A TALE OF URBAN SUBURBAN SURVIVAL

Thursday, November 1, 2012

-hollywood cemetery-

Welp, I'd give 2012's Halloween a report card rating of C.

A+ - Cinema selections
C-  - Number of Trick or Treaters (only 5!? I thought this was suburbia!)
F    - No time to carve a pumpkin
A+ - Dinner of roasted sausages, butternut squash and brussels
D   - No occasion to wear a costume

But does anyone else feel a big change the day AFTER Halloween??

All of a sudden, the creepy decorations look out of place, over the top. The sun's brighter, the air has a bitter chill to it, and you find yourself wanting warmth, inviting smells, candles in the windows...and THEN you realize there are 3 weeks until Thanksgiving!

Holy crap, I'm already behind.

Only once, in 2008, when the Handyman fiancĂ© and I were living in Richmond, was I able to ignore the post-Halloween pounding "IT'S ALMOST THE HOLIDAYS" mantra beating in my brain.

As Richmond was the former capital of the Confederacy, there's plenty of historic sites to go around, and there's a famous graveyard called the Hollywood Cemetery (the double entendre being that it's named after the many holly trees in the area, and that there are several famous people buried at this picturesque spot).


I was obsessed with incorporating a tour of the Hollywood Cemetery into my Halloween traditions when I realized that a more poignant day would be All Souls Day on November 2nd. Unfortunately, the walking tours end in October, but that year I managed to snag the last tour on November 1st, All-Saints Day (aka All Hallows Day hence All Hallows Eve the night before)!

                  
Fall in Richmond, VA is a truly beautiful time---come November, many of the trees are still in full color, and the weather can be mild.

The graveyard dates back to 1849, and there are several 'celebrities' in the cemetery including Presidents John Tyler and James Monroe, as well as Confederate heroes J.E.B. Stuart and "President" Jefferson Davis.






I remember this grave being poignant, as George T. West was my age (at the time) when he passed, and our birthdays were just a few days apart. Maybe the morbidity of Halloween does pass on into November...


Anyways, I'll stop yakking. I've always wanted to share these photos, and if you're ever in Richmond, or are a resident who hasn't been, definitely put the HC on your list! 

Ok, I gotta go pack up the creepies and get the fake gourds out of the attic...















Wednesday, October 31, 2012

-wolfie's first halloween!

Halloween has always been in a close race with Christmas as my favorite holiday (usually edged out by the smell of a fresh fir tree and a plethora of Christmas music)...the darkness, the costume, the fear, the roleplay, the candy...Freud, take THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

But this year, as we are short on friends (less than 15 people at a Halloween party is just depressing), and short on friends who want to throw Halloween parties, there is no costuming this year, much to my dismay.

However, I DO get to dress up my dog and finally hand out candy to adorable trick-or-treaters! That is, if our house isn't too scary. Let's just say I don't need to put up extra cobwebs...

Now for Wolfie---I was leaning towards a pair of bat wings, but Kev had this inspiration of play-on-words.

So here he is---THE GREAT WHITE!
I imagine this is Wolfie's "Moooooooom! Geeeeez, this is so embarrassing" look.

Ok, so maybe he has too much fur to handle even the L-sized doggie costumes (note to self for next year), but we made it work.

The Great White is on the move!

Baring his pearly whites---good boy!

For Wolfie's efforts this morning, he got a little Halloween surprise: canned pumpkin in his breakfast! Found that little tidbit here (plus, who doesn't want to see a chihuahua in a hotdog suit?).

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Monday, October 29, 2012

-film fiend: rosemary's baby-

Just in time for Halloween (or if Sandy continues to act up like Irene, another lack thereof), I've been indulging in scary movies. Well, as scary as I can take. For example, today I braved the classics---The Invisible Man, The Mummy---heck, I even squeezed in Halloween: Resurrection.

But none of these can compare to the incredibly disturbing film Rosemary's Baby we watched last night.


Like TOP 5 kind of disturbing. EVER.

Ok, so maybe I'm a huuuuuge weenie when it comes to horror, but hear me out:  Rosemary's Baby is not disturbing in the way you would think. I had envisioned a blend of The Exorcist and The Omen. You know, basic Spawn of Satan type stuff. But this was so much more.

The film really could have been just been called Rosemary---the radiant, fragile Mia Farrow sucks you into her world as she journeys from naive housewife to manipulated mom while the, um, baby doesn't really make an appearance until the very end.

And seriously, producers missed out on a HUGE opportunity to do a remake with Gwyneth Paltrow, like 15 years ago. it's uncanny...

You basically sit through a couple of hours with an increasing, unabating sense of dread---an oppressive husband, mysterious deaths, creepy neighbors. By the last half hour, you want to scream at the TV, "Rosemary, you dumbass! Don't let yourself get isolated!! Listen to your gut! Nonono, don't confide in HIM!! WHY haven't you developed an escape plan by now??"

And a warning, ladies: if you're remotely considering becoming pregnant, do yourself a favor and just hold off on this one. There are enough squeamish aspects of pregnancy to make the average girl cringe, but couple that with (SPOILER ALERT) a widespread conspiracy and systematic isolation and abuse, and well, you downright feel like becoming a nun (for a number of reasons).

This was a timeless, thrilling, disturbing film. More Hitchcock than horror. More Twilight zone than terror (need I go on?).

But in the end, the truly disturbing part came in the form of a DVD Special Feature titled 'Mia and Roman'. It focused on the star of the movie, and of course, her director, Roman Polanski, in his first major film. It included clips of interviews and videos of them around the time the movie was shot, including a clip of Sharon Tate, Roman's wife who was murdered less than a year later by Charles Manson's followers.

Seeing Mia and Roman in their prime of life, unaware of how hard and dark their personal lives would become? Now that was truly disturbing.

Maybe I'll just stick with Nightmare Before Christmas...