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Halloween’s last gasps…

Halloween is wrapping up…boooo :(  I wore festive black and orange today, in celebration, and I ate a lot of candy.  Trick or treating began in our neighborhood at 5:30. I rushed out from work early, swung by Costco and got a huge bag of candy.  We had all of SEVEN kids come by, so now I’ve got about 5 pounds of candy to eat.  I got good candy too– a chocolate mix of M&M’s, Milky Way, and the KING of Halloween Treats– MINI KIT KAT. Yum.

Baby Beez had a Halloween party at her daycare this morning.  They sang songs, played with stickers, and played with musical instruments.

It’s amazing how much bigger this little monkey is than last Halloween.  Last Halloween, she was a sad bumblebee, and a frog.

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Red State (2011)

Happy Halloween, yinz!

On Friday, Mr. Beez and I stopped by Best Buy with the hopes of picking up some Vincent Price films to watch during our get-together with pals on Saturday night.  (Note: Best Buy has dramatically reduced their stock of DVD’s and Blu-Rays…so we were out of luck).  Mr. Beez’ favorite director is Kevin Smith of Clerks, MallRats, Dogma, etc fame.  He heard that Smith just came out with a new film called Red State, and even without having seen it, he was determined to buy it.

Mr. Beez turned on the film on Sunday night while I was reading a book. I was planning to spend the evening reading, but the film quickly caught my eye.  Red State was stocked with the “horror” films, but that’s not an accurate characterization.  To be sure, it is terrifying in its reality–but I’d say it’s more drama than horror.

Red State depicts an ultra-religious militant group that has taken to not only protesting funerals of those it considers “sinners,” but also kidnapping and murdering said types. 3 teenage boys responded to an internet post, thinking they were meeting up with a woman to “party.”  On the way to her place, they sideswipe a car, but run from it.  When they get to the woman’s house, they are actually kidnapped by the sect.  The police come by to investigate the hit-and-run, and the whole thing snowballs into a standoff with the ATF.

The film doesn’t revel in violence, but there is certainly no shortage of it.  This serious story is a big departure from Smith’s usual humor films, but it’s skilfully done, and shows that Smith’s skills extend well beyond Jay and Silent Bob.

Big names in this film include John Goodman and Melissa Leo, and they all give stellar performances.

You (like me) probably haven’t heard of Red State at all– Smith is distributing it on his own dime, and the only theater it played in is Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema. (See comments below– I was wrong–Red State played in more than one theater, Smith personally took it out and promoted it, and it played in a theater each night).  It’s out on DVD now, so you can Netflix, Redbox, or whatever it.  According to Red State’s website, it’s also available on Netflix streaming.

It really is excellent and worth a view.

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And more Halloween treats!

Except I can’t take the credit for these ones.  Our friends Christine and Trav came over last night for movies and dinner and Halloween snacks.  Christine made these spooky rice krispie treat snakes and peanut butter eyeballs!

YUM.

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Halloween Treats

Yesterday I was in Suzie Homemaker mode in the kitchen, and I made 3 quick and fun Halloween treats all while Baby Beez was napping (I admit she took a ridiculously long 3 hour nap…but it took less than 2 hours for me to put together these treats.)

Blueberry muffin’s aren’t traditionally Halloween treats, but the paper cups make them Halloween-y.  Baby Beez’ daycare is having a Halloween party on Monday, and I wanted to bring a treat that is even just a tiny bit healthier than candy.  I cheated and used the Betty Crocker just-add-water mix, so these were super fast to make.

Popcorn balls are my FAVORITE autumn treat.  They are ridiculously easy to make, and fast–actually speed is the key, because you have to be quick and form the popcorn balls before the marshmallow mix cools.  I always put M&M’s in them because that makes them even BETTER.  To make popcorn balls, just use any rice krispie treats recipe, and substitute 2 bags of popped microwave popcorn (sort out the unpopped kernels) for the rice krispies.  You can buy popcorn balls from the store but they are nowhere near as good as homemade, and since they’re so ridiculously fast and easy to make, it really is worth the effort.

I also made dirt cups.  Yes, I know I’m not in kindergarten anymore, but I still love dirt cups.  I was a little sad that I couldn’t find those weird pumpkin candies they tend to sell around Halloween, but the worms did just fine.  Dirt cups take less than 10 minutes to make (when you are lazy like me and use instant pudding), and it’s kind of fun to bludgeon all the oreos.

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warm fuzzies

Pittsburgh gives you two glorious October weeks of crisp sunshine, autumn leaves, and pleasant temperatures before throwing its citizens into month after month of pelting rain, frigid wind, and miserable grey skies.  Autumn glory is behind us, folks. We’ve entered the belly of the beast, and there’s no more sunshine til March.  I leave for work in the dark, I get home in the dark, and it’s sullen and gray outside my window all day long.

I’m putting together a list of “warm fuzzies” in a feeble attempt to keep late autumn/winter’s misery at bay…

1. This has been 4+ years in the making, but…I PAID OFF MY CAR TODAY. That little go-kart is MINE, all mine!

2. Pumpkin spice everything, followed by gingerbread spice or peppermint everything. YUM.

3. Fluffy warm sweaters, and all those wonderful fall/winter clothes I love– tights! Turtlenecks! Boots! Peacoats! Hats that don’t look ridiculous on me!

4.  I lied. Between now and January there should be a few occasional days of warm, sunny weather. The contrast of those days against the normal winter dreariness is extra nice.

5. Ice skating!

Please comment to add your own “warm fuzzies” to the list…