Oct 31, 2012

It's the Great Pumpkin

Despite buying a 25 pound pumpkin this year, the seeds I got out of it only lasted a couple of nights.  Roasting them made the place smell great though.  You'll notice that in contrast to last year's smiling pumpkin, I went with a traditional angry Jack o'lantern for this Halloween.  He makes for a nice display, despite the fact that I don't get any trick-or-treaters.  Oh well, it'll add to the ambiance while watching Rocky Horror Picture Show for the umpteenth time.  Happy Halloween folks!

Childhood Halloween Memories

As a kid the thought of collecting free candy was so much fun that I often questioned why we didn't do it more than once a year.  In combination with the school activities, family pumpkin carving, and costume building, Halloween became a significant event every October that wasn't to be downplayed.

Most of my best costumes as a kid were a result of thrifting, borrowing, and/or my Dad making something for us.  My sister and I had a few masks and accessories that came from the store, but for the most part our costumes were homemade.  

In grade one I was a red crayon for Halloween.  My Dad had made the costume and I remember it being very popular at school.  What I also remember is that because the crayon tube went passed my butt, it was really difficult to sit down or walk up stairs.  For trick-or-treating my Dad cut openings in the side of the costume so that it was easier to move my legs.  As is sometimes the case, the best looking costumes are also the most uncomfortable.

The paper bag wasn't a Halloween costume - that's a bit too homemade.  I included it here though because it reminded me of how in university my go-to costume became a garbage bag.  I literally just wore a stuffed garbage bag with a bow tied around my neck.  While it wasn't particularly clever, it was entirely practical as I could spill on myself without issue (which on certain nights out was always an issue).  I'm sure this image proves that I had had that idea in my subconscious for years.

Pumpkin carving was a yearly ritual (along with roasting the seeds) before I even knew what we were doing.  It's probably why I still feel compelled to do it now.

Other memorable costumes included an ice cream cone, that my Mom and Dad also made larger versions of for a Halloween party they were going to.  Another year I was a ninja turtle, and wore the Donatello mask in the picture above.  The TMNT and Dick Tracy sweats are a nice combo too though.

I was really proud the year that I came up with the idea to be Edward Scissorhands.  I was nine.  I found a box of tongue depressers and wrapped them in tin foil and taped them to my fingers.  I remember the costume being incredibly cumbersome when I kept having to open and close my trick-or-treating bag.  Remember what I said about cool costumes though? It was worth it.

When I was six I dressed as Zorro, and I remember that the hat was made out of cardboard and the sword was a wooden rod wrapped in tin foil.  I had a lot of fun slashing Z's into things that year.

My sister and I also dressed as Halloween classics.  I was Dracula in 1991 and she was a sad clown apparently.  The pictures show us in a very familiar Canadian situation, with our costumes modified to fit over our snowsuits.  Remember those giant unicef boxes for charity?  I was also a skeleton one year and she was a princess.
The picture of me as a cat makes me laugh, because I'm pretty sure this wasn't Halloween and we were just playing, but my sister looks like she's dressed as my Grandma.  Ah, good times.

Halloween is a pretty subdued affair for me these days, but that's only because since university Christmas has always started at my place the first weekend of November. With a limited amount of energy you have to pick and choose your holidays (especially when you dedicate 2 months to one of them).  It's good to have traditions though, especially when they continue to produce so many good memories.  

Oct 30, 2012

Dave as Pikachu

After a brief falling out after our first year of film school, it was in the autumn of 2006 that I reconnected with my friends Dave and Tyler.  It was around Halloween that the hangouts started up again.  Tyler and I had a few film classes together that year and it was a late night editing project for our experimental film class that can really be credited for kicking things off again.    

I remember Tyler inviting me over to his place, and we started drinking after 11pm.  I only know this because of an old blog post where I mentioned it.  It was also October 28 according to the time stamp on the pictures.

Dave had his Pikachu Halloween costume with him, and as the drinks continued to flow the behavior got more bizarre.  We stumbled to the Mac's for slurpees and for much of the night Dave was in costume.  What I liked most was when Dave would get pissed off, but his mask made him look so happy that you couldn't take it seriously.    

This was also the night we saw a 40 year old woman jump behind the counter at Subway, and prepare her own sandwich by spreading butter on it with her bare hands.  In addition to Dave as Pikachu, the Subway lady sticks out in my mind because Tyler (who worked at Subway at the time) offered to help the struggling employee make sandwiches for the huge crowd, but was turned down in place of this drunk woman who wanted to stick her hands in the condiments instead.  It was hilarious and gross, and Dave seemed all too happy to have her make his sub. 

This was just the beginning of many more hilarious film school evenings that went awry in the best possible ways.  The stories were always worth it I thought.  Maybe it's because this was one of the few instances when I remembered to bring my camera back then, maybe it's because of the Subway lady, maybe it's because our friendships really started at this point, or maybe it's because Dave is gone now, but this has become one of my favorite memories surrounding Halloween - despite the fact that it was actually a few days before. 

Oct 29, 2012

A Week in Las Vegas (2012)

As promised, I took a week's worth of fun and stretched it into a scattering of blog post highlights throughout this month.  It was actually really enjoyable to be able to explore everything I'd done with my friends Mike and Erin again, and be able to share so much through the pictures and video I shot.  There really is no place quite like Las Vegas.

Our trip during the last week of September was unlike any of my other Vegas trips in that I feel like I went out of my way to do more exploring this time around.  The five star suite at the Vdara didn't hurt to upgrade my experience either.  While the locations felt familiar, the attractions seemed new.  Just seeing things from different perspectives and getting to enjoy Vegas with two friends who hadn't been before, kept everything on the trip exciting and fresh.  It was a week that I doubt any of us will soon forget, although with so many pictures I'd like to see any of us try.

To explore the highlights, photo sets, and stories behind some of my favorite moments from our time in Las Vegas, simply click the images below for the complete posts.

Oct 28, 2012

Sunday Chat and Baby Talk

Last Sunday I had a great conversation with my friend Wendy over skype.  Darwin had already gone to bed and so it was looking like I wouldn't get to see him, but then only a few minutes into our discussion Wendy heard him crying and decided to bring him out for a bit.  It's always a lot of fun seeing Darwin's little face.  

Mostly I just wanted to share a few of the screencaps I took while Darwin was chilling out with us online.  As Wendy went to grab him a bottle, he gave me a few waves as he mimicked me before turning his attention back to where his Mom had gone.  He's a little sound effects machine these days, and I can't wait to hear him talking soon.  I just wish I were closer so that I could wrestle him and play with his toys like we did last time.  For now, the skype calls go a long way.