- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
Jeeez, what a week. First the Giants win the World Series and then the republicans take the House. I only hate the Giants because I’m a Dodger fan. As much as I wanted to see the Giants hearts broken with a walk off homer in the 9th of Game 7, they actually have a great bunch of guys and I tip my hat to them. Election day is a little harder to swallow. At least we Californians got Jerry Brown for governor again. That’s a good thing, right? Oh well, Halloween came and went. None of the boys wanted to make their costumes this year. We bought Theo his Wolf man mask and Henry his rainbow afro wig. At this point we have a stock pile of get-ups in a box and the rest just sorted through it and “dressed up.”
The first treat of the evening was given to the boys by the firemen who were out in front giving first aid to a man who fell asleep in his car at a red light in front of our house. He had 18 beers in the back seat and one in the cup holder. He didn’t actually need first aid. He just needed to be woken up. The police arrived after few minutes and really woke him up with a sobriety test which he naturally failed.
Bruce came over on his way to dinner and to see the boys costumes and left with Sam who I guess is getting too old for trick or treating.With no costume anxieties or meltdowns we drove over to Dean and Catriona’s house to have dinner and go trick or treating.
In case you can not guess what their costumes are, I’ll tell you . Theo was The Wolf Man, Simon and Ollie were a vampire skeleton blend, Sam was a guy with a plastic nose, glasses, eyebrows and a silly hat and Henry was a U.C.L.A fan. Without the wig, Henry’s costume resembles his everyday attire.
Fion and Mari were putting final touches on their costumes as we arrived as sat down for a yummy dinner of squash soup, sausages and baked potatoes.
It was a relatively quiet evening as Dean and I escorted our ensemble around the neighborhood while Debbie and Catriona stayed back at the house to dole out candy to the trick or treaters.
Henry took off during the journey to rendezvous with some friends a few blocks away and I sort of lost most of the kids (except for Simon) when Dean stopped in for a beer at another friends house. It was actually nice strolling down the streets with my little vampire skeleton as he walked up to each house and said, “trick or treat” and “thank you” as he walked back to me waiting on the sidewalk.
Halloween has changed since I was a kid. I don’t remember my parents ever chaperoning my brother, my friends and I around the streets of Ft. Lauderdale. There’s a cautious fear in the air. I think every parent nowadays has it. It’s hard to describe and even harder to write or talk about. The fear is unlike the fear of apples loaded up with razor blades or candy laced with LSD. This fear doesn’t go away after Halloween is over. The kids seem to be having a fun time though. That’s all that matters. We all somehow find each other and make our way back to Dean and Catriona’s house bags heavy with candy. Here we regroup and go over ‘the take.” The kids have done good as they go over their candy. They all fight over the Hot Tamales and everyone laughs when Henry finds a pack of raisins in his candy bag.
Someone finds a quarter in their candy bag and Debbie starts to tell everyone that her mom made her Trick or Treat for UNICEF when she was a kid and I start to tell the kids about about how we used to go “egging” on Halloween night.
We have this thing called The Switch Witch. Basically it’s where the kids trade in all their crappy candy for a more sensible gift like a book. I can’t believe our kids fall for this every year!
Baseball season is just waiting to blossom, the temperature is rising, and it’s St. Patrick’s day already? Life skips along like a stone thrown into incoming waves. Speaking of waves and seasons, it’s gorgeous in southern California. The sun is out, it’s not too hot and it’s really clear. We are having the kind of days that as your driving to the beach with your board on top of you car you catch a glimpse of the snow capped mountains in your rear view mirror.Â I guess this would work the other way around, where you could be driving to the mountains with your skis on top….. well you get the idea. It’s great.
Debbie got back last night from the desert with Henry. Actually, she got back at 1:30 in the morning with Sam and Theo then drove back out to retrieve Henry at noon. My hat off to her for having the energy and devotion to make their week a dream come true. So, it’s me at the helm of the U.S.S Boys Farm or what ever the heck you want to call this home of ours. With Debbie away, it’s been a test of my fathering or negotiating abilities . I don’t want to be the kind of dad who has to use bribery to get his kids to do what they need to do. But sometimes… You know what I’m talking about. “Ollie, stop wiggling your loose tooth, your hands are dirty.” Actually the tooth fairy (Mommy) is out of town.
So it’s St Patrick’s day and Ollie wants a green hat to wear around. I take the boys to Ursala’s Costume Shop to try to grant a few Irish wishes. Now, I’ve never been in a costume store before. I didn’t realize that taking your kids into a costume store would be like taking them into a toy store.
This is the place where Sam goes every year on Halloween to pick out his costume. One year it was a bear mask, another year it was a rooster mask and this year it was a Larry from The Three Stooges mask. Actually Sam didn’t wear the Larry from The Three Stooges mask this year, he wore the rooster mask again. Anyways, Ursula, an older German lady is getting a bit nervous that I’ve unleashed my children into her store. They are running around trying on everything in sight and playing with every prop imaginable.
None of the green hats really fit Ollie, the kids are bringing stuff up to the counter and I can tell Ursala’s patience is beginning to grow thin as she rings up the items and bags them up and says, “Okay, time to go.”
So it’s as easy as that, “Okay, it’s time to go.” Maybe it was the way she said it? Maybe it was her German accent? We are out of there with no green hats but vampire fangs, a corn cob pipe, a Sherlock Holmes pipe, plastic hand cuffs, and skull and cross bone tattoos.
It’s too hot for corned beef and cabbage. Besides, Debbie and Henry aren’t home for dinner anyways. Maybe tomorrow. It’s carne asada night. We are off to Don Felix Meat Market for 3 lbs. of flap meat and 2 bottles of Mexican Coca Cola. I know, I know it’s Coca Cola but I’m really thirsty.Â The people who run this place are really nice and the food is great.
Back home, Sam is setting the table. Ollie and Theo are on the production line for tortillas and I’m manning the grill. You can feelÂ a balance emerging.
But, it begins. “He got more than me.” Why does he get the bigger tattoo?” “It’s not fair.” The balance is slipping away. You know what? And this is the key to parenting, trying to convey to your kids that life isn’t fair and just and that balance and happiness are not attained by what you get but what you give. I try to teach this on a daily basis. I don’t know if it’s working. If anyone out there has an other suggestions, please let me know. Until then, Debbie should be home soon. I’m done. I leave you with a Doppler Effect video our little circle of life if you will .
It’s time to put the last minute details on the Halloween costumes. Ollie and Simon are set since they wore their costumes to school on Friday. Actually, Ollie has been sleeping in his skeleton outfit for the past 2 days. Houston we have a problem. It seems Theo can’t get out of his robot outfit once he is in it and his arms are too constricting and the meltdown is beginning.
A few cuts here and there and a shortening of the limbs seems to solve the robot problems. It doesn’t matter much since I end up carrying most of their costumes while Trick or Treating anyways. The second problem is that Sam’s Larry from the Three Stooges mask doesn’t really look like Larry from the Three Stooges. No worries, he ends up wearing the old standby- the chicken mask. You can’t go wrong with the chicken.
Henry’s is going as The Joker. I’ve sort of convinced him to opt for the Heath Ledger Joker instead of the Cesar Romero or Jack Nicholson Jokers- A lot easier on the make- up artist- me. As I’m spray painting his hair Ollie and Theo want their hair painted too. We discover that Ollie would make a perfect Riddler- Next Year.
This year our friends dean and Catriona has invited us over for dinner and trick or treating. Dean made a cool haunted house of sorts in in garage and Catriona has cooked up a tasting test for our food critic Sam. I think she is a bit tired of his claims of poo- pooing organic ketchup, claiming to be able to tell the difference between various waters and distinguishing the difference between various hams.
To everyone’s surprise, Sam get 100% on the water test and ketchup portions of the taste test but doesn’t come through with the difference between Serrano ham and prosciutto. Oh well, I’m proud of him anyways. Please visit his food blog What Sam Eats for further culinary critiques.
After a fine dinner of soup and sausages, the men folk take the costumed kinders around the neighborhood while the witches dole out tasty treats to trick or treaters.
Well it’s pretty mellow around 14th street this year. Mellower still at the Lutheran Church whose parking lot Halloween festivities areÂ set up in the back of their cars and instead of candy are giving out clay paper weights and raisins.
Luckily, Dean and I were able to get World Series updates from some of the houses we visited while trick or treating. There’s something unnatural about playing baseball on Halloween.
We have this thing called The Switch Witch. Basically it’s where the kids trade in all their crappy candy for a more sensible gift like a book. I can’t believe our kids fall for this every year! I mean really, I guess our kids aren’t growing up like us watching Let’s Make A Deal. You’ve already won the washer/ dryer how would you like to trade it for whatever is behind door #2. Usually there’s a donkey behind door #2. Geez, Do you think the Switch Witch is a Lutheran?
Miss Beth’s Hedgerow is Simon’s pre- school. Hedgerow was Ollie’s, Theo’s and Henry’s pre-school. Miss Beth was also Sam’s nursery school teacher when he went to Westside Waldorf School. So much for the background, here’s some photo from this years Halloween party.