Sunday, November 30, 2014

Creepmas Day 2: Creepy Christmas Anthologies

So this year I'm celebrating Creepmas! 

From the 13 Days of Creepmas website: 

"A reaction to the continuing incursion of Christmas into Autumn and Halloween, CREEPMAS is a good-natured chance for Halloween lovers to exact revenge by bringing some spooky good cheer into the holidays or, more appropriately, the Hallowdays..." Read more about the inspirations behind this 13 day celebration HERE

CREEPMAS : A Celebration of the Hallowdays

Today's visit to the creepier side of Christmas Town is centered on a book. A book given to me by my good friend Brian "The Trash Man" of Pop Pop! It's Trash Culture fame, and also one of my co-hosts on the Geek Fallout podcast. 

This was included in a package of goodies that I will be sharing with you all in the new year in its entirety. But for now, I will share this one book with you, which is an anthology of Christmas-themed horror stories (and the inspiration for me celebrating Creepmas this year in the first place!).  

While the book doesn't actually have any stories by him, there is an introduction by Isaac Asimov, and he gets an editor's credit. Here's the story list:

0. Introduction: The New Beginning • essay by Isaac Asimov
1. The Chimney • by Ramsey Campbell
2. Markheim • by Robert Louis Stevenson
3. The Night Before Christmas • by Robert Bloch
4. The Festival •  by H. P. Lovecraft
5. The Old Nurse's Story • by Mrs. Gaskell
6. Gl├ímr • by Sabine Baring-Gould
7. Pollock and the Porroh Man • by H. G. Wells
8.  The Weird Woman • by Anonymous
9. The Hellhound Project • by Ron Goulart
10. Wolverden Tower • by Grant Allen
11. Planet of Fakers •  by J. T. McIntosh
12. Life Sentence • by James V. McConnell
13. The Star • by Arthur C. Clarke

I think I'm most excited to read the stories by Ramsey Campbell and H.P. Lovecraft, but honestly, they all look fun! My thanks to Brian, the Trash Man of Pop Pop! It's Trash Culture once more for the awesome book and the inspiration behind my Creepmas Countdown!

Next I'd like to feature this collection of Haunting Christmas Tales by Joan Aiken and Others. This one I found at Goodwill, and when I realized I now owned not ONE but TWO anthologies featuring spooky Christmas stories, I couldn't resist!

1. Jingle Bells • by Tessa Krailing
2. The Woodman's Enigma • by Gary Kilworth
3. The Weeping Maid • by Robert Swindells
4. The Investigators •  by David Belbin
5. The Cracked Smile • by Anthony Masters
6. The Other Room • by Jill Bennett
7. The Chime Child • by Ian Strachan
8.  Crespian and Clairan • by Joan Aiken
9. Across the Fields • by Susan Price

I haven't read either of these books at this point, and I honestly don't think I'll have them read by the time Christmas gets here... but I will definitely be reading them soon, even if I have to continue them on into the New Year!

Happy 13 days of Creepmas! I'll be back tomorrow with another entry in the countdown, which may or may not involve a Goodwill Goody! Until then, Happy Hunting! 

Creepmas Day 1: Halloween! (Finally)

So this year I'm celebrating Creepmas! It was actually inspired by a gift someone recently sent to me (more on the specifics tomorrow) that made me realize I had a sort of collection that would lend itself to this sort of celebration. So here we are! 

From the 13 Days of Creepmas website: 

"A reaction to the continuing incursion of Christmas into Autumn and Halloween, CREEPMAS is a good-natured chance for Halloween lovers to exact revenge by bringing some spooky good cheer into the holidays or, more appropriately, the Hallowdays..." Read more about the inspirations behind this 13 day celebration HERE

CREEPMAS : A Celebration of the Hallowdays

I'm totally going to pretend like my intent all along was to share our Halloween night as a part of my Creepmas celebration. (NOT what actually happened: which was I got lazy and decided to take a break for all of November this year.) So here we go. 

So we went with a theme this year: Mario Brothers! That's me dressed as Bowser, my wife as Toadstool, and my two sons are Luigi and Mario. My daughter was supposed to go as Princess PEach but couldn't find a frilly, pink dress before Halloween and so decided she wasn't going with us. AND THEN at the last moment she threw on some black clothes and painted on some whiskers and called herself a cat. She tried to justify this by citing the new Super Mario Brothers 3D having cat-suits for all the characters... but I was having none of that. We allowed her to join us... but we made it very clear to all in earshot that she was not "one of us" (gooba-gobba). It should be pointed out that ALL of the costumes are just clothes we modified. My wife bought a blue t-shirt at Goodwill, cut off the arms, slit it down the middle, glued on some gold ribbon, and voila! a vest.

Here we are on Ledgelawn Ave. in Bar Harbor, ME. We go out there every year because it is the most traditional suburban-ish neighborhood that you can take your kids trick-or-treating through in our part of Maine. We LOVE it. It feels like you're wandering through a Halloween episode of a classic TV series or something. It FEELS like Halloween should feel.

There are always some great costumes on display. This girl dressed up as popcorn was no exception.

I also thought this Cleopatra handing out candy did a nice job with some very simple accoutrements.

Our kids were certainly not the only Mario Brothers in attendance... 

As we discovered a few different times.

There was even a Yoshi wandering around, and more than one Minecraft inspired costume as well. There were more Steves, and Creepers, and Endermen than you could shake a pixellated stick at!

I genuinely applaud both the inherent creepiness and obvious laziness of this guys bloody bunny "costume".

There was even a car dressed up! At least I THINK it was for Halloween. Some of it anyway. Okay... probably just the spider webs actually.

There was more than one Church out in force, handing out goodies. A trend amongst the three different Churches we passed were doughnuts. There were optional warm beverages as well, one serving hot chocolate, one serving apple cider, and this one was serving coffee for the grown-ups.

LOVED this particular house. LOTS of awesome decorations honestly, but most of my pictures came out for crap due to the dark and the quality of our camera. There was even one house projecting Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video on a big sheet on the side of their house. I didn't even bother trying to get a picture of that.

 Really liked this jelly-fish costumes as well.

But the prize (in my opinion) goes to this guy who dressed up as a fridge with a severed head in the freezer. It's the details like the pint of ice cream and the fridge magnets that really make me love this man.

This same table is set up every single year, and my youngest son refuses to approach it every single year because of the head in the plastic bubble. It talks and lights up and just generally frightens the pee out of him. My older son let NOTHING frighten him out of getting candy this year. He admitted to being spooked later on, but told us he knew everything was fake and couldn't hurt him and... hey. Candy.

Every year when we arrive home, the kids discover a little pail of goodies has been left behind by the Great Pumpkin. My children are wise and know that the Great Pumpkin will not come if you stay up and wait for him in the pumpkin patch. Much like Santa, he only comes if you are doing what you are SUPPOSED to be doing on the Holiday in question. Santa = Go to sleep! Great Pumpkin = Go get Candy!

I swear we were not holding this child hostage and screaming at him to smile so his parents would know he was doing okay. This is my own son and he was smiling like this just because he was smiling like this. The picture of Mario tacked to the bed is always there. The boys really are obsessed with their respective "brothers". The eldest loves Luigi and the youngest loves Mario.

My daughter got a bowl full of reduced-price horror-FX make-up appliances because the Great Pumpkin is smart enough to make one last check to see if any of the stores have put their Halloween stuff on clearance the day OF Halloween.

Then we did the "Big Candy Count" which we do every year. My eldest son got more candy than my youngest because he was willing to go to the really spooky houses when my youngest was not. At first my wife or my daughter would go up and retrieve candy for him at the houses he was too scared to approach. But this quickly faded into: "You don't want to go to this one? Okay... moving on then," which was fine with everyone involved. I think the final counts were somewhere around 83 pieces for Luigi and 72 for Mario.

So overall, it was an awesome Halloween night. I was sad to see it go, but not as sad as I have been in some years past. I really had a blast blogging up to Halloween this year, although I think next year I will dedicate the entire month to ONLY Halloween purchases, and then drop posts about other stuff I've found later on after October is done.

Happy 13 days of Creepmas! I'll be back tomorrow with another entry in the countdown, which may or may not involve a Goodwill Goody! Until then, Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I'll Just See You in December... Okay?

Ugh. I have been trying to get the energy up to get into the cave and write some blog posts... but it just ain't happenin' Jack. Instead, I'm just going to continue to rest my blogger-brain for the rest of this month, and when December hits, finally start getting back into the swing of things.

I'll be kicking things off with the 13 days of Creepmas this year, an event I don't usually partake in... and then slide right into the 12 days of Christmas. I have some fun stuff planned for both, and I will be dropping a post every day from December 1st on until Christmas Day itself. And then I'll probably take another little hiatus until the new year, and THEN I'll get back on track.

I have a lot of packages from some incredibly generous people to share with you all, and it's looking like the New Year is when I'm finally going to get around to talking about all of those... so keep your eyes peeled boys and girls!

In the meantime... Here is my Geektastic Nativity scene from a couple of years back. I'm thinking it may be time to put another one together this year!

Remember, I'm staying active on Instagram and Twitter even though I'm not blogging for a bit. Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks also has a Facebook page too, where I post fun stuff from the web that I notice fellow bloggers doing, so be sure to check that out, and I am still podcasting with my fellow Geek Fallout geeks as well, so be sure to give us a listen!

And finally, feel free to drop me a line at thegoodwillgeek(at)hotmail(dot)com any time as well. I've received a couple of very nice e-mails from my new buddy Mark C. and I thought I'd give him a shout-out as a thank you for all the kind words, and for letting me know how he's doing! Mark has recently gotten his comic collection organized and is now working on sorting through all his action figures... and I wish him the best in that insanity, as I have just gotten rid of two giant rough-totes worth of books from my bookshelves, and the endeavor almost cost me my mind, my marriage, and my mortal soul.

So... Anywhoo... Hope you all have an awesome Turkey Day, and I'll see you in December! That's when I'll be back with some (say it with me!) Geeky Goodwill Goodies. Until then, Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

To Resume... Soon?

I'm writing this post on my iPod at work because we've been without power at my house since Sunday. If any of it doesn't make sense, blame autocorrect and exhaustion. 

The blog will be officially updated sometime after the power comes back on. I will admit that having a bit of a blogging break after such an intense month of daily posts has been nice. Or at least... The blog has been the last thing on my mind, which has been fine. 

There will be a more in-depth post to wrap up Halloween, but for now here's this:

And just know a fun time was had by all.

When I finally do get back, I have SEVERAL packages from friends to share, lots of Goodwill Goodies I've picked up, and another cool surprise I've been wanting to share since BEFORE October arrived. So lots to do before December gets here! 

I'll be celebrating the 13 days of Creepmas this year, and have a nice 12 days of Christmas idea for this year as well, so most of that month is blocked out completely!

Anyway, the power-company willing, I'll be back at it within a day or two. I'll be back then with some Goodwill Goodies! So until then, Happy Hunting!
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