Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkins and Lies at the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze

It's been a couple of years since we went to the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze at Van Cortland Manor, but it has not been long enough for us to forget the sights at the last exhibit.

October 12th was bitterly cold.  It was cold enough in fact, that Active Goat T. and Alex felt justified in proclaiming that "Winter is Coming" or rather, that "Winter Is Here".  I often marvel at their ridiculousness.  Everyone knows that the official start to Winter for our part of the world is December 21st.  Coincidentally, that is the start to the Zombie Apocalypse/Armageddon, so it's going to be our most brutal winter in the history of the world.

It might be the last Winter ever...but let us not dwell on that for now.

With the cold air, it was sort of nice trekking along with frenemies and family in tow, in the dark with our way lit by over 3,000 carved pumpkins.  It's the sort of fun October event to do to put one in the mood to celebrate all the tricks, treats and ghoulish fun of Halloween...

...Or so you may believe until you figure out that the exhibit is in fact full of shitnanigans.  As H1 and I made our way past the pumpkin grave yard, bursting with zombie hands (a preview of things to come in the near future) and single pumpkins that needed some grading (a lot of "F - -" pumpkins to be sure), our hearts trembled with fear upon the realization of something rather sinister.

Yes, even more sinister than this clownish, starry-eyed fool.  "D -", by the way.
 I believe it was past the house and around the bend that we made the startling discovery.

I don't know what is going on with those pumpkins on top of there.  I don't know what they're supposed to be.  Lumps of turds? Your guess is as good as mine.

The discovery was that not only was there a giant, skull faced spider lurking outside the house and the occupants should probably call in an exterminator for the hellish problem on their hands but it was also a very familiar spider.

No, no.  I'm pretty sure we did not meet him before at the bar or at a concert.

I'm fairly certain we met this very same spider at the Blaze some years ago.  I have no idea how long spiders can live (and this one may have been a special case being that...uh, he's...of special circumstances) but he was hanging out by some dinosaurs.

DINOSAURS.  The same damned dinosaur exhibit we saw when we were there the last time!

Look at them! Look at how familiar like they appear! Where's Stomp-a-saurus? Distant cousin to the Active Goat?
Logistically, there is no way for them to carve over 3,000 plus pumpkins to be able to withstand and hold up under warm weather conditions (which to achieve, they would have to be carving months in advance of October).

But, wax pumpkins? Fake pumpkins?! Are these the lies I've been dealing with all these years?! Are they using the same stencils and putting them in the exact same position as they did three years ago? Shitnanigans! Shitnanigans, I say!!!!!!!!

Don't you be beady-eying me!
And stop laughing at me Cheshire Cat!
Also, there are no such things as fairies!
And I will kick down your mushroom houses!
Ahem... anger aside, there were a couple of new portions of the fake exhibit that were spectacular.  There were giant jack-in-the-box displays as part of the Scary circus portion of the exhibit.  I did not get pictures of those because H1's phone battery died by the time we got to that point (and I still do not have my camera back from shop repairs hence double the anger and lack of blogging).

 Outside the house, a demonic dance around a giant fire pit looked like quite the fun to join in but alas, I do not think my living kind was welcome.

There were also some witches brewing some toil and trouble.  They also give us some stank eye which I did not appreciate.

But how is one supposed to take some witches with ridiculous hats seriously?
But perhaps the most brilliant display was the giant Grandfather, Halloween Clock complete with Jack O' Lantern Pendulum heralding the End of Times.  The Clock stood tall at the start of an eerie dirt road lined with mini Jack O' Lanterns that snickered and flickered off into the darkness, leading where? Who knows?

It was a spectacular sight and made me curse that much more for not having my camera to capture the sheer magnificence of the set up.

As I was standing there trying to get a decent enough picture to share, a chilling laugh could be heard in the dark somewhere down the path.  "That was not cool!", I shouted.  In that moment, it was fairly scary but yeah, it was actually fantastically cool and added so much more depth to an already amazing set piece. 

Despite the lies upon the realization of shitnanigans, we had a fun evening.  It's just not something we may revisit any time in the next few years or so.

Happy Halloween

Hi Ho, Halloween Hellions.

We're writing this to you from the past being that we do not know what the Future may bring on Halloween... 

There may be power, or there may be no power by the time Wednesday rolls around...who knows? As this is being written, we're just about to enter the extra dangerous spots of Hurricane Sandy that involve 60 to 80 mph winds.

With that said, we're saying goodbye to our Drinking Lego Robot.  Summer's long been over but without a working camera, we have not really been able to capture an ideal Autumn picture to represent on the blog.  What? Draw one? Yeah...I guess... but what's there to motivate us? WHAT, I SAY?!?!


Anyway, bye bye Drinking Robot.  Not that he has not had reason to drink as it has been unseasonably warm this October what with this Indian Summer type thing we've been having (and now a Hurricane...).

For now, hello to Halloween Hoodlums who dance around a giant fire where they're cooking up... humans.  I don't know, it's probably best not to ask or stare for too long lest you too end up as embers.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Currently: Listening to the wind outside, hoping to not lose power and thinking about everyone's safety.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Harvest Moon'ing

With Hurricane Sandy currently blowing through the Tri-State, The HOchieS are in our respective houses bunking down in true Harvest Moon style.

We hope everyone is safe wherever you may be during this storm.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Frass even though no matter what happens, he will get a lambasting some time this year.  You know, you're only making things worse for yourself.

Hope you are safe wherever you are with this madness of a Hurricane.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kimbra and Her Magical Frock in Limbo

It's true.

Kimbra has more than half a song in spite of what many of you clowns may believe.

Not only does she have more than half a song (as featured on Goyte's one-"hit" wonder song that was all the rage this year), but her album is 50 times better than that of the aforementioned Goyte.

It's an album that's actually 50 times better than most but I'll leave the gushing for the end of year review.

Thus, even threatening me with housing her concert at Webster Hall could not deter me.  Webster Hall's not that awful and it certainly is no Terminal 5 which I would have more than likely passed up.

But with TD5, Active Goat T., Alex and H1 in tow, I'm incredibly happy that TD5 and I did not pass up the opportunity to see the fantastic Kimbra.

We began the evening at Kenkas (sorry B.!) and ate a bunch of our favourites but nothing spectacularly strange as with past ventures being that Beetchie was not with me.  I don't think that gives me an excuse for going there without her and I won't tell her that the food was really good that night.

Especially our awesome fries which is fast becoming the only place to eat fries.

After a satisfying meal (and some trauma to the Active Goat's fragile, young mind of the aesthetics on display at Kenkas), we traipsed on over to Webster Hall for the best $20 concert I've ever attended.  In fact, I knew the evening could be nothing but awesome considering that's the cheapest I've ever paid for a concert.

That alone is amazing in itself.

Ushered upstairs, we were met with the sounds of opener The Step Kids.

We've seen some pretty horrendous openers in our time but The Step Kids should not be lumped with the lowest of the low.  They were more middle ground, I suppose.  Musically, they sounded pretty good but they were a bit too much funk and too much on a 70's vibe for my taste.  I mean, what business did these white boys from Connecticut have being so psychedelic, funk?!  It was funny save the forced falsetto of one of the vocalists ever so often.  That was done too much and everything just sort of blended into one song.

They did have an awesome little stage show though with the lights... 

...which you cannot really tell from this picture.  You can be assured that it was cool though.
After exiting stage right, and then brushing past us in the crowd (yeah, the drummer with some girl squeezed his way past us after their set was over), we had a little bit of wait while Kimbra's roadies set up her stage.  It was the point when her second microphone stand was set up complete with her boo boo tambourine that TD5, H1 and I lost it.

Some smoke machines later, a dimming of the lights and the extended opener version of "Limbo" playing over the loud speakers that things got under way.

It was quite the thrilling little builder of anticipation...I know I was excited as it's one of my favourite tracks.

There were lots of purple lights and soon, Kimbra came dancing out and straight into "Limbo", and she was dressed in an outfit that many considered doing for Halloween.  I loved its weirdness and the blast of multiple colours that Kimbra came dolled up in.  Soon, H1 dubbed the giant purple thing draped over her shoulders as "The Magical Frock" and so it shall be remembered from this day forward.

Our time spent with Kimbra felt incredibly short even though she played just about every song from her album but I guess time flies when you're having fun, which is exactly what we did.  We danced, yelled, screamed, cheered and marveled at Kimbra's genuinely excited demeanour.  The girl was so happy, it was too cute for words.

Scary at times, too.
 To recap as we always do, here are the highlights and lowlamps -

The Lowlamps

1.  I was expecting hipsters.  Hipsters are lowlamps for sure but what I was not expecting was probably one of the rudest crowd I have ever encountered.  I don't know what the fans could be categorized as but they were not hipsters.  Hipsters, at the very least, are polite and tend to stand around not doing much.  The jerks at this concert were pushing their way to the front, cutting off a lot of us and standing way too close to us and others in an attempt to get up to the front.  These people exist at all concerts but it was particular horrendous this night.

2.  The Great Herding of Webster Hall.  Marketing or herding, it was awful.  After Kimbra was done, there was a herding situation of epic proportions that had us going down flights of stairs and into a section for "more live music", the bar area (in which we almost lost TD5 because he was very tempted to sit down and have one) and an eventual street escape.  It was ingenious and pure evil at the same time.

The Highlights

1.  Our girl, Kimbra! Her vocal range is nothing short of spectacular.  She sounded great live and even better than on disc (if even possible!) changing up songs just enough to be interesting and not jarring.  Her personality on stage was playful, joyous and again, she was just so darn cute.  I think it's safe to say that TD5, H1 and I can highly recommend seeing her live if anyone is afforded the opportunity.  I really do hope this girl is going to get a lot more exposure than she is being given.

2.  Webster Hall's Sound System.  Everything sounded so incredibly awesome which H1 rightly pointed out at some point during the evening.  It was clear, and fantabulous.

3.  Two Microphones? Kimbra's vocal prowess is so intense that the girl needs two microphones to sing with.  Two.  At the same time.  It's a spectacle.  I say vocal prowess, while others might say she's a wide-mouthed frog.  Same difference?

4.  That outfit.  The purple Magical Frock that completed the outfit was just dynamite.  It wouldn't be a Kimbra concert without some weirdness/artistic madness and insane hand gestures on her part.  At one point the Magical Frock got away from her shoulders which she mentioned too as "having never happened to her before...must be New York". 

  1. 5.   "Settle Down".  Apparently, we weren't playing along.  By "we" I meant the fools in the crowd.  We were supposed to be singing along and we didn't (TD5, H1 and I did) but no.  Anyway, she restarted it and the entire performance was the best.

    The Kimbra at Webster Hall on October 19, 2012 Set List:

    1.  Limbo
    2.  Posse
    3.  Good Intent
    4.  Plain Gold Ring
    5.  Two Way Street
    6.  Marigold
    7.  Old Flame
    8.  Warrior
    9.  Something in the Way You Are
    10. Settle Down
    11. Cameo Lover
    12. Come Into My Head


    13. Withdraw
    14. Call Me
    As you can see from the set list, I got the better song.  Or rather, we had never heard that song before but it was quite the danceable fun song that I cannot wait to get on a follow up cd or something.   I managed to get the better song over H1's.  Heh.  I think I got choked for that at some point.

    In closing, (I don't know why my blog post just got messed up - unrelated but I cannot seem to fix it) it was a great night with lots of fun with friends and to Kimbra: Our hearts are already open.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Birthday!

It was Boohead's Birthday yesterday.  I blame my lateness on the Lego building that has been consuming our lives every evening since Sunday. 

Curse you, Haunted Mansion!

Little is it you're six years old already?

Monday, October 01, 2012

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. Hare, Hare, Hare.

Last month was terrible, I have to tell you.

Hope this one is better for all.

Good luck everyone.
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