Growing up Halloween was always my favorite holiday, I suppose because it comes so shortly after my birthday. I think it's a holiday enjoyed in 3 phases: When you're little you go out Trick or Treating. Then it's an excuse for crazy costume parties. Tonight I entered the third phase: I rushed home to hand out candy to the kids in the neighborhood. Of course, it wasn't as bourgeois as it sounds. I ordered a pizza, put on my scary Grim Reaper Robe, and worked remotely on my computers in Maui while waiting to scare little kids who knocked on my door.
Monday night a friend had a pumpkin carving party. Someone brought a book of stencils, and a few of us tried to use them. We almost all gave up, because they were too complicated, or too hard to see after using the tiny "kid friendly" poking tool to transfer them. Everyone else did some simple designs that looked fantastic. I tried to free-hand the skull design I was originally going for using my hand saw. The lower jaw and teeth fell of, because I didn't leave enough pumpkin rind to hold it in place. And I was convinced it was totally botched. And I didn't feel any better when everyone kept asking me what it was supposed to be.
Then we lit them up.
"Holy shit, Doug, it's a skull!"
I don't have a career in professional carving, but it looked OK next to the cool things everyone else made. That made me happier the rest of the night. And Graham's excellent baking of our pumpkin seeds didn't hurt.
My camera batteries were dead at the party. I took a quick snapshot of all of our pumpkins lit up with my cellphone, but others took really good pictures they're going to send me. Here's my pumpkin greeting the children outside my door tonight.