Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm still afraid of the dark.

I was going to get all gussied up and post my main (I have multiple) Halloween costume for you, but the truth is that I'm very tired today and I want to find more Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes online. So, without further delay, five more of my favorites:
  1. The Tale of the Fire Ghost: This one pops into my head every time I see a candle. The legend says that if you stare at a flame for too long, it's spirit becomes real. When a firefighter has his kids come to the station, a fire ghost takes his chance for revenge! I try not to stare at candles now.
  2. The Tale of Locker 22: Candy Warren! A girl is haunted by the previous owner of her locker and gets to travel back in time to the 60s to figure out why she is being haunted. Groovy!
  3. The Tale of the Long Ago Locket: Will Friedle travels back in time and must deliver a locket from a soldier to his one true love (the soldier's, not Will's) before she marries the wrong man. This is a pretty adorable episode.
  4. The Tale of the Lonely Ghost: I have a mirror in my room that is on a door. As a direct result of this episode, my mirror totally creeps me out. Great episode, both creepy and heartbreaking. Also, check out the main character's cousin's stuffed animal collection. Tubular.
  5. The Tale of the Whispering Walls: A babysitter and her two charges are lost and they stop by a creepy old building to ask for help. What can go wrong? A lot. This is one of AYAOTD's trippier episodes.

I will do my bestest to take pictures of myself in my costumes this weekend so that I may share them with you! Have a happy, safe and fun Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Growing up, Saturday nights meant SNICK. SNICK was an amazing smorgasbord of shows, with my favorites being All That (still funny on youtube) and Are You Afraid of the Dark? Certain episodes would keep me up all night and it remains one of my favorite shows. Since it's perfect for Halloween, here are my top five episodes. I linked all the episodes for you (and for myself) for easy access.

  1. The Tale of the Laughing in the Dark: Oh man. Zeebo. The 'Z' in the pudding. The dish of burnt cigars. A surprisingly effective tale of a dead clown taking revenge on a boy who stole his nose. Scarier than it sounds.
  2. The Tale of the Pinball Wizard: A boy (teenaged?) loves to play pinball, even though he isn't  deaf, dumb or blind. Loves it so much that he plays on a machine that is forbidden to him. When he plays on it, the game becomes real and he must battle his new enemies to crown the princess. The ending is a doozy.
  3. The Tale of the Midnight Madness: This episode prevented me from sleeping for at least a month. A creepy, creepy vampire enters the real world through the movie screen and seeks out victims. Edward Cullen this isn't.
  4. The Tale of Watcher's Woods: Two girls accidentally enter an evil forest and come face to face with girls who disappeared decades ago and have learned witchcraft. This one stuck with me too.
  5. The Tale of the Dead Man's Float: An invisible force is trying to drown people. Scary enough on it's own, but when that force becomes visible, watch out. Bonus points for a tragic depiction of the school janitor.
Bonus: It's Ryan Gosling in The Tale of Station 109.1! He's a kid obsessed with death! However will he learn!

Who else is in the mood for an AYAOTD (Are You Afraid of the Dark?) marathon? If you need me, I'll be in front of my television, possibly hiding behind a blanket.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Jukebox: You didn't know you needed it, but you do

If only someone would take every song that is related in any way to Halloween or scary things, and put them on a jukebox that can be accessed via the internet. Oh wait! Someone has! Matt of X-Entertainment has amassed an impressive collection of Halloween related songs and made an epic jukebox. Perfect for getting excited about that Halloween party, setting a mood or just jamming out.

If you want even more Halloween blogging, Matt blogs about Halloween every weekday of October and for a little bit of September. If you have any love at all for Halloween, it is worth checking out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trick or Treat: Vegan Candy

If you want to make a Halloween care package for the vegan in your life, or want a vegan friendly house for the littlest vegans, finding vegan candy can sometimes be a pain if you don't know what to look for. Luckily, I made a list of my favorites, just for you. I am choosing to focus on candy that you can find at almost any store, but please know that Whole Foods and any other health food store will also have some great vegan options, such as Go Max Go bars and Yummy Earth treats.

  • Dark Chocolate Original Peanut Chews: These are the ultimate. They are only available in certain states, and are comprised of chocolate, peanuts and caramel. If you see some, stock up because you will want more.
  • Sour Patch Kids: Sour then sweet. A perfect vegan go-to gummi.
  • Swedish Fish: Another vegan gummy! This one doesn't have the sour aspect, so it's perfect for those who like their candy to be purely sweet.
  • Halloween Dots: Dots are vegan in general, but you can get candy corn flavored Dots, as well as Blood Orange (bat themed) and assorted fruit (ghost themed, they look like they would glow in the dark [they don't]). Candy corn flavor is the best though.
  • Skittles: Vegans rejoice! Skittles are vegan now! Just double check the package to make sure it isn't an old one (it will say 'gelatin-free' by the ingredients) and you are good to go!
  • Mike and Ike's: Fruity, delicious and capsule-like.
  • Chick-O-Sticks: These are basically the inside of a Butterfingers. Pretty spectacular. 
  • Mambas: Fruity, individually wrapped. 
  • Red Vines: You know you love licorice. It is delicious and can function as a straw.
  • Chocolate: Check out the dark chocolate variations of different brands, especially Endangered Species Chocolate. Watch out for milk, whey and butter!
If you choose to give out vegan treats (or are looking for them), take a gander at No Trick Treats, a website devoted to marking the location of those giving out veg-friendly treats.Happy candy hunting!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ten things that make me happy: Halloween movies!

Tis the season, right? While the movies I list may not be Halloween-centric, they are movies that I want to watch when things get a little creepy outside. If you are curious about a movie, the titles are all linked to the trailers! In no particular order (except that the last one is my favorite):

    Puddleglum is really just yawning here.
  1. Hocus Pocus: It's a classic! With Bette Midler! Also, I think every girl my age had a huge crush on Thackery Binx (human form), which may explain my obsession with cats. Basically, three witches are brought back to life and attempt to steal the life force of all the children in town and it's up to two teens, a tween and a 300 year old cat to stop them. 
  2. Poltergeist: This is the story of a family who moves into the perfect home only to be tormented by the angry spirits inside. It's very effective, balancing family tension with traditional horror, and you will be afraid of clown dolls forever, if you weren't already. 
  3. Shaun of the Dead: I love zombie movies with a sense of humor. While I'm not a part of the impressive zombie culture, I do love this movie. It packs action, humor and some incredibly poignant moments into a single reel.
  4. Bubba Ho-Tep: Starring the incomparable Bruce Campbell as Elvis, this is the story of a rest home plagued by a mummy who is sucking the life out of the residents. It's up to Elvis and JFK to stop the carnage. Funny, clever, scary and I cried a single tear at the end.
  5. The Sixth Sense: I know it's cool to make fun of M. Night Shyamalan now, but this movie scared me to the point where I still can't think about those ghosts at night. Even when you know what the inevitable twist at the end is, the ghosts remain effective in keeping you (or maybe just me) awake.
  6. Re-Animator: Based off a story by H.P. Lovecraft, Herbert West is a med student who has found the secret to re-animating corpses. Obviously, this doesn't end well. Twisted, scary and a sense of humor.
  7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (the old one because I'm a  purist): Freddy can get you in your dreams and has been featured in more than one rap song. Terrifying. 
  8. Army of Darkness: Bruce Campbell makes another appearance. Army of Darkness is probably the most well known of the Sam Raimi's Evil Dead Trilogy. Ash is thrust back in time and has to defeat the army of the dead so that he can return home. Since it's Campbell and Raimi, you know this will be an incredibly entertaining ride. 
  9. The Fly: Okay, I'm all about the remake featuring an impressive combination of Jeff Goldblum and David Cronenburg. There's some stomach-turning scenes in this one, as well a bit of a tearjerker of an ending. However, I also cry at Return of the Jedi and Terminator 2, so I may have a skewed perspective.
  10. The Nightmare Before Christmas: I only have three things to say about this movie because it's popular enough for everyone to know: 
    • I'm going to be pretentious for a second and point out that I've loved this movie since it came out in theaters the first time.
    • The stop-motion animation in the movie alone makes it worth viewing. 
    • I love the soundtrack more than any other soundtrack. 
    In conclusion, Halloween season has the best movies.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Viva Vida Vegan!

    Some amazing people in Portland are (as usual) drumming up some amazing events. Somehow, between Vegan Prom, Fakin' Fest and Vegan Iron Chef (among many other things), the first ever conference for vegan bloggers is being put together. I was already hoping to attend, but it turns out that I will be attending and speaking! I am so incredibly honored and excited, as I will be in some seriously impressive company. So, if vegan blogging, blogging or veganism interests you, take a gander at the Vida Vegan website. It's going to be an inspiring event!

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Ten things that make me happy: Books!

    So, I can't believe I haven't done a list of ten books that make me happy. I love reading and have books jammed in pretty much every available space in my apartment. As such, I am going to list off ten of these that make me happy. Please bear in mind that 'happy' is pretty subjective since well-written, horribly depressing books can make me happy, just not in the flowers and sunshine sense.
    1. The Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis: This guy has been a favorite since my childhood, and it's my favorite of the series. There's plenty of action as Caspian and crew sail from island to island in search of missing Narnian lords, but all that really matters to me is that this book is heavy on Reepicheep.
    2. Little Brother by Cory Doctrow: To be fair, I don't know if 'happy' is the correct word for how this book makes me feel. Slightly paranoid yet energized might be a better term. This is the story of a dystopian United States set in the near future (as in, about a year from now) that hits close to home and is terrifying in how easily it could happen. Completely absorbing and available to read for free (legally) here.
    3. Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero: This is my go-to cookbook for pretty much everything: for when I want to impress, for when I want meals for the week, for when I'm planning Thanksgiving. Even better, the first part of the book gives you all the basic knowledge you need for running a kitchen, from stocking the pantry to how to roast vegetables and cook different grains. Best of all, cooking delicious food makes me feel like a legit grown-up.
    4. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer: Don't judge me. I didn't say that this list was limited to well-written books. I am a total sucker for the Twilight series and Eclipse is my favorite, due to the amount of pages dedicated to fleshing out the stories of Jasper and Rosalie.
    5. Princess to the Rescue by Barbara Cartland: My Uncle Art gave me this book a few weeks after I was born and I'm so happy I still have it in my possession. Beautifully illustrated, it tells the story of a princess who is seeking an elixir to cure her mother's illness. Though there is a handsome prince in there, his involvement with the princess's success is minimal. Everything else that happens in the story is due to the princess being intelligent and driven. Also, it is a pop-up book.
    6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: This series of letters is full of genius and heart-break. I cannot say enough good things about this book, it's one of those pieces that you read with a highlighter nearby so that you can mark all the best lines. It's finally being made into a movie, and it will have an amazing soundtrack, thanks to the main character's love of mix tapes. 
    7. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury: I know the idea of an evil carnival sounds corny, but Ray Bradbury makes it so fantastic, especially since the most horrifying aspect of the carnival coming to town is that people must come face to face with their fears and with their dark side. I first read this book in sixth grade and have re-read it countless times since then.
    8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle: Such a classic. Meg's father disappears due to some ill-planned tesseracts and she goes after him, along with her little brother, Charles Wallace, and the dreamboat Calvin O'Keefe. Intensely fantastic, this is a book that I will decide to read a chapter of and find myself reading the whole thing in one sitting.
    9. Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin: This was one of my greatest Christmas presents ever. I'm sure my mom deduced that I wanted it from the hours I spent staring at it at Barnes and Noble. Full of gorgeous photographs of Kevyn's best work, this is purely a book of make-up artistry at it's very finest. From beginners in the world of make-up to those who are used to the daily routine, there is always something to learn here. It is both stunning and inspiring to look through, and the reason I started listening to Tori Amos (that makes sense if you've read it).
    10. Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo: This is probably the most depressing book on this list. However, it is also incredibly powerful. The story of a maimed soldier who cannot communicate with those taking care of him, it allows the soldier to truly reflect on himself as a person and on the very nature of war itself. The soldier never gives himself a nationality, but this book still got Trumbo blacklisted from Hollywood. In any case, this is an extremely powerful novel.
    I know there are so many more amazing books out there- what am I missing? What are your favorites?

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Denver: Non-Edible Edition

     This last weekend, I took a trip out to Denver/Boulder to eat buffalo seitan hot wings and see Hanson. I will post about the food come November, but it turns out that I do more than eat when I travel. I really loved getting a chance to spend some time in Colorado, since the last two times I visited were based around Denver Vegfests, which are a blast but leave me with minimal time to explore the city. I found Denver and Boulder to be full of activities, shops, parks and delicious food. Overall, my favorite non-food, non-Hanson part of the trip was Tattered Cover. Three stories of books, both used and new? Yes please. While I'm not going to talk about the food (yet!), here are some pictures from my brief time in the Denver area:

    Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art

    Denver has rad public transportation