Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Who's hungry for a BTK?

Yes, it's in poor taste, but it's so tasty.

Last night, I made a bacon, tomato and kale sandwich and it was delightful.

On a darkening and slightly chilly autumn night, what could be better that a toasty sandwich, named after a horrendous serial killer, and a bloody good glass of wine?

First, you gotta prepare the bacon - I baked mine on a rack so that the fat could drip down:

Then, to make the tomatoes extra flavorful (esp since they're not exactly high-summer tomatoes), you gotta give them some oven time as well. Just use the same rack setup as the bacon, sprinkle with green onions, salt, pepper and olive oil:

For the kale, same treatment. Into the oven to take away some of the bitterness. On a rack sprinkled with olive oil and S&P, to give it a crunchy chip-like character, making it so much more interesting than plain jane lettuce:

And then, it's just assembly. I toasted some white bread that had some dignity to it (read: Whole Foods brand), spread it with some mustard and sriracha and added the three ingredients above. And wallah:

Yes, those are my keys.

Enjoy with your favorite Halloween special.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hawaii H'ween

Another in the series of random brands that embrace the holiday. Is it weird that I love it so much. The claw? Pineapple fronds. I die.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy Frightday night!

If your neck of the woods is like mine, you're getting your first small glimpse of true fall weather. This calls for a creepy toast!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kirk Hammett haunts SFO

Jetsetters, flying in or out of Terminal 2 at SFO sometime soon? You may be lucky enough to see Kirk Hammett's collection of classic monster toys and a few of his spookified guitars. As always, click for a better view.

Of course, I imagine it's just a smattering of his total oeuvre, but hey, we'll take it. And I have to say, it's pretty impressive. If you're rich, this is exactly what you should be spending your money on.

It will make you happy and yet sad because you can no longer get your hands  on a Frankie speaker:

Or a Soaky in the shape of Gill-man, the Mummy, or Wolfy! (Soakys were a bubble bath container from the 60s.)

It's billed as a classic monster exhibit but there's also plenty of obscure stuff that's def off my grid. Like this sweet little haunted house.

Which just happens to sit cheek by jowl with a Fester hand puppet and a bloated skeleton of unknown origin. (If you know what it is, please let me know!)

Also, this awesome-looking board game and ship from hell thing:

There's also familiar faves like the Addams family and my buddy Barnabas from Dark Shadows (with Uncle Fester horning in yet again):

When was the last time you smiled in an airport? I mean, before you take your Xanax. If it's been too long, make your way to Terminal 2 where monsters are on the loose!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

This just in: Blair Witch Project still scary

I remember it very clearly. My ex and I were driving along in the Santa Cruz Mountains on a beautiful fall day, talking about creepy shit. And I said to him, “hey, have you ever heard of the Blair Witch?”

He hadn’t. Just that week at work, something popped up about it in a search I was doing about Halloween.  (No, it wasn't work-related, yes, I do this sort of thing all the time.) I told him what little I knew. Little enough. And even littler did I know I had fallen victim to the greatest web campaign in history. 

That’s just one of the reasons why I love this movie so much. Soon after this conversation, when I found out it was a movie, I became super pumped to see it. 

That’s why we found ourselves on opening weekend, opening night actually, at the Palo Alto Square to see it in a crowd tittering with excitement and no small amount of trepidation. Yes, there was palpable fear that night. After all my years of movie-going, I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like it. The closest I had come was during the first release of the Exorcist in the 70s, when reports of audience members vomiting in the theater were making big news. But I was far too young to go see it myself. When my teenage brother talked of going, I strongly urged him not to, with the fervor that only a freaked out 8-year-old can muster. I was convinced somehow that he wouldn’t make it out alive. Now, that’s a good PR campaign.

Fast-forward more than 25 years, here was its successor. Almost 20 years since, it still holds up really well. Why?

It’s simple. The premise is easy to understand and the plot never strays far. There are no wild subplots, no love scenes, no “back at the ranch” cutaways. So it’s really something that this bare-bones production can rivet us the whole 80 minutes. 

It’s about as close to real as fake gets. The producers left directions and suggestions for the cast, but no script. All the words are theirs alone and the reactions are authentic, because they’re “living” it as we watch. Genius. 

No fancy special effects. Just noises and some string-tied bundles. Okay, also a few teeth and maybe an organ or two.. But that’s it! The noises - hooting and hollering and cracking of sticks - are probably the most chilling things is the whole movie. Who can hear the children laughing and not wanna shit your pants? I mean, come on! 

It’s funny, at least at the beginning. One thing I love in a horror movie is a sense of humor. A production that acknowledges the suspension of disbelief just comes off as smart and sophisticated. The man-on-the-street interviews in Burkittsville take us from the everyday to the spooky tingles to the bizarre. If there’s a woman alive who looks exactly like a witch in the flesh, it’s Mary, the last interview before they hit the woods.. (She actually signed up to be an intern on the shoot, who knew they’d hit gold?)

It’s got a bang-up ending. I hate movies, TV shows and music that start out great and then fade away. This ending puts a giant exclamation point on the whole experience. The child-size handprints, the screaming, the dimly lit rooms where you just know shit when's all building to that final shot, which is legendary and perfect. And I’m not just saying this because the first time I saw it, a woman behind me starting sobbing. But ok, it helped! 

One last fun fact: shooting ended on Halloween night! 

So if you haven’t in a while or maybe never have, I urge you to sit down and watch the Blair Witch Project. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Random creepiness

Now that it's this time of year, I really look for the small things. That plastic pumpkin in the window of the apartment across parking lot that you just make out, a lone strand of spider webbing that got stuck to a shrub, storefronts that have no reason to decorate their windows with H'weenery, but, for some awesome reason, do. Like eyeglass places, law offices and fancy jewelers. It's baffling but so charming.

So let's wrap up the week with a few of these moments that I've already encountered so early in the season.

Do you guys see the witch turned away from us in this Castro neighborhood complex? I did and it was neat.

My brother came to town during the hot season, so I made margaritas. Of course, I had to add a little H'weenery.

So this is weird. I love stopping by the Mission Dolores cemetery because I'm that sort of person. (Your sort, if you're reading this.) And I swear I followed that chain link fence in the alley down a million times before I had the idea to turn around and look behind me. This is what is saw:

H'ween displays in stores just make me happy. So I'm the weirdo snapping pics in your local food and drug.

That's all for tonight - sleep well and mwhahahaha! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Bedizening: Part 1

Got the mantle started, which besides being the heart of the home, I consider the heart of H'ween decoration. Click for more detail.

Underwhelmed? Geez. Let me stress: this is just the beginning. Usually I wait until the last week and then I half-ass it because it seems like such a waste for only a week or a few days. This year: I'm going nuts.

So I've decided I'm a lights person, but not an electric lights one. Too much strain on the outlets, too many unsightly wires. Fortunately, Target understands my needs and I invested in a few battery powered spook lights.

A few details I thought I'd point out. My skull collection, sugar and otherwise. And my happy little Frankenlady, courtesy of this Etsy shop. Yes, now that you ask, these are year-round decorations.

Here's the birds. Birds are pretty things that have the capacity to be creepy, if they want. That's what makes them so dope. 

The raven skeleton is new this year and a little disturbing for some reason I can't say. The bat was a vintage find in the Haight and is also a candleholder. Plus it's wrought iron and could stun a wily coyote, if needed. The stuffed owl is a year-rounder dressed up seasonal in his new fox mask. Hey, everyone has their secret identity.

So there's part 1. Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bonus Boo: Day 1

Lord knows I love spotting groceries that have been H'weenized. Unfortunately, I don't really much enjoy eating most of them anymore - fruit roll-ups, sugary cereal, etc.

So you can imagine how pumped I was to find a food I like given the old Sammy Hain* treatment - Babybel cheese! I was in Whole Foods - not normally a paragon of H'weeness, I might add - when I spotted the familiar netted cheese burbles with little characters on them and a new tag for the season: Have a Cheesy Halloween!

Of course, I was totally sold. There's a Jack O'Lantern, a skull and a mummy. H'ween fans who groove on the savory, rejoice!

*Credit for this name goes to the Purple Stuff podcast, which should listen to if you're not already.

Day 1 is here!

It's October 1st and all I can say is, thank you sweet jeebus.

It's been a long summer and an unnaturally HOT Indian summer (can you still say that? Native American summer? Nah, that doesn't sound right), so you can imagine how overjoyed I am that the light is beginning to tilt and things are getting creepy. In fact, it actually rained yesterday. In Northern California.

I can tell right away that this is going to be a gooood H'ween season: there's a Halloween Whopper (yes, I refuse to add the A1 portion of that statement), a new Paranormal Activity (in 3D, no less!), a promising Guillermo del Toro and tons of spooky TV. I could go on and on. But I think my to-do list/calendar says it all:

Yes, it is a bit much. Yes, I am a Virgo. No, it wasn't drawn by a 3rd grader. Yes, you can click on it to enlarge. Which I highly recommend since it's probably the only way to actually read the bits in the boxes.

I'm psyched! One thing that wouldn't fit in the box for today: tonight's movie is "Wait Until Dark", which I've seen only a few times and my man (The Turk) has never seen. Let the best time of the year commence!