It’s that time of year again, time for our annual Halloween Movie Marathon. In fact, this was our 5th year (be sure to check out some of the past years), and we clocked in at a full 24 hours straight of horror movies.
While I usually go nuts with food, I tried to keep things simple, preparing desserts the night before, and designing the rest to be easy to make by popping in the oven. For sweets I made my favorite pumpkin spice cake and some bone shaped sugar cookies (and a sad version of the classic ghosts). Our friend Scott made a vegan King Cake which was super exciting for me.
On the savory side, I made buffalo cauliflower and giant pot of macaroni and cashew cheese. Shawn set up a hot dog station with all the trimmings. We also had French bread pizzas at some point and lots of chips and queso and popcorn and even caramel popcorn. Alas, I have no photos as photography is difficult during dark screenings.
In the morning, I made a bunch of breakfast sandwiches modeled after the Badass Breakfast Sandwich from Locali: maple dipped English muffins, vegan sausage, cheddar Daiya and spicy mayo. They were a hit, and will certainly be a staple in our home for weekends to come.
For decor we opted for lots of creepy lighting and a few key horror elements. I filled terrariums with vegetable specimens and jars of candy were labeled as disturbing fare. We had a handful of skulls and a bunch of pumpkins. One of the most exciting pieces was a drink dispenser held up by boney hands, a Halloween gift given especially for this event. We of course filled it with cold brewed coffee to keep the movie watchers awake. I also painted a few Halloween themed masks just for fun.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but watching endless horror films without sleep does very strange things to your mind. It’s no surprise we found ourselves walking down dark hallways with axes, doing zombie crawls across the floor or drilling holes in someone’s skull. No surprise at all.
Ready for what we watched? Here’s the list:
2. Near Dark
3. The Descent
5. Ginger Snaps
7. The Woman in Black
9. The Loved Ones
10. Final Destination
11. The Omen
12. We Are the Night
Fall is my favorite season, and as it rapidly approaches, my excitement grows exponentially. Before summer departs for good, I’m trying to hold on to some of the good times, the quintessential summer times.
My friend Shiri’s wedding was the embodiment of summer celebrations. I grew up going to summer camp far away in the woods. The friends I made there are still my nearest and dearest, no matter how long passes between us seeing each other. I am the lone west coaster, so for me, these times are few and far between. This wedding was like summer camp revisited (except with booze and of course Shawn).
Agatha, Robin, Shiri and I have known each other since we were eleven or twelve. We spent our tumultuous teenage years as each others confidantes. We went through all the requisite phases together, goth, raver, any other embarrassing style you can come up with. It’s easy to let my guard down around these girls, and when we’re together many silly antics ensue.
Shiri asked Robin and I to fire twirl and we of course obliged. It has been a long time since I’ve done it, and there were definitely more nerves than in the past. How come age makes me more anxious, more reserved? Luckily, we didn’t light ourselves on fire and the guests seemed to be entertained. Mostly I think Shiri, as a fire twirler herself, enjoyed it the most.
Mostly though, the wedding was beautiful and filled with joy. It was such a treat to come together and celebrate Shiri and Chris. I only wish I could have spent more time with everyone.
The last week (or 10 days actually) have been crazy. We’ve been attending the Los Angeles Film Fest non-stop, packing in as many films as possible. I can’t reiterate how good it is for me to see so many films. It is the equivalent of flooding my brain with serotonin. Shawn sometimes teases me because I am so determined to see movie after movie, but I love it. It makes me happy and gets my creativity flowing. I love seeing great films and honestly, I do my best thinking during slightly boring movies. There were a few highlights I’ll definitely share with you all.
On top of that, Shawn and I shot a wedding this weekend at a lovely farmhouse. While Shawn is a seasoned pro event photographer, it was a totally new experience for me, and it was sort of awesome. I am pretty pleased with how things went. I definitely enjoyed having a front row seat of everything and license to take photos, it wiped away much of my timidness.
In other news, I’ve been slowly making over our kitchen and I’m finally ready to share. Hooray! There will be a before and after later this week.
Yesterday was the transit of Venus in front of the sun, and if you missed it, you really missed it as the next transit won’t happen until 2117. Los Angeles is notoriously bad for many celestial events, since most are seen at night and we have awful light pollution. For once, with this daylight occurrence, we had prime viewing conditions and I knew I could not miss it. I headed up to the Griffith Observatory before sunset, with countless other people, to see the tiny planet cross the surface of the sun.
I have always been fascinated by space; the complete unknown held in it’s distance and intangible beauty. In another life, one in which I was better at physics, I could easily see myself studying the planets. The experience of seeing this tiny dot cross in front of a glowing orb affected me intensely. Just a little dot, really a planet nearly the size of our own, traveling in front of the all powerful sun. The magnitude is difficult to put into words. Instead I’ll recommend that you watch Melancholia, Tree of Life and 2001:A Space Odyssey for maybe a glimpse into what I’m talking about.
There was also something great about congregating with all these other people to see it. Many of the telescopes that were set up for viewing were brought by friends of the observatory. I have so much appreciation for these people who sat out in the sun and shared their equipment with the masses so that everyone could see. I loved seeing all the various telescopes and assorted ways of capturing the event. The most astounding view for me was a binocular telescope that allowed you to see a three dimensional image of the sun in excruciating detail.
I shall end this with this stunning video of the entire transit. Were you able to see it?