October Movie Schlockfest

Every day in October I am planning on watching a cheesy movie. Preferably sci-fi and/or horror- the more “cringy” the better. So far I have watched three films that really fit the bill.

First film I watched was “Invaders From Mars” made back in 1986. I remember this film coming out on cable tv in the 80’s and I was so excited to see it. It is not good. Lots of excess screaming and ridiculous looking aliens. None of which is scary by any means.

Last night I watched “Cube Zero” which I was honestly hoping would be as good as “Cube”. Alas, it fell short. In fact it almost ruins the idea of what the original film “Cube” was about. But cheesy acting and ridiculous practical effects helped to make it more campy than “mind fuck” like it’s original.

Tonight I went back to the 80’s for an absolute disaster of a film. “Munchies” knew it was campy and ridiculous from the start with hints at “Gremlins” and numerous other movies prior to it. It is not a good film by any means. I lost interest in it by the end and was nodding off on the couch by 9pm.

The idea of watching cheesy and campy films came about on September 30th. That was the day my middle child and I decided to watch “Hocus Pocus 2”. Cheesy, corny, nostalgic and not very good. Perfect to get my tastebuds wet with the month of October.

Do you have any extra cheesy films for the spooky season that you would recommend? I have a few saved on our streaming device.

Halloween Costume Choice

Halloween is approaching. I am behind in my usual costume planning. So it’s time to figure out an easy one that I think I can do. Here are two of my choices so far. Please help with some advice.

1st: More Cowbell.

I think I can pull off a Christopher Walken impression for one night. Especially if I just quote the classic SNL skit. Maybe I can find a friend to do Will Farrell’s part and really nail the joke.

2nd: Fear And Loathing

This has been my look for most of the summer. Tinted glasses, bucket hat, Hawaiian print shirt. I just need to work on slurring my speech and awkward walking. (although I did that throughout the summer as well).

Which of these two is my best option? I’d love to hear your vote. Or, is there any other possible characters I could pull off this Halloween? I have enjoyed some of my past iterations of Rick Sanchez, Vincent Price, Obi-Wan, Ash vs Army of Darkness, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Sportacus, Pee-Wee Herman, Hudsucker Proxy, and many more.

I Turn My Camera On

Today would have marked my father’s 80th Birthday. One of the few things I have kept of my father’s is his camera. It’s nothing special to anyone but me. Valued at $40 used on eBay. The Praktica is nothing more than a 35mm chunky camera.

The reason it’s special to me is that my father realized that when I was born- he did not own a camera. He went out and bought it within a couple of days of my birth. Partly because there was some uncertainty in my living beyond a short while. I had respiratory issues from birth. But that’s another story. This camera was purchased in 1976- the original receipts and warranty card are still in the carrying case.

I ended up using this camera in high school back in the mid-nineties for my photojournalism class. I took numerous black and white photos with it as well as colour pictures. Some of those ended up in the year book. Including my favorite which was a collage overlay of four photos together making up the front of the school. Not too easy to do when there was no preview screen and had to wait to get the images developed.

Now as our son enters grade 11- he has taken up photography as his art major. With it came a curiosity of my father’s old camera. In the first week of photo classes, he went through four rolls of film just taking black and white photos with it. Soon he will develop the pictures and see what he has created.

The one picture that my son wants to take with the camera is one I am impressed he thought of. It’s nothing outrageous, but rather one that brings the camera’s journey full circle. He plans to take some photos of my father’s tombstone- using the same camera that my father had bought to take pictures of me at birth. It’s quite convenient that the graveyard is merely steps away from the school grounds.

I’m not going to lie, at first I had a tough time allowing my son to use the camera. But he has been respectful and understanding of the sentimentality to me. He keeps it in the case and is very careful when handling it. As I said, there’s no monetary value to this item. But it means a lot to me as I wish my father could have seen the lovely grandkids that were produced. I would hope he would’ve been proud of me. But I didn’t become a good father to impress him. I became a good father to spite him.

Happy 80th Grampa. You missed an entire world, yet somehow you are still a big part of mine.

Down Time Before Bed

My day was filled with being busy at work, some basic chores and then time with family. I nearly forgot to write today’s blog. So I checked out of my life for a bit before writing this.

For the first time in ages I threw on some YouTube in bed. I watched Season Six Episode One of Rick and Morty. I was going to write my blog as the show was playing, but ended up getting too enthralled in the episode.

Nobody exists on purpose.

I love this show. My son and I even did a cosplay together over six years ago: Father Son Time. We share a bond of shows like this along with a vulgar humor.

Ironically, my son now fits those pants I wore for the costume and loves to wear them. I also found my flask from the cosplay the other day (still had booze in it…) In a couple of days my son and I will watch the few episodes that have been released. I plan to share a few good laughs and speculation on what’s to come or inter-dimensional paradoxes (or some other type nerdy sci-go shit).

To quote the great Rick Sanchez, and send you off for the night:

Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!

(which means I am in great pain)

Fun Lies To Children

Having small kids is filled with telling them lies. Many of the lies are done in order to calm or control the kids in some way. I know many parents who have told the same lies I have told.

The Three Big Lies

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are the three main lies we have told to our children. These fibs led to some good behavior and some magical moments as they grew up. It is always fun to be the character behind the curtain and make their dreams come true. A few gifts, some candy, a dollar or two. But I have a couple of other lies I have told over the years that I found amusing.

ID4

Telling our children at a young age that the move Independence Day was based on true events brought me joy. I wrote about it here: ID 4. Watching the film every year is one of my guilty pleasures. The kids also enjoy the film, so no harm no foul in telling them that lie.

However, my favorite lie was telling my kids that when the ice cream truck was playing music- it meant they were out of ice cream. That worked for a very long time. Each of them just grew to accept that we weren’t going to buy a frozen treat. Our youngest was the last to discover the truth. One day our son was over at a neighbor’s house and those parents went and bought ice cream from The Ice Cream Man.

I saw him getting a treat as I was leaving for work that day. Not sure if it was guilt in his face for being caught, or the look was the fact that he realized that I was always lying about the music. At least now if the truck comes to the neighborhood, our teenagers have their own money to spend if they choose to.

Is there any lies you have told kids in order to humor yourself, save money or perhaps your sanity? Let me know in the comments.

Love And Thunder

This morning we took our two youngest to a morning matinee at the theater. It was a last minute purchase, but the kids convinced me that this was important.

I will say it was a nice experience hanging with the family in a half filled theater. We made ourselves comfortable as the film rolled. Of course we snuck in some snacks- as most do when watching movies.

I’m glad to have had some quality time with the family. We enjoyed the movie together and I know there aren’t too many more of these events left. I’ll take it!

More ID4

“Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. “Mankind.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

~President Whitmore

This has to be one of my favorite monologues from a movie in modern cinema. I have another favorite from the movie “Four Rooms” but that’s for another day. The quote from President Whitmore is from the film Independence Day.

ID-4 is one of my favorite films that I must watch EVERY SINGLE YEAR! I’m not American, but the cheesy and campiness of the film is fantastically put together with action and comedy throughout. We watch it as Our Canadian Tradion on July 4th. After I finish work tonight, we shall be engaged in the watching of said film once more. I can recite so many of the lines from the film that I could practically do it in my sleep. I’m pretty sure my kids can do the same.

Hopefully they will pass on the tradition of watching the film as the years go on.

Do you watch this film regularly like we do? Let me know your favorite scene in the comments!

Continuing Cosplay

Years ago we introduced our children to the world of cosplay. They loved the idea of being able to be a character from a show or video game. My wife enjoyed making their costumes. I enjoyed acting out the characters with the family. We all really enjoyed showing off at Comic Cons.

Pokémon Trainers and a wild Pikachu!

For me, that felt like a lifetime ago. We haven’t dressed up for conventions in years. Halloween was a wash for me last year, as I didn’t dress up. I did my Obi-Wan for May 4th, so I was happy there. The love of dressing up in cosplay is still rampant with our 18 year old. That also makes me happy- even if I don’t know the characters they are doing.

Out of the blue, our middle went to our next door neighbor yesterday and asked if they would come over to help with some cosplay photos. After living in our home for almost one year, this was the first interaction the two of them had. It was a positive one. Our neighbor, who is 16, has been interested in doing cosplay but was unsure where to start.

Good thing we moved in next door! Now our middle will have someone to teach the joy of cosplay to. I am really happy that my wife and I encouraged this activity years prior. It has helped with our kids expressing themselves through fandoms. Now that expression is being shared from our teens to others.

That’s pretty cool.

Towel Day and 45 Years of Star Wars

What a day to be a sci-fi nerd. I was so excited about this day I began writing this blog a year prior. But then I hit a writer’s block and that was the only sentence I wrote all year. Or I just procrastinated. Either way, I fished writing it today.

As many folks know by now, I love Star Wars. It has been around for 45 years as of today. I could go on and on about this science fiction fantasy universe, but I won’t do that today. I already celebrated May 4th.

More importantly- Today is Towel Day! This one is really significant to me. Our oldest received their name from book five of the trilogy. In my opinion- Random is one of the greatest names in this day and age. Random can choose a new name at random and no one would question it. Random can do random things and again, kind of difficult to question. But most of all, Random has suited their name since my wife first agreed to the name a little over 20 years ago.

21 years ago, Douglas Adams passed away at age 49. He was the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Or H2G2. A comedic series of books about the absurdity of the universe. I had recently re-read the novels when he passed. A short time later, the universe clobbered me with a 2×4 and was about to make me a father for the first time. Naturally, I wanted the universe to know that I was game and ready to play along. Random would become the greatest gift and biggest hurdle for my life. Which has brought me to this bit of wisdom:

As significant as today is, and how nerdy it is, one must always be prepared for adventure- so remember to bring a towel. It may just save your life!

Or perhaps just use a clean towel to dry off. That’s important too.

Kids In The Hall

Back in high school, I was a huge fan of “The Kids in the Hall”. Yup, I was watching them when they first aired back in the early 90’s. The skits were very creative and totally out there. I even plagiarized some of the comedy in order to survive English class. My teacher at the time said I was “morbid” and “syndical” as well as “macabre”. Kind of like life if you ask me some days.

1996 rolled around and I was a couple of years out of school by then. “The Kids in the Hall” made the film- “Brain Candy.” I may or may not have been experimenting with psychedelics at this time in my life. But I did enjoy the film and the commentary on drug usage in North America at the time. Periodically I still put on the soundtrack because it was gosh darn good.

Around the same time, I went and saw “The Kids” perform a live show in Vancouver. Okay, maybe it was in the year 2000 that they toured. My life was a blur back then. I wasn’t ready to settle down… and life was still just a thing to live periodically. I knew one day that I’d be done monkeying about. Little did I know that was the year that my life would change.

22 years later and “The Kids in the Hall” banded back together for an appearance on Amazon Prime. Eight episodes to watch, and the first one had full frontal male nudity. Like the kind of nudity that was of men far older than I. Awkward nudity. Humorous nudity. Because- why the heck not? An added bonus- there is a contest they created called “paint Bellini” and naturally I entered. Wouldn’t that be a riot? Win the contest of a show that impacted my life all of those times way back when?

Anyhow, go watch the show on Amazon Prime. It’s Canadiana at its finest. Or don’t. I’m not your boss. But if you do- expect some new skits and a few classic characters to make an appearance.

Long live KITH. And did I mention, in high school- my friends and I tried to get our own comedy sketch show off the ground? Called “Slow Children Playing.” I tried a few times to get in going. Yet no one had the commitment to do it. Now it’s more “Middle Age Memes”. Or essentially “The Kids In The Hall.” So go watch it. Or don’t. No big deal to me.

My First iPod

Since hearing about Apple retiring the iPod, I thought I could share about my first one. I first got an iPod in 2006. I bought it for myself on my 30th birthday. It was the latest version (5th Generation) and the first video model as well. 30GB in black.

I still have the iPod. I also still have the original box. On the day I got it, I uploaded every song in my library onto it. A far cry from 7500 songs that I could’ve put on it. But I also added a ton of digital photos onto it as well. Condensed video was not as easy back then to create. So my videos were minimal. Streaming was not an option either as you still had to connect to a computer where all your music and photos were saved.

That day, my wife gave me the gift of taking our kids away for the night so I could just enjoy my new toy. The kids were 2 and almost 4. Our son was to be born a couple months later. So I was left at home alone. So I did what any 30 year old man with 24 hours of freedom and a new piece of technology would do.

Mushrooms.

I will say, my first experience with the iPod was memorable. I listened to tons of different music, played with the settings, scrolled quickly with the click wheel and just enjoyed laying in bed listening to anything I wanted. However, by the time I was ready to sleep, I was lonely.

The photos I had put on my iPod were of my wife and kids from the previous couple of years. I missed them tremendously even though it was just one night. Our daughters were so loving and happy to always be around me. To this day, I still miss those moments of kindness and innocence they would showcase towards me with their personalities.

My heart was filled with joy the next day when they returned home. The love from the girls was the best gift that birthday. The iPod was a close second. Sixteen years later and I still get choked up thinking about my thoughts of missing them. Psychedelics are interesting to say the least.

Did you have a memory from your first iPod?

April Is Ending

What a peculiar month April was. Teasing of spring; a smattering of winter- all to remind us of how crazy Mother Nature is. And of course today is meme filled with…

As humorous as this joke was Ten years ago when it was first introduced to the internet, perhaps it’s time to retire the meme. It’s used as much as Cher’s “Turn Back Time” every year. I love a good meme, but sometimes oversharing can kill the joke. With May on the cusp- I am looking forward to nicer weather and wearing less layers

I really do love May and I am excited to overshare Star Wars Memes and phrases next week. So I really shouldn’t complain about memes that need to retire. Especially in four days time because I will be saying…

Alien Day

Come on in.

Today is April 26th. Otherwise known as ALIEN DAY.

LV-426 is the name of the moon where the aliens were discovered. You know, the Xenomorph aliens from Ridley Scott’s movie franchise. One of the best sci-fi/horror crossovers ever created.

I saw the movie Alien as a small child. Like 6 years old small. We had Superchannel back in 1982 and it was one of the movies of the month. Somehow I managed to sneak a viewing of it without my parent’s knowledge. You think that’s young? We took our daughter to see it when the film was re-released in the theaters in 2003; she was 15 months old. The aliens didn’t scare her. The android getting ripped apart did.

I was thinking about watching the first film tonight once more. It is a favorite of mine, even though it is terrifying. Except for the second film, I have seen every other film in the franchise in the theater. I am probably one of the few that liked the third one.

A few years back, we watched all the films in one marathon as a family. A midweek marathon isn’t going to happen. But I do love me some science fiction. The next month is exciting for me!

Next week- Star Wars Day! And May 25th- Towel Day!

Solo Movie Viewing

It’s been years since I went to the movies by myself. Back in the 90’s I used to go to the mall on a Friday and head to a matinee to see the opening weekend of a blockbuster. In the early 2000’s I worked at the multiplex cinema and would watch films regularly by myself. Many times from up in the booth staring through the small window.

Today I needed to revisit this feeling. I attended the IMAX at the theater I once worked at. I bought a ticket for the back row away from everyone else. Absorbing the experience by myself brought back the sensation I once enjoyed. I was able to dive deep into the movie and view it uninterrupted. No whispered discussion with friends or family during the show. Just the film and I.

I will say, I enjoyed doing that. I may return to solo viewing of movies. It was a time to unwind and fall into the fantasy world of cinema.

An experience that I truly missed.

Don’t You Forget About Me

Today is one of those dates in films that matters to those who love nostalgia. March 24, 1984.

The Breakfast Club is set for this date- way back when. A classic film from the 80’s. A John Hughes masterpiece. I remember watching it on tv one weekend in the 80’s. It was one of those “Special TV Movies” that were unmissable.

I haven’t seen this film in years (I think…I’m having deja vu as I write this blog- maybe I’ve seen it more recently). And tonight my wife and I are watching it in bed. Seeing these actors and listening to the dialogue makes me realize that the world has drastically changed. Yet in some ways we can all still relate to the struggles of life.

The hardships of being a teenager. The fact that these complete strangers stuck up for each other is understandable as well. I can relate to all the characters in one way or another. Many of us can, which is what makes it such a great film.

Watching it now, I see the scenes of the principal and relate to him as well. The difficulty of being an adult towards teenagers is my life these days. Life just keeps changing and evolving.

It’s unavoidable. It just happens.

Meatloaf

It is another sad day when an icon passes away. Today we lost singer/actor Meatloaf.

First time I remember seeing or hearing of Meatloaf was from “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. That movie changed my adolescence and I became more aware of sexuality. Shortly after me seeing that film, Meatloaf released the song, “Anything For Love”. I enjoyed the single immensely and continue to have it in rotation in my playlists. His ability to make epic rock opera/ rock ballads was exceptional.

Meatloaf also appeared in one of the greatest mind fuck movies of all time- “Fight Club”. I was working at the cinema and saw the film about five or six times. His name is Robert Paulson. Somehow he was able to be made fun of with the monologue; yet be able to portray a lost man needing something to grasp onto that the audience could connect with. I was a young adult at the time struggling with questions about life and depression. Seeing that struggles come in all shapes gave me hope.

As I looked through my photo memories today, I came across a series of pictures from 2012. It was the Epic Meatloaf dinner that I had made for friends. I filled a turkey roaster with nearly 40lbs of meat and cheese that day. Tonight I shall be making another meatloaf, albeit a regular one, as an homage to the late singer.

Life’s Bittersweet Memories

Sometimes a memory pops up on Facebook and it’s kind of heartbreaking. Today hit me unexpectedly, again…

Some of you may be thinking, It’s just a job, why does it matter? To me it wasn’t “just a job” that I was leaving. I left a job that I truly enjoyed and was proud to do. I also left behind numerous friendships- however I have still kept in contact with many of them. Colossus was the first place to employ me after almost a year of unemployment. I worked there for five years- as I felt I owed it to them for getting me out of a bad place. Yet it was time to move on. The main reason I left was money.

The job didn’t pay as well as I needed anymore. It was great when I was single and scraped by. However, I never saw a future for me and my family. I was married and we had our first kid. My wife was pregnant with our second child that would be born three months later. I needed to do more than just enjoy my job. I needed to be able to support my family.

Besides working at Colossus Cinema, I was also working two other part time jobs. I was putting in 70-80 hours a week in order to buy our first home. If I hadn’t sacrificed my time back then, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

Over the years I have shared with my family my love of cinema. In return, our oldest is going to school in order to work behind the scenes. Our middle has friends who work at that same theater and has been going to movies with friends. Our youngest is always talking to me about the latest trailers and wanting to be the first to see the big blockbusters as they come out.

Since 1999, Colossus has been a part of my journey in this life. I am fortunate that working there happened. I also can’t believe where I’ve gotten to since then. It was a good move, maybe when I retire I’ll go back to being a projectionist part time, assuming they need someone of my age.

Manifesting Memories

It dawned on me today that I manifested a perfect life for myself based on my favorite memories.

Our current home takes my earliest memories of living in Edmonton. Back in the early 80’s, that house backed onto farmer’s fields. Where the views went on forever. Even this last winter snowfall reminded me of the streets and fun I had from ages 5-8.

The next house my family moved to in 1985 had an in ground swimming pool. I recall always having friends over playing and lounging around listening to cassettes on my portable ghetto blaster. Last summer, I continued that tradition in our new home. Every time I was in the pool, I had music playing on a large Bluetooth speaker.

Growing up, I loved movies. The idea that a short story could take you away to an entire new world always filled me with joy. As a teenager I always wanted to be a projectionist. That became a reality in my early 20’s. I loved doing that job for almost five years. We even had our own theater room in our last home.

Besides our my dream job and current home, I remember always wanting to be a good father. In 2000, I met a partner who became my best friend. Her and I both had similar family goals. So we married quickly and got to work making a family even quicker. As the kids grew up, I stayed young. Constantly playing with them and creating new memories for us.

One day, I suspect our kids will manifest their own dreams and goals from the positive experiences they have had.

I didn’t even touch on these facts of what I always wanted: that have also come to fruition:

  • Traveling to Hawaii
  • Traveling to Tokyo
  • Driving the Extraterrestrial Highway
  • Owning a lightsaber
  • Experiencing VR
  • Owning a car
  • Owning an arcade machine
  • Having close friends that last a lifetime

There are so many more things in my life that have come in to reality. All of it is possible through the power of positive thinking. It’s not always going to be easy. Some things are a long arduous journey. But looking back, I know this is exactly where I need to be.

Looking forward, I know exactly where I need to get to. And I hope you are having the same successes in your lives also.

Cheers To All The Dreamers

As 2021 ended and 2022 begins, I reflect back and see the changes my friends and I have had in the past year. With another unusual year behind us, we all need to celebrate the successes we have all accomplished!

I’ve watched friends become parents (again). New career paths taken (numerous people chose this epic change). Buying new homes (us included). Friends creating and sharing all varieties of art. Continuing an education. It was hard work. But worth it.

But I especially want to thank everyone who posted positivity and inspirational quotes and well wishes. We are all in this ride together and the support we give one another can go a long way.

To all the everyday routines and the life changing achievements- we made it through a crazy year. As the world moves forward, there are new challenges that we will face. Some we will overcome, and others we will learn from.

Cheers (YouTube link)

Don’t just dream it. Be it.

Matrix: Resurrections

Last night we went to the movies. It’s the first time in quite a few months since going to the cinema. Mostly due to concerns of Covid and such. We attended opening night of Matrix:Resurrections. In an auditorium that could hold approximately 220 people, there was 20 patrons- including the four of us. Not a good sign.

Prior to watching this movie, we watched the original trilogy over the past few days to get in the mood for the film. The first film is still my favorite and it holds up quite nicely considering it came out in 1999. The two sequels that came out in 2003 were decent, but didn’t have the strength of the first film.

We were excited to be seeing this latest installment. The first act was great and was about to take us on a fantastic journey. But the second and third act fell short. Mostly the story writing and character interactions. Everyone loves nostalgia, and unfortunately the film did too many flashbacks with archive footage yelling in our faces, “Remember this part of The Matrix?”

The film started in a very meta fashion. I was hoping there would be more of an explanation of Neo’s ability to “see” in the real world once he went blind (the end of the third film). I wanted to see a Matrix inside a Matrix: Sort of like the film “Inception”. But this story just kind of went on post war from the original trilogy. In all honesty this story wasn’t necessary to be told. It felt like the studio was moving in on a cash grab of nostalgia and no content.

Not a good film to be viewed in the theaters. Save your money and enjoy it at home. A solid 5/10 for me.

Tree Time 2021

Having gone on vacation at the start of the month, it meant decorating the Christmas tree was a couple days later than normal. Yesterday was the only chance we had to get on it. So right after an early dinner, we decorated.

As is tradition in our home, we put on “The Wiggles: Yule Be Wiggling” and “Wiggly Wiggly Christmas” whilst we decorate the trees. This year old oldest didn’t join us, but Grandma sat in to watch the fun.

As is also tradition, my wife and I enjoyed some Fireball and Eggnog: aka FIRENOG. We discovered this drink from my wife’s brother a few years ago and it has loosened us up for the holiday season ever since then. As is another tradition- and ornament gets accidentally broken and put on display. This year, no one broke an ornament, instead one came out of the box broken. It always seems to be the red ones…

Our new nine foot tree looks great in our new home. I’d say it’s almost done. As I mentioned, our oldest was unable to join us, so my wife and I put up a few of their ornaments, but saved the rest in case they wanted to add them to the tree at a later date. If not, that’ll be okay as well since this tree carries all of the special ornaments given to the family members. My wife and I knew that one day those ornaments would find a new home wherever our kids move to.

We also finished off our kids tree. This holds all those handmade ones gathered up over the years. From preschool onward, as well as the fandom made ones (Star Wars, etc..) This tree will be one my wife and I will always put up. And finally is a tree in our master bedroom. That one will be decorated in a few days since my mother is using the room during her stay.

Did you decorate a tree or trees this year? Any movies, music, food or drink that you enjoy while doing so? Let me know in the comments.

Get Back

The new Beatles documentary “Get Back” released on Disney+ on the weekend. It was put together from 60 hours of film and 150 hours of audio tape that has been sitting in a vault for half a century. The final three part series is nearly 8 hours of footage.

I watched each episode as they appeared on Disney+. This is one of the first times as of late, that I gave a show my undivided attention. My phone was not a distraction as I watched the series. I was enthralled by the showcase of creativity coming to fruition of some classics songs. For 50 year old footage, I could only imagine how difficult it was to sift through and make a great series.

For me, it brought back memories of when I would hang out with friends at their jam sessions and recording studios. Those days were filled with loads of egos filling a room, and amazing talent that would piece together a few songs. Seeing the Beatles in a more raw form made me appreciate the hard work that many artists go through in the creative process.

I have always been a fan of the Beatles. At one point when I was 19, I had a loud car stereo. With 500 watts and two 12” subwoofers, I would play music of all varieties. Back then, I would have a rotation of cds available. One day I stopped at a liquor store with some friends. I was playing “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and an older lady watched me step out of the car. She commented on how it was nice that I was listening to classics, albeit very loudly.

Besides having a few Beatles albums on cd, I had also purchased the Red and Blue albums on vinyl at a flea market a few decades ago. I have since given them to our daughter, who has enjoyed playing them on her record player as well. The Beatles are timeless, and watching the documentary this past weekend was a fantastic and beautiful way to appreciate their style.

Halloween Home 2021

Yesterday was the first Halloween in our new home. Not knowing the neighborhood made it difficult to predict how much candy we needed to purchase for giving away. In the end, we had about 60-70 kids show up.

Not to brag, but our house drew a lot of attention last night. Kids came bounding down the hill and bypassed the neighbor’s homes in order to stop at ours. We had a modestly decorated home. However, I did put up a sheet on our open garage and showed a movie. You could hear “The Nightmare Before Christmas” down the street. Perhaps that’s what drew the kids…

Some of the neighbors also came over to chat with us. This was the first time that a few of us had the chance to hang out. It was a beautiful evening so we pulled out the fire pit and talked about the neighborhood. It was a warm and welcoming experience.

My wife and I enjoyed the night hanging out, giving away candy and socializing. Afterwards we went to the backyard and watched the fireworks out in the distance across the cityscape. All in all a good evening had in our new home for our first Halloween. I look forward to many more years of this.

Pumpkin Carving 2021

My daughter and I finally got around to carving a couple of pumpkins today. We were both going to do very detailed ones, yet our printer wasn’t working. So this threw us off a bit.

It meant I had to trace and freehand my designs today. Which was not perfect by any means. But I am still happy with the outcome of the pumpkins. They are okay-ish by my standards, but I was also trying something different and it didn’t work.

I tried to create flames for one pumpkin. This is how it turned out. I know where I could’ve improved. Doing smooth curves is difficult to cut. But since I was unable to do my original design, this was my backup.

My other design was a bit less detailed than previous years (2018 was my best one to date). Loki was a fantastic Marvel tv series, so I had to share my love of the fandom. I am happy with how this pumpkin turned out considering I had to draw it out myself. Usually I edit an image online to create a stencil.

Our middle child is still working on her pumpkin. She’s been at it for about five hours now. Her attention to detail is amazing. She also had to trace an image instead of printing one off. Our oldest daughter had to work today, so I am hoping that she creates a beautiful work of art tomorrow. If not, I’m sure my wife will make a Hello Kitty pumpkin.

I can’t wait to see the final results of our daughters’ designs and hard work. I love that they take after me in wanting to be better each year.

How did your pumpkin carving go this year? Are you getting better at it as each year goes on?

This Isn’t Going To End Well

Today I was at home starting my vacation. This morning I was on a Zoom meeting while sitting on our front porch. As I was there, a lady with about four preschool aged children walked by. They noticed the banners I put out for Halloween. And one of the boys yelled up to me, “Is that Freddy VS Jason?” I was rather surprised that a kid under age five would know that.

Later on a couple of ladies walked by and stopped in front of our home. They were trying to figure out who the characters were from. Clearly our home is drawing attention.

Afterwards, I was in the garage making some Halloween decorations. A father and his young song passed by. They too saw the banners out front. I heard the father say to his son, “we will definitely come back to this house on Halloween.”

I’m sure that we will get more kids this year in this part of the neighborhood than they have in the past. Our last neighborhood we only gave out about a dozen treats. Three to each kid… It’ll be neat being in a suburb again, but it’s not going to end well. We better get a bunch of candy and be ready to hand it out.