Tag Archives: pumpkin

Happy Halloween!

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Sadly, I will be eating sushi and watching Frankenstein with the Fox during trick or treat, so the children of our fair city will be missing out on this flaming pumpkin action this year. 

Behold! The Ultragorgon!

No, it isn’t a confused tribute to Stranger Things, but rather to something that actually happened in the ’80s: The Jim Henson Hour. In this episode, “Monster Maker,” a kid visits a puppet shop and sees this half-finished dragon puppet, the ultragorgon, which later comes to life and teaches him things (bad things, I seem to recollect). The ultragorgon is massive. In real life, it took 8 puppeteers to animate him. Looking back, I don’t really remember The Jim Henson Hour and seemed to recall this as being associated with his previous project, The Storyteller. Much like Jim Henson, that project was wonderful, and ended way too soon. The Jim Henson Hour wasn’t terribly successful, and the network pulled the plug on it instead of giving him a chance to get it right, and Henson died about a year later. But “Monster Maker,” as a stand alone story, is a lot of fun.

I loved the design of the dragon, and thought it could be adapted to other things, so I’ve had the picture for a while, and when I decided to make the most elaborate jack-o’-lantern I’ve ever made, I pulled it out. It’s not really an exact match or anything, but it did come out pretty interesting for a misshaped pumpkin with a face cut into it. The nose was originally more complex but I accidentally punched it out. Oh well. You always have to do the smaller details first. Once you’ve made big cuts, you don’t want to mess with what’s left or you can knock the pieces out. The eyes are nice, and the ridges at the top of the head and down the center of the face. You can’t really see the horns that wrap around the side The thing about pumpkin carving is that you only do it once a year. If we did it once a month I bet I’d be much better at it.

Tn the right you can also see the edges of the cat pumpkin that the Girl carved mostly by herself, after spending 45 minutes staring at her pumpkin and talking about what she wanted to carve. She accidentally punched her whole design out, so The Man had to pin it back in with toothpicks. You can also see a bit of the Boy’s “derp” pumpkin. I guess it was supposed to look goofy but actually it looks worried and scared. It reminds me of my paternal grandmother, whose catchphrase was, “Oy vey, I was so worried.”

Next year, I will allot myself more than 90 minutes to carve a pumpkin, and get better tools, and work in a spot that isn’t completely full of flies, and I will make the greatest dragon face pumpkin the world has ever seen.

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Halloween Insult Comics

You're both so ugly people go as you for Halloween.

You’re both so ugly people go as you for Halloween.

Special fangs to the dear friend  (referred to, here and there in Dragon comics as the Vampire Bat, for reasons that must soon become clear) who sends out Halloween care packages every year and in whose honor this spooky insult comic was created. Most of the items in the image are from this year’s Halloween box; one is from a few years ago, and there’s also a commemorative matchbook for Bonnie Jo Campbell’s first novel, Q Road. You can’t make it out that well, but it’s a pumpkin with a butcher’s knife sticking out of it. Anyway, these buttons cracked me up the most. The jack-o-lantern especially looks like a real jerk.

Sadly, I still live in the desert, so all the chocolate in the Halloween box melted. However, the box itself is pretty nice. 1000 household uses. Skull Face and Jack-o-Lantern may insult each other in front of it again in the future. So spooky!

Ah, it’s all in good fun.

Tomorrow I have a photo shoot for a hair color blog. Financial remuneration has been suggested. Art!

Pumpkin Is the Spice of Life

Look, it's that time of year and I really felt like it needed to be said.

Look, it’s that time of year and I really felt like it needed to be said.

It may be an unpopular opinion, but it’s my opinion. I like pumpkin pie as much as the next person, and I can enjoy pumpkin (strictly in the months of October and November) in a variety of forms: soup, pie, perhaps in a savory dish like ravioli. I even enjoyed the unusual mashup of the Danish kringle with pumpkin yesterday. But, I have to draw the line. I don’t need my tea to taste like pumpkin spice, or my Oreos. Pumpkin spice, I believe, goes with actual pumpkin.

Anyway, I’m trying to get into the Halloween spirit. I need to find someone who wants to watch all the scary movies that have come out recently: The Babadook, Good Night, Mommy, The Visit. (No spoilers!) And The Man has acquired a pumpkin, which he promises to turn into a pie. Typically, I do the cooking around here, but I don’t have a lot of patience for fidgety things like pie crust, especially since I like mine gluten-free, which makes them twice as tricky. But the man is good at measuring things in a way that I am not. In fact, in his day job, he is a metrologist: a measurer of very, very small distances for very, very precise purposes. So he makes the crust. And since he’s making the crust, he can make the rest of it too while he’s at it.

So, while it seems obvious that the world disagrees with me on this, given the proliferation of weird pumpkin spice flavored things this season, and the fact that every year there are more of them in stores, I like to make a distinction. Pumpkin spice is for pumpkins, and you’ll never change my mind.

The Breezeway Part 1

My first completed bulletin board, Halloween 2009.

My first completed bulletin board, Halloween 2009. I made up the bone letters. The other font came from a book in the library’s collection.

There’s a bulletin board outside the elementary school library where I volunteer, a scabrous, peeling wreck of old cork, exposed to the elements (this is Arizona, where year-round outdoor living means we keep a lot of things outside that northerners would never consider subjecting to the wind and rain) but prominently positioned in a breezeway through which most students and teachers regularly pass.

Winter, 2009 (I think)

Winter, 2009 (I think). These snowflakes are all hand cut, of course. The big one was a lot of fun to cut, but not that easy to affix to the wall.

Due to unconscionable budget inadequacies (this is Arizona, where certain people don’t understand the connection between funding education and creating a healthy and robust standard of living) I’ve held various degrees of responsibility in this library, including, for certain periods, being the only person to staff it in any way and basically completely in charge, with the principal’s blessing.

 

Summer, 2010. Even though school's not in session, I like to put something up for the kids and adult in camp and summer school on this campus.

Summer, 2010. Even though school’s not in session, I like to put something up for the kids and adult in camp and summer school on this campus.