Happy Halloween boys and ghouls!
Blessed Samhain witches!
I’m wishing you all joyous trick or treating on this, the happiest day of the year!!!
*cackle* *lightning* *flaming jack o’lantern*
So I showed Fiancé this painting because it basically sums up our relationship (I like cute things – he like gory things) but instead of bringing us closer together, it tore us apart:
Me: Look at this epic painting!
Fiancé: The narwhal killed everyone.
Me: Ya. Look how happy he is! But in real life narwhals don’t use their horns to kill things.
Fiancé: Sure they don’t.
Fiancé: They should. They should joust. TO THE DEATH.
Me: NOOOOO!!!!!! Also, why are there so many narwhals on Etsy right now? When I was super into narwhals back in March there was nothing and now there’s SO much stuff! Why don’t I have a job in marketing or something?
Fiancé: Because marketing is super corporate and you would hate it.
Me: But I’m SO ahead of the trends! Somebody should really hire me.
So the moral of the story is, I’m available for all of your narwhal trend-spotting needs.
On the first night of Halloween week, many witches spend the evening setting up a Halloween altar to honour the dead, similar to Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations. Tonight (October 24th) is also the Night of Seers, a Soul Night in honour of those who have seen the future. As part of the Pagan celebration of Samhain, witches may spend this evening celebrating the prophets and visionaries who have influenced their lives.
It’s not as esoteric as it sounds.
A prophet could be an innovator or an influential mind, somebody who’s work was “before their time.” Take, for example, Vincent van Gogh who didn’t sell a single painting in his lifetime but who is now one of the most famous artists in the world.
The recently departed Steve Jobs is an excellent example of a visionary who will undoubtedly be celebrated in many Pagan homes this evening.
Frida Kahlo is my personal visionary. She was avant-garde in all areas of her life. She was a tequila swigging, cigarette smoking, bisexual in an era when women were supposed to be demure and soft spoken. She had an open marriage, refused to groom her unruly facial hair and painted shocking images. She kept monkeys and a deer as pets. She wore rings on every finger and flowers in her hair. She adopted a traditional Tehuana style of dress when everyone else was wearing European fashions.
Frida Kahlo continues to be a constant source of inspiration and a personal hero. I celebrate her tonight and think of her often in the days leading up to Samhain.
For those of you interested in incorporating the Pagan Soul Nights celebrations into your Halloween revelry:
October 24 – Night of the Seers
Celebrates ancestors and historical figures who have dealt with the supernatural, foreseen the future or are visionaries in their profession or talent.
October 25 – Night of the Heroes & Martyrs
Celebrates ancestors and historical figures who have perished in war or who have died for their faith, their convictions, or freedom. Joan of Arc and Marie Antoinette might be honoured on this night.
October 26 – Night of the Artists
Celebrate artists, writers, dancers and musicians in your family and throughout history. So many fantastic bohemians to choose from…
October 27 – Night of the Nurturers
Celebrates ancestors who have nurtured and taken care of those in need. Mothers are particularly celebrated as well as the Virgin Mary.
October 28 – Night of Remembrance for Pets and Animals
Celebrates beloved pets who have passed away. This is also a good time to reflect on the conservation and protection of your favourite animals. Communicate with your totem animal on this night.
October 29 – Night of Remembrance of Forgotten Ancestors
Celebrates the distant ancestors who lived hundreds of years before you. Think about the countries they came from and what their lives were like. You may not know these people by name, but without them you wouldn’t exist. Reflect on the sisterhood of women and the connectedness of humankind.
October 30 – Night of the Recent Dead
Celebrate the family members and friends who have passed in your lifetime. Visit their graves or look through photo albums.
October 31 – Fire Festival
Celebrate all the departed souls by inviting them into your home or connecting with them through meditation or scrying. The veil is thin and the dead are listening.
November 1 – Day of the Innocents (Día de los Inocentes)
This is the Mexican celebration of children and infants who have passed on. Put fresh flowers on your altar and leave cookies out as an offering to them.
November 2 – Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)
This second day of celebration in Mexico honours departed adults. Share tequila shots, leaving one on your altar for spirits to drink.
Here’s the awesome list of awesome things that are making me awesomely happy right this second:
So, you know Emily Dickinson is an amazing poet, but did you know she made coconut cake? Check out this article about Emily Dickinson’s life in the kitchen.
Read this Reddit feed of amazing comments. Super articulate people talking about women, the media and body image. If you’re a dude who doesn’t get it, this comment feed will help you understand.
I love the new HBO show “Enlightened” and I haven’t seen it advertised anywhere. It’s like “Eat, Pray, Love” for the real world. Laura Dern’s character goes on a retreat to become spiritually enlightened but then returns home and has to make it work in her daily life. Laura Dern is freaking fantastic and the show is written/directed/stars Mike White, who wrote episodes of “Freaks and Geeks” and the movie “School of Rock” AND even worked on “Dawson’s Creek.” Here’s the trailer, like the comments say, the show’s much better than the trailer makes it look:
Also, “Once Upon a Time” hasn’t officially premiered yet but I found the pilot online and it’s fantastic for the following reasons:
1. Trés, trés aesthetically pleasing. Very Disney-esque.
2. I enjoy the concept: evil witch banishes fairytale characters to live in the real world but all of the characters loose their memories and don’t realize who they are, so Snow White is an English teacher and the Evil Queen is the mayor.
3. Ginnifer Goodwin was born to play Snow White. She IS Snow White.
Lastly, Mindy Kaling’s book is coming out soon. I can’t wait! Listen to free excerpts on Zooey Deschanel’s site, “Hello Giggles.”
Just a reminder: Halloween is in 11 days! Samhain is in 11 days! Get your pointy hats ready!
Just a little Technorati blog claim code: FTQ3EWMV46CX
1. “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley – Good for days when you want to give up because it doesn’t matter anyway…
This song soothes my psyche and calms my blood pressure. I especially like:
Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds…
2. “On the Radio” by Regina Spektor – Good for those times when you’re so lost you don’t even remember who you are.
Regina Spektor has a direct line to my heart. I love her so, so much. I especially like:
This is how it works:
You’re young until you’re not,
You love until you don’t,
You try until you can’t,
You laugh until you cry,
You cry until you laugh,
And everyone must breathe,
Until their dying breath.
Honourable Mention: “The Sailor Song” which is great when you’re pissed at someone you really love. Particularly the line “Does it matter that our anger couldn’t even reach the bottom of a bathtub?”
Additional Honourable Mention: “Human of the Year” for those days when humanity sucks but you still have hope:
Outside the cars are beeping,
Out a song just in your honor.
And though they do not know it,
All mankind are now your brothers.
Honorable Mention: “Accidental Babies” listen to this when you’re deeply depressed because your ex is dating someone else or if you’re cheating on your partner or if the person you love is married. Check out the song and lyrics here.
4. “You Belong to Me” as sung by Carla Bruni – Good for lonely stretches of time without your husband/girlfriend/life partner/pet chinchilla…
This song was written in 1952, but I like Carla Bruni’s version best. I freaking adore her. She has the most gorgeous voice AND she’s the first lady of France AND she’s a tres belle femme. It’s all about letting the person you love go off in search of themselves. Voila:
See the marketplace in old Angiers,
Send me photographs and souvenirs,
Just remember til your dream appears,
You belong to me.
This is one of my favourite songs EVER; it’s a love letter from her ex-boyfriend set to music:
5. “Personal Jesus” as sung by Marilyn Manson – Good for those “what does it all mean?” moments. Side note: The answer to “what does it all mean?” is to listen to loud music and drink another margarita. Take that brain… (I’m only half joking. I think too much and sometimes need to smother my brain waves.)
I’m partial to Marylin Mason. I think he’s sexy. Stop judging me. He’s also super smart and articulate with very good opinions on things like violence and the media. I digress… the Depeche Mode original is obviously awesome as well. I enjoy this part:
And you’re all alone,
Flesh and bone,
By the telephone,
Lift up the receiver,
I’ll make you a believer.
There are a few kid-centric items on my Yule/Kwanza/Christmas/etc list. I’d really like a huge box of crayons and a Lite-Brite. Also, that musical fish tank thing they put in a baby’s crib to lull it to sleep looks pretty fantastic. I could use one of those. Anyways, in the era of Apatow-ian man-children, where guys are allowed to play video games, skateboard and talk about boners until they die, I think it’s ok for me to have a few less-than-mature interests:
1. Monster High Dolls
Monster High Dolls are Barbies for witchy girls. I just found out about them, but they’re pretty goth-tastic. Where were dolls like this when I was a mini-weirdo??? I haven’t purchased any of them because I’m an adult, but I may or may not have put them on my Christmas list (in order of favourite to least-favourite.) They all have different personalities and histories so I had to spend about a million minutes deciphering their mythology. Yep, toys today have entire mythologies.
Draculaura, a vampire with a pet bat named Count Fabulous who likes to wear pink bows. Count Fabulous is apparently a boy, meaning we might be entering an era of LGBT friendly kids toys (I hope.) Regardless, yay for non-traditional gender roles!
Lagoona, an aquatic monster who carries around her pet piranha in a portable bowl. She’s my favourite. I’m a Pisces, what can I say…
Frankie Stein, a Frankenstein’s monster with awesome stitch marks all over.
Clawdeen, a werewolf who, oddly enough, has a pet cat.
Cleo, an Egyptian mummy who is dating some Medusa-esque guy-doll with a snake hair mohawk.
Ghoulia, a zombie who wears awesome horn-rimmed glasses and has a matching pet owl. She’s nerd-chic. The owl is named Sir Hoots-a-lot.
Spectra, a ghost who has a purple ghost-ferret for a pet. Yes, I said GHOST-FERRET!
Abbey Bominable – abominable snow girl who has a baby wooly mammoth for a pet. Seriously, how lucky is the chick who’s job it is to think up this stuff?
There are adorable plush toys as well:
Hello Kitty is like crack cocaine. All Sanrio merchandise is so freaking adorable, it should be illegal. Luckily, there’s a lot of women who agree with me. Unluckily, one of those women is Mariah Carey. Fun Fact: according to the Hello Kitty Fan Club, Hello Kitty is approximately three apples in weight. I can’t make this stuff up.
3. Disney Villians
As a kid, I always liked the sexy lady-villians more than the doe-eyed princesses. The exception being Belle, the only literate Disney princess. Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent and the Evil Queen from Snow White are my favourites. I also enjoy the Cheshire Cat and all things Nightmare Before Christmas, not in a sad/lonely Tim Burton obsessed way, just in a “I think there should be a Sally and Jack flask to brighten up my binge-drinking” way. Also, I totally identify with this scene from Annie Hall:
4. Ugly Dolls
5. All Things iCarly
I watch iCarly mostly for the t-shirt slogans. I desperately want a “Maybe Gravy” t-shirt. Also, Spencer is sexy. I actually own an iCarly lunch bag. Where else would I put my art supplies?
Halloween movie watching is an art form. Like creating the perfect iTunes playlist, choosing the right combination of Halloween movies takes practice and planning. Here are my tips:
1. Don’t try to rent “Halloween” on Halloween. It will be sold out in stores and Netflix will probably be having technical difficulties. The same rule applies to other clichéd Halloween favourites like “The Exorcist” or “Poltergeist.”
2. A movie may be scary, but that doesn’t mean it’s Halloween-appropriate. Try to pick movies with an autumnal, small-town, North American vibe. Save movies like “The Grudge” and other Japanese inspired films for the other 364 days of the year. They might be scary, but Halloween isn’t celebrated in Japan. Big cities like Tokyo aren’t really Halloween-esque. Same goes for alien movies, like… you know… “Alien.”
3. If you want to be truly frightened, choose films that have realistic plot lines. Skip the sci-fi and fantasy stuff and pick a movie that takes place in a town much like yours, to a person much like yourself. See “The Strangers” for details.
4. If you’re looking for family friendly or non-scary options, stay away from the sunshiney made-for-tv shit that runs constantly on Disney and Family channels. Pick classics like “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” or “The Witches.” Exception: anything iCarly is absolutely recommended. iCarly is 100% Bunny Sunday approved.
5. Pick movies based on scenery and atmosphere more than Halloween itself. Think foggy nights, misty mornings and golden leaves. Movies like “The Big Chill” or “Dead Poets Society” have an autumn atmosphere and deal with death and loss. They might evoke a Halloween feeling more than the “Friday the 13th” series of films which all take place at Camp Crystal Lake (with the exception of “Jason X” which, regrettably, take place in outer space.)
6. Classic Halloween characters are fool-proof. Any movie about witches, vampires or mummies is fair game for Halloween viewing. Frankenstein movies could also be included. Some subject matter is so quintessentially Halloween that the quality, setting or atmosphere of a movie doesn’t matter. So go ahead and watch the “Twilight” movies… if you have to… I guess…
1. Blair Witch Project
This is my all-time favourite movie EVER. It’s the perfect Halloween movie, despite having nothing to do with Halloween. Scary autumnal woods + paranormal happenings + a witch + creepy docu-style filming = a perfect storm of epic Halloween proportions.
2. The Craft
This is probably my second favourite movie of all time. While all the cheerleaders were watching “Clueless” the sexy bad girls who smoked cigarettes and had tattoos watched “The Craft.” They then purchased black knee socks and ironic crucifixes. Seriously. Robin Tunney is the witchy-goth girl’s Alicia Silverstone. If you’re having a girl’s night on Halloween, this movie should be on your list.
3. Practical Magic
I have a thing for witches. This movie is another chick flick option and it’s on the list because the setting of the town reminds me so much of Salem, Massachusetts, the witch capital of the world.
4. Interview with the Vampire
Brad Pitt with fangs and long hair. His lips are pretty. Also, Lestat is one of my favourite literary characters… even if he is played by Tom Cruise…
5. The Lost Boys
If you’re looking for cheesy 1980′s amazingness, this movie is for you. A teenage vampire motorcycle gang that hangs out on the boardwalk and harasses 12 year-olds. It’s like the “Beavis and Butthead” of horror movies.
If you’re a child of the 90′s, you have fond memories of “Beetlejuice” in all it’s stylized splendor. I was a macabre little kid and I really identified with Lydia. If you’re the parent of a weird little girl, it’s your obligation to introduce her to this movie.
7. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
This is the Halloween movie I remember from my childhood. It was on tv every year in October. As an adult, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving is one of my favourite short stories. It has lots of great Halloween details, like a flaming jack o’ lantern.
8. Sleepy Hollow
“Sleepy Hollow” is basically the adult version of the Disney film. Another quirky Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaboration with some spooky autumn imagery. Again, lots of cool witchy stuff.
9. The Addams Family
It doesn’t matter what version: comic strip, tv show, movies or Broadway play. I’m partial to the movies with Christina Ricci, because we’re around the same age and I was Wednesday Addams as a kid… and an adult.
10. Exorcism of Emily Rose
This movie is seriously scary. Like, hide-under-a-blanket-and-sleep-with-the-lights-on scary. Plus, what other horror movie has Laura Linney? She’s awesome. “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” also stars Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter. This movie is supposed to be based on events surrounding the real-life exorcism of Anneliese Michel, which only adds to the creep factor. If you really want to scare yourself, try Googling “Anneliese Michel” and check out some of the photos that pop up. I warned you.
11. Hocus Pocus
“Hocus Pocus” was the beginning of my love affair with SJP. This movie IS my childhood. I want to be a Sanderson Sister so badly…
12. Halloween H20
This is not a good movie. It’s pretty cheesy. But I LOVE it. Halloween scenery and a pre- “indie movie darling” status Michelle Williams. She’s adorable… even when she’s screaming… this blog post just got weird…
13. The Strangers
“The Strangers” is one of the scariest movies of the past decade, if you ask moi. It’s an old school horror flick that’s all about suspense and terror instead of gore. If you like “The Blair Witch Project” you’ll like this movie. Plus it stars Liv Tyler. LIV TYLER. That’s a good enough reason to see any movie.