Hey guys and ghouls, if you haven't already, please take a minute to vote for your favorite Big Wicked Online Pageant contestant.
I've extended the voting deadline to 5:00 pm on Monday because, based on the emails and comments I've received, there is currently a tie for first place. Let's break that up because a tie would mean I'd have to make two prize-winning mix CDs. And I'm much too lazy for that. So, please vote and no one will have to die.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Hey guys and ghouls, if you haven't already, please take a minute to vote for your favorite Big Wicked Online Pageant contestant.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
It's time for the second annual (with a year off in between)
Big Wicked Online Pageant!
Since there hasn't been a huge turnout (yet), I'm keeping the pageant open through today so latecomers can get their entries in. I'll check my email periodically throughout the day for new contestants.
Below are links to each blogger's entry. After visiting their blogs (please don't leave any flaming bags of poo on their virtual doorsteps), come back here and vote for your favorite, either in the comments section or via email. The voting booth will stay open until 5:00 pm on Halloween, and I'll announce the winner on Halloween night.
Your BWOP Contestants (in order of their entry):
- Skyler's Dad at Some Days It's Not Worth Chewing Through the Leather Straps
- Cora at Coracabana
- Barbara at Bad Tempered Zombie
- Nancy at Fancy Schmancy
- Jenna at So There's That
- Gwen at Everything I Like Causes Cancer
- Scope at Scope-Tech
- Mnmom at Happy To Be From Iowa
- Barbara at Writing From The Inside Out
- Shannon at Mundane Entertainment
- Kristen at Fine, How Are You?
- Kate at What's On My Mind Today
Friday, October 29, 2010
What's that you say? I skipped Thursday? Well yeah, I wanted to honor the ancient Druid tradition of resting on the Thursday during Halloweek, in order to save up strength for the weekend's blood feast. DUH.
Speaking of this weekend's festivities, don't forget to post your entry in The Big Wicked Online Pageant! I'll accept late entries (all posts were supposed to go up by this evening), but try to get yours in by Saturday night so that you get a fair shake at winning.
Now, getting back to a few of my favorite things about Halloween...
I love how this holiday, more than any other, brings out the creativity in people. While I appreciate those who opt to dress as one of the classic Halloween characters—witch, zombie, devil, ghost, etc.—I get a kick out of how much thought some people put into their costumes. I remember seeing a couple at a party years ago dressed as Siamese twins joined at the boob. I had a friend who once dressed as a porn director. And, because I love punny things, I thought it was great when my Dad painted his face like a skeleton and donned a leisure suit and gold chains for his "Tom Bones" costume. Or when my brother wore his Fred Flintstone costume and made a giant necklace out of an old (fake) Zeppelin album to be "Fred Zeppelin." And I have to pat myself on the back for going to a party one year as "Devil With a Blue Dress On."
Of course, coming up with the costume idea is only half the fun; actually making it is really the best part. I have more respect for the person who cuts two eye holes out of a sheet to be a ghost than the person who drops $20 - $40 on a bagged costume. Imagination and resourcefulness are always appreciated. I'd rather have a creative costume that's shoddily executed than a professional-looking one that 100 other people are wearing.
To warm up for tomorrow's Big Wicked Online Pageant, here are few of my costumes over the years. These aren't all necessarily my favorites; they just happen to be the ones I actually have pictures of.
OK, so a couple of times in my life, I caved and got a costume-in-a-bag at the last minute. I'm not proud of it. Normally, I wouldn't have even posted pictorial evidence of such a cop out, but I had to post this one of me as a gypsy because I can't believe that was MY REAL HAIR. How did I get it to do that?? I don't ever remember it looking quite that BIG. I'm not sure what year this is from, but I must have been in my very early 20s.
I've posted this one before, but it was one of my favorite costumes. I can't remember what year this is from either, but I know it's old. Newer than the gypsy one, but I was still probably in my mid-20s. Back when I actually drank wussy beer like Miller Lite. (That's the BFF by my side, who still hasn't grown out of her love for Gene Simmons.) I had to dust this costume off today for my work party (thank God it still fit), because my idea to go as Samara from The Ring fell through. (Can you believe that no store anywhere sells a plain white nightgown? What's with all the stupid prints, pajama designers??)
The year was 1997, and I was a '50s/'60s waitress named "Bunny." I first came up with this costume idea in college. Back then, the dress was blue and white striped and my name was "Ruby." I was never wild about the dress, so when I found this awesome pink and white checkered number at a vintage store, I reimagined myself as Bunny. I really wanted to wear roller skates with it, but figured drinking and skating didn't mix. (That's the BFF again, this time as a classic witch.)
NYC, 2007. I had absolutely no money for a costume, so I just decided to wear all black and speak in a Russian accent, and tell people that I was a KGB agent. (I've been known to speak in a Russian accent on days that aren't Halloween—usually because I'm completely hammered and think it's funny for some reason.) I had an eyepatch, too, but I took it off and gave it to my costume-less friend (making him my evil boss, I suppose) because it was effing with my depth perception. And before someone gives me a speech, no I'm not a smoker. Yeah that cigarette was real, and yeah I smoked it but I don't think I enjoyed it. I smoked occasionally in college and then became one of those "smoke when I drink" girls, but at some point (even before this pic was taken), I lost interest. Just thinking about cigarettes now makes me want to barf.
This was last year in New York, when my roommates, some friends and I went as the Peanuts gang. That's me as Lucy, 2nd from the left. We all sort of half-assed it, but it was still fun. When we went to the parade, Charlie Brown got a ton of shout-outs but it seemed like no one knew who the rest of us were.
Finally, here is my favorite costume from my youth: Cyndi Lauper! Ah, 1984. How I miss thee. You may have seen the pic on the left before, as it was my entry in the First Annual Big Wicked Online Pageant. I just added the pic on the right to give a better view of the costume, but the scan didn't come out as well.
Remember, kids: This Halloween, be safe out there. But don't play it safe with your costumes. Stay out of Halloween Adventure.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
As we drag ourselves over the hump of this Halloweek, I will share yet another thing I love about this wonderful pagan holiday.
While there are plenty of horror films waiting to crawl out of the TV or be released from a Redbox or Netflix queue, there are only so many I can watch before my eyes glaze over—usually because I've scraped the bottom of the barrel. Case in point: The Gingerdead Man, which I couldn't wait to watch last year because of the awesome title and Gary Busey's presence, but then it just ended up being beyond lame.
More than these fake fright fests, I really enjoy the documentary-style shows on the History Channel, Travel Channel, and the like. I love hearing about real ghost stories and learning about the origins of our Halloween traditions. It doesn't matter how many times I hear about the proper way to use a Ouija board or that Vlad Dracul is considered a hero in Romania (NOT a bloodthirsty monster), or that the first jack o'lanterns were carved from turnips, or that said jack o' turnips were made to scare off evil spirits; I can watch these shows over and over in a state of rapt enjoyment.
Tune in (or set your DVRs) for these upcoming Halloween programs:
- Modern Marvels: Halloween Tech - A behind the scenes look at Knott's Berry Farm's annual Halloween Haunt. (Friday @ 7:00 pm)
- Ancient Aliens: Mysterious Places - Discovering the connection between UFOs and Earth's "hot spots," like the Bermuda Triangle and Markawasi's plateau. (Saturday @ 11:00 pm)
- Monster Quest: American Werewolf - In search of a so-called "dogman" in Wisconsin and Michigan. (Sunday @ 8:00 am)
- The Real Story of Halloween (Sunday @ 10:00 am, 11:00 pm)
- A Haunting Mini-Marathon - "The Wheatsheaf Horror" (haunted English pub), "The Calling" (spooky family secrets) and "Spirits of the Dead" (New Hampshire farm). (Friday from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm)
- A Haunting Marathon - "Dark Forest" (creepy New York woods), "The Forgotten" (a ghost who doesn't like home renovation), "Echoes from the Grave" (possible poltergeist), "Hidden Terror" (evil spirits cause depression), "A Haunting in Florida" (new homeowner pisses off his ghosts) and "Casa de los Muertos" (tortured soul tries to kill a man's son). (Sunday from 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm)
- Ghost Stories: USS Hornet (San Francisco, CA) - People say that this WWII ship, now a museum, is haunted by Admiral J.J. Clark. (Friday @ 10:00 pm)
- Ghost Stories: Fort Mifflin (Philadelphia, PA) - It's said that the ghost of an 18th century woman, who lost her children and her own life to yellow fever, haunts this "island fortress." (Friday @ 10:30 pm)
- World's Creepiest Destinations - Visit the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Gettysburg, the Tower of London and other scary places. (Sunday @ 8:00 am)
- America's Scariest Halloween Attractions - A look at the best haunted houses and other horror attractions around the U.S. (Sunday @ 9:00 am)
- Most Haunted in America - Visit the Whaley House, one of the country's most haunted houses, and other spooky sites. (Sunday @ 12:00 pm)
- Most Terrifying Places in America: Volumes 1-7 - A spine-tingling tour of haunted locations, including the Stanley Hotel (the inspiration for The Shining's Overlook Hotel), The Devil's Tree, the Cincinnati Music Hall, Hull House and Clinton Road in West Milford, NJ. (Sunday from 4:00 pm - 11:00 pm)
- Most Terrifying Places in America: Top 13 - This new special ranks the scariest places visited in the series' past volumes. (Sunday @ 11:00 pm)
Each channel's website also has some great Halloween-themed features, so you should start clicking. Start with the Mythbusters Fact or Fiction Halloween quiz! I got all of the questions right because I am an urban legend MACHINE.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
because this little kitty is just too cute to pass up...
Luckily for you, you don't have to compete against this level of adorableness in The Big Wicked Online Pageant. Don't forget to enter!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Every day this week, I'll be treating you to some Halloween awesomeness. Now, keep in mind that this is "awesomeness" as I define it, which means that these things are much more awesome than the average person would give them credit for. Because I'm, like, awesomeness cubed.
Up first is a Halloween movie that everyone (at least the Gen X and Y kids) should know: The Worst Witch. Perhaps my memory isn't what it used to be, but I could swear that back in the mid-'80s, HBO played this movie year-round, twice a day on every other day. And I kind of thought it was awful back then, yet I would watch it every time it was on. I never knew why I couldn't tear myself away from it until I grew up. It was for the same reason that all little girls watched Labyrinth over and over, regardless of how stupid it was. Because of the male lead's creepy, ambiguous sexuality. It made us all feel...rather...strange.
Now, as The Grand Wizard (a rather unfortunate character name), Tim Curry didn't have quite the "package" that David Bowie's Goblin King did, but not many men—magical or not—do. Still, he had something. If you watch the movie as an adult, his "something" will actually make you feel a bit squirmy. There's a whole hell of a lot of sexual tension going on in this family film between Tim and...Ms. Hardbroom (oh, come on!)...all of the young witches...any other female cast member...himself... the brooms...the cats...the moon...his tambourine...just about anything and anyone, really.
Take this exchange at the end:
Mildred Hubble: "I suppose I better practice my flying."
Grand Wizard: (licks lips) "Would you like to practice with me?"
Mildred: "With YOU?"
Grand Wizard: (in that half charming/half menacing/all British way) "Ohhh...absolutely."
I know I'm not the only one who immediately thinks, "Oh my God, they're totally going to do it." Look, I know Mildred is only a kid, but she's a witch. They age faster. I think.
Anyway, you can't tell me that Fairuza Balk (who grew up to be super hot in a scary way) hasn't dreamed about Tim Curry every night since she made that movie. After all, she did try to channel him in The Craft.
If you really can't stomach the idea of sitting through The Worst Witch and its utter lack of special effects, at least watch the best part: Tim Curry's big number, "Anything Can Happen on Halloween." If you're one of my Facebook friends, I've already assaulted you with this more than once, and you should feel damned lucky.
"There may be a toad in your bass guitar." Bruce Springsteen wishes he could write lyrics like that.
Tim Curry's right, you know. Anything can happen on Halloween. Like, you could win The Big Wicked Online Pageant...so don't forget to enter!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Two years ago, Beth Coffey (may her blog R.I.P.) hosted The Big Wicked Online Pageant, a blog event conceived by Bubs (aka Joe the Cop) with the help of Beth and Dale. Although the "first annual" pageant turned out to be a big hit among bloggers, it died after that first year.
Well, get ready for a Hallowe'en miracle, kids. We've resurrected TBWOP. It's alive! IT'S ALIVE!!
The pageant is a great way to connect with blogfriends, new and old, and is open to all of you guys and ghouls who wish to participate.
The Big Wicked Online Pageant Rules:
• Scan a photo from your Halloween past. (Ideally, the photos should be from your childhood but we'll take what you've got.)
• Post it to your blog on Friday, October 29.
• Once you post your photo, email me the URL to that specific post.
• I'll post a link to every participant's blog by Saturday afternoon.
I've also added a new wrinkle this year. Although the main goal of this pageant is to have some fun and get to know other bloggers, every pageant has to have a winner, right? At least that's what all the stage moms I know say. So, once you've seen all the participants' photos, come back and vote for your favorite. You can either cast your vote in the comments section or send it via email. Please don't be a monster and vote for yourself.
The pageant king or queen will not only win bragging rights, but also a special treat from me: a Halloween mix CD! (And it won't have "Thriller" on it because, seriously, who doesn't already own that?)
I will probably offer up a pic of my own, but I'll remove myself from the competition. Besides, I doubt I have a better pic than the one I used last time.
Now, go warm up your scanners and scare up those old photos!
Friday, October 22, 2010
There is this month's winning caption, provided by first-time winner, Boonie S. I know it's almost the end of October but don't worry, Boonie, I'll let you flame on until mid-November.
Sorry it took until almost the end of the month to name a winner but, as you know, I haven't really been feeling the blog thing lately. Also, the turn-out this month was pretty weak, despite the caption contest coming out as the winning recurring topic in my readers' poll. I guess it has something to do with my recent lack of posting and commenting. I don't really want to give up blogging, though, so I hope everyone will bear with me through this...whatever it is. Let's call it an apathetic patch.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Below are 10 sets of musical homonyms: the titles are spelled the same but the songs have different sounds and meanings.
The Velvet Underground
We Are Scientists
I've never been a huge Velvet Underground fan, but this is one of a handful of songs that I really like. It's just so darn cute, due in large part to Maureen Tucker's almost childlike vocals. On the other hand, I've always liked We Are Scientists, but this song doesn't really do it for me. It's not that I dislike it; I just don't like it as much as some of their lesser-known others. I do appreciate the '80s vibe though, which can be heard throughout Brain Thrust Mastery.
Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
Each of these songs is my favorite from both artists. I know that a lot of Suede fans write off their last album A New Morning, but I quite like it. I like a lot of Suede's older "Britpop era" songs, too, but I was always put off by Brett Anderson's affected whiny voice, which is pretty much gone on that final record.
Don't ask me to pick which of these I like better. I can't.
I know he has this reputation for doing cheesy, soft adult-contempo-rock, but I've always had a soft spot for ex-Babys lead singer John Waite. He's got a great voice. And since I have a soft spot for the ultra cheesy Xanadu, it's no surprise that I love this Goldfrapp ballad from her new Xantastic album, which has secured a spot on my Best of 2010 list.
One of my favorite Heart songs paired with a song by one of my least favorite people in the world. But despite wanting to kick Kanye in the balls every time I see him, I can't deny this is one catchy song.
Sure, critics will say the Muse song is better. And it is a good one. But Pat's tune was the theme song from The Legend of Billie Jean. And that counts for everything. Fair is fair! Give those kids back their scooters!
Everyone probably knows by now that I love Stevie Nicks. However, I've never sung the praises of Unbunny. And that's because I didn't know they existed until a few months ago, even though they've apparently been around since the mid-'90s. I still don't know anything about them except that I really like this song. But I've been on a '90s music kick lately, re-discovering bands that had previously slipped by me (Teenage Fanclub, The Posies, Jellyfish, etc.), so maybe I'll feel inspired to dig deeper into Unbunny's catalog.
Two of my favorite artists; two of my favorite songs by each. The one thing both tracks have in common is that neither one really gets much attention. Despite its position in one of the traditional "single spots" (track #3) on Yield, the Stone Gossard-penned PJ song often gets overlooked in favor great Eddie tunes like "Given to Fly," "Wishlist" and "Do The Evolution." As for Gaga's song, it was left off The Fame Monster, so a lot of people don't know it exists.
The Stones' song has always been my favorite of theirs. From what little I know of Remy Zero, they're kind of wimpy, but I've always loved this song ever since I heard it in Suicide Kings.
The Cheap Trick tune is power pop at its finest. And the U2 song reminds us all of the great band they once were...before Bono lost his mind.
Enjoy the tunes...and don't forget to enter this month's caption contest!