Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Welcome to the Daily (Except September and October) Blog: Halloween Edition

by Chris McGinty (AccoringToWhim.com)

Nathan has been quite busy lately. I haven’t been so much, but I’ve been keeping busy. I wrote a four part script a couple of weeks back, and told Nathan he had three days to get his three day backlog of blog posts ready. He aid something very noncommittal, so I just went on with my bad self. I see that he posted a posted a yesterday (yes, that was n-tentional, and so was that).

He posted about the Halloween season as opposed to Halloween Day. I think what he was saying is that Halloween Day is a little more cooler for kids because that is the day that you go and do the candy thing, but there is a lead up that involves things like watching horror movies all month, going to haunted houses to get scared out of your wits if you have any left from the movies, and do the whole decorating thing, like carving pumpkins.

I’m notoriously not a holiday person. I have my reasons, and I have been let know many times that they’re all stupid, so go elsewhere if you’re starting to formulate your response to that. In spite of that, I do still rather enjoy Halloween. I think it’s because it’s one of the few times of the year that I see people actually break out of their shell, and have a bit of a good time. I think it’s the costumes. You have this opportunity to say, “I’m dressed as a banana, or a pirate, or a baby, or a superhero, I can’t take myself seriously when I’m dressed up stupid like this.”

I think sometimes people take things too seriously, and let me clarify that that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing to be serious. I’m being serious right now, for instance. What I’m saying is toooooooo (that was intentional) serious. I pointed out on a message thread somewhere that we have managed to dumb down awesome as a culture.

Dude 1: I got a 72 on my test, dude.
Dude 2: Dude, that’s awesome.

Same thing with “you take yourself too seriously.” I’ve heard people try to say, “Oh, so it’s all fun for you?” That’s why I wanted to clarify. I’m not saying ignore responsibility. I’m not saying to never get thoughtful. I am saying this:

Have fun in life. Smile more. Laugh more. Play more. Be responsible for yourself and how you treat others, but have fun. It’s odd to me that typically when I go out to clubs to have a good time that some people are too busy trying to fit into their social circle, some are too busy worrying about hooking up, and others are just too nervous to even enjoy themselves. But over Halloween, I went to a couple of local shows, and people were having a good time that I don’t normally notice them having. Halloween almost speaks like a paradox. There are some horrible, scary things in life, but there’s a lot of fun to be had in life too if you don’t take it too seriously.

And one last clarification; just because I used the club scene as an example, doesn’t mean that I’m saying you have to go out to have fun. If you have a family, laugh and have a good time with them at home. One of my biggest pet peeves about the holidays is that I’ve seen it too often where families get together, and all they can do is bicker, and make snide comments. I know that’s not the fault of the holidays, but it shows that there is a definite flaw to thinking that we can take everything too seriously all year long, and then every so often it’s ok, just because it’s a special day. I’m not opposed to holidays when they’re used for good. I’m opposed to holidays when they’re used for evil. Well except Halloween. Halloween can be a little evil, or we might be disappointed.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hangman's House Charity Work

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Well, Halloween is over. Let's enjoy it one last time. Ok, now we only have 364 days left until it rolls around again. You know, funny thing is... is that with a day like Halloween it's not really the actual day (unless you are a kid) it is the all the stuff that goes on (with Halloween being the end of it all). When you are an adult you probably go to a party on the actual day but the fun of Halloween is something that is enjoyed for a couple of weeks (or more) before the day.

ANYWAY what this blog is about is Hangman's House of Horrors. This Fort Worth based haunted house is the largest charity haunted house in the US. As you know I have been doing some video work for them but now that the season is over I have offered my services in helping with design and ideas for next year.

I have always wanted to do my own haunted house. When I was a kid me and my friends would make a haunted house in our garage. The walls were mostly sheets and we would use some clothes stuffed with clothes for a dummy and any other spooky type stuff I had around along with a black light bulb and some haunted house music. We would take turns 'building' the haunted house then making the other person go through it. One time I used my Masters of the Universe Castle Grayskull as a prop with my hand shooting out of the skull mouth at that particular friend. Once I got ambitious and gave my dummy red dyed spaghetti as my gory centerpiece (what a mess to clean up).

With all that said after doing the video stuff for them I offered my assistance in brainstorming some great ideas that can be done with basically a zero dollar budget. They have a group of people who already do this. They are called CORE member and they are volunteers who have forty or more house of time logged helping out. They might not appreciate my ideas since I am not a CORE member but I'd like to try.

I have been a fan of Disney's Imagineering stuff for a long time and love The Haunted Mansion and think they could use some cool effects I have seen there. They will require certain items that will have to be sought out as a donation but I think I could handle this too.

Either way I'd like to help out these guys and maybe make their haunted house even better.