It’s the most wonderful time of the year

I found the most magnificent pillow at World Market today.

Pillow with grave robbing scene from Frankenstein
That, my friends, is a throw pillow depicting the grave robbing scene in the original Frankenstein film.  October is the only time of year that I can really shop for home decor.

Our apartment is a bit of a wreck at the moment, filled to brimming with Halloween projects in progress, and bags upon bags of paper bats. I can’t believe our party is a week from tonight.

The temperature has finally dropped a bit here in Central Texas.  The mornings are crisp and the crow that winters in our neighborhood has been making a racket. 

This means that the time of baking experimental casseroles is again upon us.  The inaugural event was last night, utterly destroying my kitchen for the sake of a rather bland attempt at cheese sauce that desperately needed both salt and a completely different recipe.  I call it Vegetable Mac & Cheese of Failure.

Happily, we found that a liberal dusting of Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning salvaged the grayish concoction.  We will be subsisting on the casserole for most of the weekend.

Veggie mac and cheese
Tonight we are heading to SCARE for a Cure, one of the best haunted houses in Texas.  It’s a fantastic haunt; nearly an hour long walk through of a scripted story that involves puzzle rooms, sacrificing someone in your group, and (hopefully) defeating the boss at the end.  It’s a Halloween tradition, we go every October.  And we always get covered in stage blood.

Tomorrow is a Halloween party prop-building work day; we lure people in with promises of pizza, then give them cardboard, paint, and vague instructions.  Cityscapes are not a fast build. Nor is an atmospheric representation of the Adam West Bat Cave.

If you need some Halloween horror in your reading queue this week, I recommend any of Thomas Ligotti’s short stories. I recently picked up Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe, anthologies of his works in the 1980’s. Imagine someone who consumed Lovecraft as an influence, and then surpassed him. Lovely, twisted stuff.

I’m going to read another of his stories before we head out to the haunt.  Right here on the couch with my amazing new pillow.