30 October 2008

Halloween Can Now Begin!



Here is the track list (If you click on the song name you can listen to it):

1. Date With the Night - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2. Disturbia - Rihanna
3. Evil and a Heathen - Franz Ferdinand
4. Vampires Will Never Hurt You - My Chemical Romance
5. Rock the Night - Europe
6. Walking With a Ghost - The White Stripes
7. Is It Scary? - Michael Jackson
8. Back In Flesh - Wall of Voodoo
9. Children of the Night - NosfeROYtu (an original Garageband composition of my own!)
10. Chill Factory - Jondis Featuring Thom Yorke
11. City of Delusion - The Muse
12. Kingdom of Doom - The Good, the Bad and the Queen
13. Witchcraft - Wolfmother
14. Things That Scare Me - Neko Case
15. She's Lost Control - Joy Division
16. Children of the Grave - Black Sabbath
17. Headhunter - Front 242
18. Mad World - Gary Jules Featuring Michael Andrews
19. The Beginning is the End is the Beginning - Smashing Pumpkins

Here is our back insert. Feel free to download the images and the tracks so you can have your very own copy of the best Halloween cd ever made in 2008!



This must be what Santa feels like when he finally returns to the North Pole after delivering all those presents. I wonder if his wife is as upset as mine at the amount of time he spent doing his job too...
Happy Halloween Everybody!

29 October 2008

All Hallow's Eve Eve Eve! - Pumpkin Time!

Here's the pumpkins we've carved so far. I'll finish the rest tonight. By the way in recent year my kids have had me carve insane things in the pumpkins that have frayed my nerves and gotten away from the simple theme of jack-o-lanterns. So we've gone back to basics.


Three handsome Jack-O-Lanterns in a row!


I did this for uh someone else's kid.


And this is for someone else's baby girl.


This one is mine.

28 October 2008

Poltergeist

Wow it is only a few days until Halloween and I am trying like crazy to wrap up this review, watch a few required films (Ghostbusters, Night of the Living Dead, The Sixth Sense and Donnie Darko not to mention Dracula on Halloween), carve pumpkins AND finish the Halloween cd which I hope to have done tomorrow. Songs are picked and artwork is in place. Just need to mix the songs and pick some fonts etc.

Anyway, I love this month but it always gets stressful in the last week. All that aside lets talk about Poltergeist.




So this is the story about Coach and his family who live in Cuesta Verde (what does that mean? Green what?). He sells houses for his company and apparently is very good at it. he has sold 40% of the houses in the area. One night their daughter, Carol Anne, sits in front of the TV (pictured above) and starts to talk to the white noise. Anyway, no big deal. Next night same thing happens and a spectral energy shoots from out of the TV into the house. Carol utters the famous phrase "They're here." AFI voted this the 69th most famous movie line ever. So now things start to happen. Chairs stack themselves. Things slide across the floor. Glasses break. Etc. All good fun until one night when a tree outside the kids' house breaks through and tries to eat their son. At the same time Carol Anne is sucked into the closet and enters a portal. This scene scared the girl who played Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) so bad that Stephen Spielberg insisted that there be no additional takes. Anyway, Carol Anne is now in a place with the spirits of the dead that are causing the disturbances. They are drawn to her life force and this prevents them from moving on.

So some parapsychologists check out the house and have one spooky night. One of the men looks in the mirror and thinks he is tearing his face off (the one scene that scared me as a child). They decide it's time to call in the expert. Tangina is a very short very stout woman who is known for cleansing houses. In the meantime we learn that their house is built on top of where a cemetery once was. Bad idea. Anyway, Tangina arrives and they send the mother in through the portal attached to a rope. She must find Carol Anne and separate her from a dark presence that is preventing the other spirits from moving on. Getting more of this back story makes it worth renting Poltergeist II. Kane is a pretty creepy character and we learn a lot about these spirits that are trapped. but Poltergiest III is terrible and made me mad it was so bad. Anyway, the mother finds Carol Anne after she helps the other spirits move on and all is well. They spend one more night in the house while moving out. For whatever stupid reason they put the kids back in the bedroom of death. And of course they are attacked again, presumably by the dark presence that had no intention of moving on. They escape the house and all sorts of bad begins to happen. Graves come up through the ground and skeletons surface in the backyard hole where they were digging a pool. BTW, real skeletons were used but the actress who was in the muck with them was not so informed until after her scene was done. Sneaky!

So Mr. Plute (the president of the developing company) shows up as the house is imploding and we learn that when the moved the cemetery they only moved the headstones. They left the bodies where they were! Sure it saved money but the you risk a poltergeist. House implodes and the film closes as they go into their room at the Holiday Inn, putting the motel TV outside of the room.

Okay now this is one of the first big non-Rated R horror films. Originally this movie was given an R rating but the producers begged it down to a PG (no PG-13 back then). So it was a big deal. Sort of a family friend;y horror film. In fact the first time I saw this as a kid was with my mom and dad. Shame on you Mom and Dad! Oh J/K. I don't remember any nightmares if that makes you feel any better.

Also of big not is that this film feels like a Stephen Spielberg film. You expect to see his name come up as director but it doesn't. However he did write and produce it. That being said, everything I read says he had a very heavy influence and was more or less the director in everything but name. Now the real director is none other than Tobe Hooper. Who is Tobe Hooper you ask? He directed the cult classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So for whatever reason Spielbergo decided to creat a family friendly horror film and decided that no one could pull it off better than the director of one of the most disturbing horror films of all time! Well what can you do.




Anyway, this really is probably the best film yet made on the topic of hauntings or poltergeists. Seriously. So many crappy films on the subject. Like The haunting with Liam Neeson. Ugh. To be fair, you could say that one of the best horror films of all time is about a haunted hotel. I'm talking about The Shining. If you put that film in the Haunting category then it is the runaway best in the genre (and my favorite horror film of all time!)

Well I hope you enjoyed this well made, rather tame horror film. I did a movie comentary of this film with Jon Madsen. Check out the podcast. What's more I hope you enjoy Halloween!

Steve Bay, who chose Poltergeist has decided to continue the scary film category. He has decided we should choose Frankie and Annette films! Boo! That IS scary! I'm going with Back to the Beach. Let me know what you thought of Poltergeist and what Frankie and Annette movie you want to see. Have a very scary Halloween everybody!

I'm a (Chili) Winner!


I FINALLY won a freaking chili cookoff! It was the first annual Halawa Ward Chili Cookoff (which I've been begging for since I got her in Feb 2007). The recipe I used is clled Bunkhouse Chili and the special ingredient is a bottle of Jack Daniel's Original Spicy BBQ Sauce. I admit it was delicious and I was supremely confident in victory.

It didn't hurt that I was the organizer of the event. I know some will smell a rat in that association but I had nothing to do with the voting. Except for counting the votes. But I swear I was on the level and I only had three dead people vote, I swear! If anyone wants the recipe let me know.

27 October 2008

Poltergeist - Simpsons Style!

Here's the clip from Bad Dream House, the Simpsons season 2 spoof of Poltergeist. For one of my favorite lines ever, go to 4 mins and 20 secs to hear Homer call the real estate agent! Enjoy! video

22 October 2008

Scary Movies I've Watched So Far

Every September I get all my scary movies together and put them in a separate DVD book. I get so excited about watching all of them. But the last few years  it seems like I watch fewer and fewer of them. I think it has to do with increasing offspring...the band of course.

Anyway we've already watched The Wolfman, House of Dracula and The Blair Thumb about 1000 times. I'm glad people here like the classics. Here's a clip from The Blair Thumb:





If you enjoyed that I think you can youtube the entire thing! Hurray for the internet!

Silliness aside I have watched a few good horror films. Wait Until Dark of course. It's Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin and scares my pants off. I insisted on a completely dark house for the last scene.

Also I watched the Others. I enjoy this film. Not to scary. Has a Sixth Sense kind of end, which also means that when watching it again you slap yourself in the forehead wondering how you missed it. They do beat you over the head with clues. It doesn't hurt that the actress in this film is moderately attractive.

On Jon's Advice I watched 1408. Here's the trailer:




Actually pretty scary for the first half. Parts of this film kept me from sleeping for a bit. But the second half turns into self healing for the main character. It's all about how he needs to learn an important lesson about himself and that's when it stops scary the turkey lips out of me. Too bad.

I also have had the pleasure of watching Blacula.




According to the description on the sleeve this was supposed to be Shaftula kicking drug dealer butt in L.A. Instead he just kills some people while try to hook up with a chick that reminds him of his former wife. I did dig skillet though.

I am going to watch Poltergeist tonight. I'm excited. In a few days I'll review it here. As well Jon and I are doing a live commentary for his podcast. I'll let you know when we are broadcasting in case you want to participate. Until then enjoy this clip:




Anyway, let me know what good scary movies you have enjoyed so far this year or your favorite scary movies or whatever.

18 October 2008

Balm of Gilead Soothe My Soul

So I have been feeling pretty down in the dumps since yesterday's unimaginable (yet strangely foreseeable) atrocity in Ft Worth Texas. I'm talking about BYU getting worked by TCU. BTW I started a blog with a U of U buddy called The Holy War . I would say check it out but this is too depressing a week to do so. The background color of the blog illustrates who is on top in the current week. Well it ain't blue right now!

Anyway, after losing a lot of sleep last night - yes, I lost sleep over a football game - I woke up wondering how I could ever be happy again. And then it happened. My copy of Rock Band 2 came in the mail. It wasn't supposed to arrive until next Thursday so it must have been a miracle sent from angels on tiny olde time bicycles that fly to ease my pain! It worked. I played Eye of the Tiger and things were moving in the right direction but it was when I played Float On by Modest Mouse and Today by Smashing Pumpkins that my spirits were soaring once again. Thank you Harmonix. You saved my life. If BYU loses to Utah on nov 22nd could you release a 20 track pack from The Cure? Thanks again.

13 October 2008

I Am Married?


Did you all know that I have a beautiful wife named Valerie? Most of you did but you wouldn't have guessed from this blog. Aside from my occasional reference to a girl named Valerie, I have kept this blog almost exclusively about myself. But it's not my fault, Monique. Thanks for asking BTW. If it hadn't been for your complaint that Val was never in my blog she never would have allowed it. Let me explain.

Valerie trusts the Internet about as much as you can trust Penny Fathrington in a candy store during a ribbon candy sale. By that I mean she trusts the Internet less than zero. 
A few years ago when we were first married Val went to a seminar sponsored by the Relief Society in Portland, Maine where a policeman spoke about safety. Two things came of that meeting. 1 - It is imperative that we have a cell phone. 2 - No trace of our family would ever EVER end up on the world wide interweb. 

So when I started this delightful blog a year ago (mostly in envy of all my Blogging friends) Val insisted that to my readers I would present myself as a lone man in the world.
I agreed and have tried my best to keep it that way. She has softened some as I posted pics of our last (10th!) anniversary and mentioned her name a few times. This doesn't mean this blog will start covering the every action of my sweet wife. She wouldn't have it but she should get mentioned more often and maybe the occasional picture too!

So we've been married for 10 years. I know what you are saying. Lucky Valerie! I know. I remind her every day. Seriously though I don't think I could have found a more perfect partner. She is kind and forgiving but just pushy enough to get me to do 
the stuff I know I should. I've pictured myself without her "assistance" and it's not pretty. 

Perhaps the thing I love the most about Valerie though is that she is a hopeless romantic. Our first Christmas she was game for whipping out our credit cards and spending a month in Europe. What a ridiculous thing for penniless college students to do. But it was wonderful. New Years Eve in Paris (unwitting victims of jet lag while everyone else was at the Eiffel Tower), train rides through the Swiss-Italian Alps, looking for bathrooms all over Italy and checking out the gorgeous country side of Greece. I love and will never cease to be amazed by Valerie's willingness to do things that don't always make sense in our heads but seem like the right thing to do in our hearts.

I love you Valerie. You are the best.

Happy now Monique?

11 October 2008

The Big Three

I have a bit of a beef with Halloween. Don't get me wrong I love Halloween. I can never decide if I like it better than Christmas but it's very close for me. I love the whole mood. We are allowed to be a bit scary and we also allow ourselves to be sacred. Which is fun. Some people who may or may not be my wife think that it is wrong to want to be scared. That there could be nothing fun about feeling frightened. But it is fun. In fact, our body releases the same endorphins that it releases when we eat chocolate, kiss a pretty Valerie, etc. So our body actually enjoys being frightened. Fact.

Anyway, my problem with Halloween is that all kids go as these years are Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Spiderman, Ralph Nader, Ballet Dancers etc. The whole holiday is based on the celebration of ghosts and goblins and all things scary. Ballet Dancers don't scare me. Maybe if it was a zombie ballet dancer, then I could go for it. My friend Jon often does this. Last year he was a Star Trek character but at least he was the Vampire version of it. Thank you Jon.



So I have decided that costume-wise I am going to go with the Big Three: Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolfman. I'll rotate them around but they are so solid and so what I enjoy about Halloween that I think I'll be set for some time. I hope you enjoy them too. In fact, I recommend that this year you make a point of watching the original Frankenstein, Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr) and Dracula. I watch Dracula every year on Halloween, but all are classics. This is what Halloween should be about - Monsters, Ghosts and the Undead. Not pink power rangers.

One final ramble. I know they are in the process of making new versions of movies with my three favorite characters starting with the Wolfman next year. I know there are directors that know how to make horror flicks. So please can we actually put these characters in real horror (scare my pants off) films? Picture Dracula meets the original Halloween. That could be really scary. Are you reading this Mr. Carpenter?