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Hallow’een. Eve of All Souls, night when the thin veil between living and dead is torn asunder, when the tormented spirits of Hell’s darkest corners walk the earth again wreaking vengeance upon innocent blood, when abominations of flesh stalk the land seeking fresh meat to feed their insatiable cravings, when ghouls roam free and the Devil commands! Also, free candy.

It is only fitting then, that this week’s pattern should reflect the eldritch horrors the holiday has to offer. Prepare yourselves, gird your mind against the foul, unimaginable terrors of…

OWL CROCHET! Oooooooh! Oooooooohh….

Ok, ok, I dug through all my magazines and couldn’t find a darn thing scarier than this. No skulls, no corpses, not even something close to the creepy level of these balaclavas. True, the owl sort of looks angry, but for Halloween that just doesn’t cut it. Maybe you could tat on some red thread around the beak, add on a little half-eaten felt mouse on the branch or something, I don’t know.

The title of this particular post comes from the movie ‘Gothika’, the Smurf-blue ‘horror’ film directed by Amile’s boyfriend and the sole reason Fred Durst ever got to make out with Halle Berry and ruin a Who song. On its own the film, a flashy, cheesy exercise in clichè and plot twists spotted a mile away, isn’t worth wasting your time.

However, with the director’s commentary on it’s a surreal peek into what this particular Frenchman thinks Americans think is scary. “See, we are going down zis hallway and it is bloo, because bloo is scary, and now we go around ze corner and BOO YOU ARE SCARED!” Seriously, he shouts “BOO YOU ARE SCARED!” whenever he shock-cuts or has something jump in front of the camera, so approximately every 2 minutes.

Put the ‘owl’ in ‘howlidays’.

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Hello, David Byrne. You probably don’t frequent my website, ever, but should you come across this before Halloween, I thought of a potentially fun costume for you. You could go as you from ‘Stop Making Sense’. Dust off the ol’ Big Suit, dye your delightful shock of hair black (by the way, is it a David thing? Your and David Lynch’s hair has just gotten more fantastic with age).

Oh, come on now, it’s not that bad an idea. And it would still make your head look smaller.


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I haven’t too many photos of Halloween ’09, partly because I spent it in Iowa. Whereas in NYC Halloween is an all-out bacchanal of booze and candy going strong until the wee hours, particularly if it’s on a weekend (as indeed it was this year), in Iowa Halloween’s mostly a kid’s holiday happening between the hours of 2pm-7pm (regulated by town ordinance to prevent candy shakedowns by older kids). New York City’s Halloween has of late devolved into a lame excuse to ‘be sexy’ (gaaaaag) and hook up, so it’s not perfect either, but there’s definitely more of it going on than in Des Moines, Iowa. Hence, fewer photos.

Here’s my last-minute costume, rigged up day-of after a stop at the Salvation Army and nearby UltraWal-Mart. My arm was held in place by the belt, with red socks knotted and pinned to my shoulders. In total I spent maybe $30, including an extra shirt and a can of silver spray paint not used in the final costume. It still boggles my mind people pay over $40 for out-of-the-bag shiny plastic crap.

I think I scared the beejeebus out of the tiny trick-or-treaters who came to the door; I held the bowl, but they had to work up the nerve to grab candy. One enterprising mini-Batman took two huge handfuls and went for a third before his mom caught on and chided him. Good for him though- Halloween is all about CANDY and COSTUMES, and if you’re not into either you may as well just hunker down for Thanksgiving.

At the first bar I went to, the costumed folk were the group of friends meeting me there, and a lone woman in cat ears at the counter. Did these people not realize this is the one day of the year you can dress as anything you want?! Sadly, most seemed not to care. Things were a little more lively at the second bar; a band played and there was promise of a costume contest towards the end of the evening. Various characters drifted in and out- Frankenstein and his bride, a group of 4 fellows looking like a cross between ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and Mardi Gras, various ‘sexy’ things, a woman done up in sparkly wings and makeup. The guitar player, a 40+ fellow dressed as a hippie and speaking with the same laconic tone, announced the costume contest. The second he said ‘audience-judged’, I knew all of us were losing to Sexy Nun.

There she is. Her friend Sexy Referee led the hollering, so of course she won. Unfortunately he’s facing away from the camera, but The Joker came in a well-deserved second, doing an excellent job on his scar makeup. I think Captain America came in third. The Mad Scientist in the background was part of our crew.

As with all Halloweens once the costume’s on, it stays on. This usually causes some level of inconvenience; back in college attending a 9am English class in full Edward Gorey garb I got plenty of weird looks and snide remarks from folks dressed as dull liberal arts students. This year’s difficulty was drinking one-armed without removing my helmet, successfully overcome.

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I neglected to post these photos when the posting was good, but perhaps these images of better times will help the last leg of winter pass a little more quickly:


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In what may be a first, we are about a month away from that wondrous holiday known as Halloween and I do not know what my costume is. Oh, ideas have been bandied about, but usually at least 2 months before go time I’m set with an idea and have already begun sketches and practicality assessments.

It looks like I may have to go with my perpetual fall-back idea: the Chrysler Building. I’ve never actually been it because I usually come up with an idea that knocks it out of the running early on. It would also fit with my general enjoyment of costumes involving ridiculous headdresses and architecture. Here’s a picture of the architect himself, William VanAllen, wearing his own interpretation of the building he designed:

If he looks less than chuffed it may be because he was never paid for the design.

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