deer lamp you see in the background. Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Halloween around the corner (literally)

It is always Halloween in my mind. And of course I try to get a jump on the season as early as I can. But it's nothing compared to what those show folk get up to.

Friday night, the man and I were walking down Polk St. headed straight for a grown-up cocktail at Cresta's when we happened upon a film set for Trauma, a new ER-like show set in SF.

Now normally I like to think I'm pretty cazh about these things. Us Norcal gals like to distinguish ourselves from the south, pretending to give a crap about celebrities and their workplaces. But it did not go as planned.

Because it was a Halloween episode and I halfway lost my shiz. My friends know that I'm a total sucker for these - no matter how putrid the show. I've even watched the one for A Girl, A Guy and A Pizza Place. In fact, that was when I realized I needed help. Dark days.

But I digress.

Although I'm not a fan of hospital dramas, this was pretty cool free entertainment. I did the girly squeal noise a few times, I have to admit. A bunch of costumed extras - throw in a tranny or 20 - were carousing around the Crunch gym/movie palace. (Which I thought was curious until someone said they thought it was supposed to be the Castro, which still didn't make sense - why not just film there?) Fire trucks and ambulances sat docilely on the sidelines giving no indication as to what sort of "trauma" was in the offing. Will I tune in when it airs? As Tivo is my witness.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

An Overnight at the Overlook

As an amuse bouche to the spook season, the man and I decided to spend the night at the Timberline Lodge near Mt. Hood. A.k.a? The Shining Hotel!

Okay, okay. So they just used the exterior and the rest was filmed on a soundstage in England. But what an exterior. As soon as we turned the last steep bend and laid eyes on the stony edifice, complete with flickering flags, at least one of us peed a little. Just a little.

Though the inside bears no resemblance to the swanky swell hotel in the movie, the rustic wood-and-stone ski lodge still has lots of cubbyholes and crevices, mysterious stairways and strange creaky noises. Even the cheery inglenooks are just a bit too sinisterly tucked away.

Not that I was complaining.

Beyond the elaborate wall carvings and etched plaques, there's an eerie display of old photos and artifacts. First you're greeted by this dude. The hugeness of the painting, not reflected in this iphone photo, is like something out of an old family castle. But just imagine it's about 8 feet tall and it looks like it's Frank Langella. Those eyes, weird.

Then there are the actual photos, depicting guests from another era. Maybe it's the b/w, maybe it was because they were so ridiculosly enlarged or maybe it was because they were just damn creepy, they suggested a certain family-related tragedy from several seasons back.

Pre-sunscreen or pre-Amber Alert? You decide.
The Timberline holds the Shining card close to its vest, but still gives a nod to it now and again. Just check out the engraving on this ice pick in their ski museum.
But the bartender let us know in no uncertain terms that he would not answer to the name Lloyd. Strong words from stoner youth, I thought.

Overall, the hotel was the perfect mix of creep and comfort. Just my kinda cocktail.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My little ghoul Zoey

Of course, I have a black cat. And of course, I think she's special. But that's because she is.

No really: She has this crazy habit of rearranging her toys into strangely perfect lines and triangles. She does it while I'm gone and I return home to a new episode of Unsolved Mysteries in my hallway. I swear these photos are not staged or doctored in any way! Just ask my boyfriend who is now completely freaked out.

This was the first incident. Three balls in a perfect line. The slats in the floor are especially helpful in measuring the distance. Like she knew. 

A closer up view:

Creepy, eh kids? It actually gets better.

Here is the always popular triangle configuration. About a difficulty of 10 on getting the proportions just right, but she pulled it off:

The artist and her work:


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy September!

I don't care for fruitcake. Or turkey. Or green beer. Let's face it, other holidays just can't hold a bleeding skull candle to Halloween.

To make a good thing better, I try to make it last two whole months. Beginning September 1st (or 2nd, if I'm lazy :), I'm all about seeking out as many moldering moments as possible. The fact that it dovetails nicely with my Sept 13 birthday is a happy accident.

I literally squeal when I have my first Halloween stuff sighting. This year, it was in Safeway in mid-August. And it was just a bunch of crappy Holly Hobby-style scarecrows. But you work with what you've got.

And I never get over the surprise of unexpected sightings. How the spooky seeps into the most mundane of places. Like this ghost I saw haunting the produce section of a market in Bolinas. That's when you know the most wonderful time of the year is here.