Here we are in our second week of October, which means that I’m into my second week of Schocktoberfest. This is a terrible tradition that John started years ago which consists of at least one scary movie every night until Halloween. This year there’s been a few iffy ones like the 1980’s classic ‘Chopping Mall’ which really had nothing to do with any ‘chopping’ (thank god) but rather three killer security robots in a shopping mall and lots of death by laser beams. In terms of actual ‘scary’, I would say the Conjuring 2 scared me the most with the creepy nun/man/demon thingy. I actually hid under my covers after watching that and sweated until I mercifully passed out. The Taking of Deborah Logan was also creepy and very well acted, and American Horror Story Hotel has made me never want to check into a hotel again unless it’s the Four Seasons– and even then I’m checking the mattress. I’m fairly certain that John will also insist that we watch ‘The Witch’ again because we’re pretty convinced that Finnegan (our beloved King Charles Spaniel) is actually Black Phillip, the mischievous devil goat. On occasion he gets the same glint of evil in his eyes.
And if you haven’t had your fill of witches yet, may I recommend watching American Horror Story: Coven if you haven’t already. It’s such a delight to find a show that embraces more seasoned actresses such as Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, and Francis Conroy. These women are powerhouses and know how to push the boundaries between horror and camp. I mean just watch Angela Bassett and Jessica Lange as they exchange pleasantries here. Toss in a guest appearance by Stevie Nicks and it really doesn’t get much more magical than that.
All Hallows’ Eve, Hell’s Kitchen, New York. 1989. 11″x14″, oil on canvas. For sale on etsy.
Alternatively, this painting could be called ‘Awkward Halloween Costumes From the 1980s’.
Halloween is the time of year where I wish I had children so I could dress them up in ridiculously cumbersome Halloween costumes- the kind that would make them exhausted after only a block of trick-or-treating. The cuteness factor would be through the roof though and they would feel better about themselves for having earned that candy. My protestant roots are showing aren’t they?
Miss Moon Was A Dog Governess. Lesson Ten: Sometimes Tricks Are Better Than Treats, oil on canvas, 10″x12″. Sold.
And speaking of Halloween….Shocktoberfest begins tomorrow. I think this has to be the forth or fifth year of it- possibly six? For those who are new to this blog and wondering what the heck Shocktoberfest is- well, it’s a time honored and ridiculously sad tradition that my husband has thrust upon me. Every evening that I don’t have something better to do during the month of October, I am subjected to watching a scary movie of his choosing. In his defense, he does censor his cinematic offerings for me and knows that my tolerance level barely goes beyond Walt Disney’s Sleepy Hollow. Shocktoberfest has also grown in recent years to include decorating the house in tasteful vintage Halloween ornaments (of my choosing), eating Halloween themed meals like ‘Ghoolish Goulash’ and consuming a bottle of red wine each night to drown out the nightmarish imagery so that I can sleep soundly.
It occurred to me while I was painting this that I really haven’t talked about ‘Shocktoberfest’ this year. Well, between you and me, and the rest of the world, it really hasn’t been so hot. I don’t know if John’s heart isn’t in it this year or what the problem is. Actually, it might have something to do with the fact that John is sick and it’s all my fault. You see, after four years or so of him never going near a doctor’s office, I forced him to go have a physical- and I mean ‘forced’. Like I drove him there and sat in the waiting room and made sure he didn’t run back out. Everything was fine but a couple of days later he started to get a scratchy throat then he woke up with a full blown get out of town cold. He never gets sick and of course he quickly connected it to the doctors office (he’s probably right). Making matters worse he sneezed so hard the other day that he blew out a filling. So guess who got blamed for that also? And how do you really blow out a filling? Sounds ludicrous to me. So off he went this morning to spend some time at the dentist’s office. I suppose in a way, Shocktoberfest has come to John in real life.
Danielle And The Devil, oil on canvas board, 8″x10″. Sold.
It occurred to me the other day that I’ve never really painted a Halloween themed piece. How crazy is that? Especially when you consider that I take Halloween pretty darn seriously – we’re talking full out Halloween decorated house. I’m trying to keep it classy though and collect vintage Halloween pieces- the old die-cut witches and cats and such- but there are rubber bats and maybe a glowing jack-o-lantern head. Yes, I don’t have kids which makes it particularly weird, I know. I’ve even started making certain Halloween themed meals- like ‘Goulish Goulash’ and on occasion Finnegan wears devil horns or something which he seems to like with exception of the the wizard costume which he pouted in (not a Harry Potter fan I suspect).
Over breakfast this morning John announced that he felt that people should be allowed to take their dogs trick-or-treating. We do have an annual Halloween Dog Parade in town, but I don’t think the dogs get to actually trick-or-treat. Needless to say, John and I aren’t the only weirdos around. I think I may have mentioned it before but Stratford is kind of like Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls) blended with Twin Peaks. It keeps things interesting.