Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Deal With The Devil... I Mean, Derek

Creating a website is a very maddening undertaking.  I will spare you all the gory Go Daddy related asshole customer service details and their terrible, un-user friendly website with Danica Patrick's smug face plastered all over the damn place and Wordpress hosting and pointing some letter/number/dot combination to your domain name and the internet assuming you know HTML since it is the language used to build websites, after all, and here you are, building a website, so of course you must know it!....I don't want to think about it anymore!!  Halloweenhoney.com has made some killer progress in the last two days!  Why?  Because I finally realized I am too stupid to figure this internet shit out.

 No, no, it's true....I can't even crack the Wordpress for Dummies book without wanting to burst into tears because I don't understand it (it's the same feeling I have had in every math and science class I have ever taken. Ever.)  I don't have the mind for, ya know, hard things.  Useful things.  Want to talk about ghosts and dolls and black freakin' cats...I'm your gal, but as far as like, smart people things, not silly, spooky things, I super suck.  So, upon making this solid realization and not wanting my domain name purchase and web-hosting purchase to sit and flounder any longer I called upon someone I knew who could do it (since he said he could once I started this endeavor) my brother-in-law, Derek.

I sent him this picture on Sunday:

He texted back, "Are you bribing me?"  So an arrangement was made: In exchange for Magic cards, he was going to use that big Mechanical Engineer brain of his and help me out with the more technical aspects of halloweenhoney.com because Lord knows, I need all the help I can get.

With that being said, go take a peek at our progress!  I have been slacking a bit in the blogging department because of the website taking up my free time, but I am working on getting all my Blogger posts over to the new site so I can start exclusively posting on there.  It may take a few more days, gang, but it'll get there!

In the meantime!  Hark, hark!  I am looking for some people who may be interested in guest blogging....mostly about cryptozoology and Bigfoot-type subjects.  Also, I would love to interview another paranormal investigator along with a mortician and a real estate agent who doesn't mind getting asked some questions about trying to sell haunted houses.

Also, I am tinkering with the idea of creating a marketplace for people who having paranormal, Halloween-related or spooky wares to sell or services to offer....just an idea....put a pin in it, as they say.

In the meantime, halloweenhoney.com is in it's fledgling state!  Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Halloween Hottie of the Day

I tend to watch shows in the "marathon" form a viewing.  Meaning I watch them when A&E is playing a marathon of them.  Ha!  Criminal Minds is one such show I can suddenly lose a whole Sunday to.

Dr. Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds is a TV character after my own heart.  Nerdy, Smart, Awkward, Quirky Wardrobe Choices That Can Only Be Described as "Grandfatherly," Wearing His G-D Watch Over His Sweater Driving Me Nuts....and that small dash of the tortured, a pinch of brooding...ya know, as far as you can get on a CBS show.  And Jane Lynch plays his mom.  So, if that doesn't tell you what an awesome character he is, well then, I am at a loss, my friends.

Dr. Reid, and the really, really, ridiculously good-looking actor who plays him, Matthew Gray Gubler...he's totally a male model too, you guys. (MerMAN!) are super-duper Halloween fanatics!  No joke!  Dr. Reid even showed up to the FBI workplace (I'm starting to think an FBI workplace is all sorts of zany fun when it's probably the total Fox Mulder opposite) donning a Frankenstein's  Monster mask on one Halloween-themed episode, and even bragged about going to see some "science-magic" phantasmagoria show during another Halloween-themed episode! I bet he would have freaked out about Tupac's Pepper's Ghost!

Anyway, beholden to you, your Halloween Hottie of the Day: Dr. Spencer Reid/Matthew Gray Gubler (he was also featured on Celebrity Ghost Story!  So, you know he's the real deal.)

*Can I also say how much joy "Halloween-Themed" episodes of television shows bring me?  Immense.  Immense joy.*

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Steampunk Brainstorms

Since it is July, after all, my brain has now entered warp speed when it comes to Halloween-thinking.  My yearly marker, when Michael's Craft Stores puts out their Halloween whatnots happened last week so now I can begin to indulge nearly 24/7 in Halloween.  With that being said, my husband Jim and I have decided on our Halloween costumes since this year we are planning on going out on the Saturday before Halloween, Grown-Up Halloween (I already have a sitter lined up.) It will be the first time we went out in full-effect since 2007. 

We are going to be Steampunk.

Is that how that would be said, "Going to be Steampunk?"  I don't think that is correct.  We are going to be something within the Steampunk genre.  Is that better?  Maybe my lack of knowing how to speak about it has to do with the fact that I don't really know what Steampunk is, but I know it looks cool. 

At the risk of seeming like a poser I have decided to educate myself about Steampunk a little bit.  I'd hate to have a great costume I can't back up with facts, if that makes sense.  According to Wikipedia (Wikipedia is never wrong, right?) the genre started in the late 1980's and early '90's in literature, a version of alternative history or science fiction ("It's like if cyberpunk happened in the Victorian age," my exasperated husband is trying to explain to me as I stare at him blank-face.) And made its way into other media.  Hence the following conversation after Jim started with, "You know the book Neuromancer by William Gibson?"

"Okay, you know in League of Extraordinary Gentleman?"  Jim asks

"Nope.  Never seen it." I say.

"Okay, how about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea...."

"Uh, no."

 "The Rocketeer?"

*head shake*

 He is no longer speaking to me at this point.

So maybe it's my lack of viewing mediocre movies that makes it so difficult for me to grasp.  Retro futuristic, maybe, is the best way to put it.  Lots of steam-powered instruments and gears and whatnot.  In the Victorian Era.  (Jim is now back to listing Steampunk movies to me, "The Prestige? Van Helsing? Hellboy? The Golden Compass?"  Well, I LOVE The Golden Compass book, and we all know how I feel about Hellboy, but I feel some of this list is a bit on the broad side, but whatever.)

Understanding the genre, while not beside the fact entirely, isn't as important has creating a kick-ass costume.  So I consulted a costumer!  My friend and co-worker Megan, who has made a splash in all sorts of amazing costumes, and just won an award at the Twin Cities Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention, Convergence, for her "Victorian Lady Dr. Who" costume:

I don't get it myself, since I don't watch Dr. Who and I'm pretty sure he's a dude and he travels through time while having sex with everyone (pan-sexual, or is that someone else?  Dr. Jack?  I dunno, like I said, my Dr. Who knowledge is slim to none.) But, Megan looks fly and always does when it comes to costumes, so I checked in with her. 

"You want to start with a character."  She told me, "If you start with the character I think you'll have an easier time creating your costume.  Plus, Steampunk is all in the accessories." 

A character!  My mind went immediately to my favorite of characters, witches!  Surely there is no such thing as a Steampunk witch, is there? 

Holy cats!  This girl is a superstar.  Look at that hat alone!  The bar, m'dear, has been set high. 

But, I am not sure if I want to pigeon-hole myself so much.  I was taken with a picture of a woman at Comic-Con this year, which made me want to do Steampunk in the first place:

I can't decide what I like more about this costume, the hat, the gun, the dress.  I think it's the dress.  I love the peek of the ankle and the rusty feel to the color.  It's a spectacular and beautiful piece of art, really.  

And these Steampunk ladies seem to be into the red hair, which I already have, so I'm halfway there, right?!  

And this dollface not only has a bird in her hair, she is also wearing something called a "neck corset."  While it looks lovely and elegant on her, well....

I don't think Steampunk costuming is it's traditional use, if you know what I'm saying...(and this was one of the tamer photos I found.)

I am intrigued at the idea of a neck corset as used in Steampunk costuming however since it seems it would eliminate any kind of wonky double-chinned-ness and may even give me some definition between my chin and neck, something I don't have in spades. 

Now, I have many options to work with on my Steampunk costume, but my husband, well, we are having a harder time nailing down a character for him, and I keep getting distracted by things like this:

 Steampunk Iron Man!  

Steampunk StormTrooper!  Ha! 

Megan suggested a Steampunk Vampire Hunter is actually a fairly popular male Steampunk character.  Jim was even able to find a Steampunk crossbow in the dark reaches of the internet.  But, would that mean I would have to be a Steampunk vampire?  Because that could be pretty cool.  I would just have to pop some fangs in! 

So many options, so little times (only 97 days until Halloween!)

The Halloween Hottie of the Day/Book Club Recommendation

Okay, try to follow my logic on this one.

 Last night I finished the book Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.  It was a really good book and I highly recommended it, but it is not for the faint of heart, and some parts towards the end really bummed me out.  Bummed me out to the point where I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep because I was like "....bummer..."  I usually only read at night before bed and because of that I tend to have really vivid dreams about whichever book I am reading.  I read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, a book about America's first serial killer HH Holmes, a few years ago.  I had such a realistic, terrifying dream that I was stuck in HH Holmes house of effing horrors he built that I couldn't even finish the book after that. 

Like most (and for sure like my sister, who can average reading a book or two a week) I am now seeking out some lighter fare, and I am thinking about re-reading the Dead Witch Walking series (officially called The Hollows series) a book series by Kim Harrison I first read when I was pregnant in the summer of 2010 and pretty much lived in my bathtub.  I was terribly reluctant to read them because I was like, "What's with all the Clint Eastwood title references?" (Every Witch Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, etc.) But my love for witches was too strong and I was desperate to find something, anything, that would lighten my mood. 

The books are fun mood-lighteners.  The kick-ass female protagonist, Rachel Morgan, a witch and a bounty hunter living in the United States after a genetically-altered tomato crop was unleashed on the population and...wow....like I said, it's been two years since I've read them, I just remember them being fun and entertaining. 

And Rachel Morgan!  A redheaded, leather-clad witch who is all kinds of sexy, but not in that sultry, femme-fatale sort of way.  More of an everyday kind of sexy, ya know what I mean?

Rachel Morgan, you are The Halloween Hottie of the Day! (Yes, I know this a fictitious character and looks different in the mind of each individual reader, but I think this book cover model does a pretty decent job!)  Check out this book series, it's a fun one!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Some Thoughts On Aurora, Colorado

I hesitate to write about the shooting in Aurora, Colorado for fear of trivializing the event.  For fear of somehow making this about myself since it is something I am so far removed from.  Yes, I am a frequent movie goer, yes, I have been to midnight screenings of movies, and yes, I love Batman, but these three things alone do not connect me or tie me to this incident in any way, shape or form.  We have a tendency to make things about ourselves, which is okay to an extent.  Feeling that way about a 9/11, something that did affect the entire nation, but affected some of us greater.  I had dreams about the Minneapolis skyline crumbling or terrorist attacking a vehicle I was in shortly after 9/11. The Columbine massacre is a very similar incident (unfortunately both in Colorado) that occurred when I was in 10th grade and for that first week after, I thought I would catch a glimpse of someone standing in the hallway outside the classroom door poised to attack.  These incidents weren't about me, but I still applied them to my life, which is a human thing to do, I think.  We have to be careful though to not make it about us, to remember we weren't affected, to remember that we get to hug our friends and family today, and those who lost someone to this tragedy don't. So, I am attempting to write about this tragedy in a non-trivial or insulting matter.  I have a point to this blog post, let me just see if I can get there.  

Today we caught our first glimpse of the perpetrator in the Aurora shootings, James Holmes, post-massacre.  He came into the courtroom this morning wearing a jumpsuit, dyed red hair and could barely keep him eyes open.  My first and only thought about him was, "He is scary."  It was the entirety of him, the Manic Panic dye job, the constantly shifty facial expressions and heavily medicated eyes, the fact that he shot 71 people, murdering 12 of them, trying to figure out what might be going on in his mind.  This person, this kid, is being painted as something of a super-genius in the media.  A high-achieving former medical student.  The "shy, quiet" type.  In other words, a normal person.  They all are, though.  There is a report going around that he told the police when he was apprehended that he was The Joker.  I have also noticed that the media has been extremely careful not to connect James Holmes with any one particular character in the Batman universe.  When this all unfolded Friday morning I was watching the ridiculous, fear-producing Matt Lauer Hour, The Today Show, and they were interviewing a former FBI profiler whom they have had on the show several times.  The profiler said, "Some people are even saying he looked like the character Bane from The Dark Knight Rises," and Matt Lauer was near reprimanding this man for even saying that.  He stressed that they weren't going to make any connection to the films' characters at this time and to speculate on such a thing was inappropriate. Well, it seems like the only thing the profiler had wrong was which Batman villain he was trying to be.

Again, I was watching NBC when the live feed of James Holmes entering the courtroom was shown and this time Brian Williams was broadcasting.  He was discussing Holmes appearance, "He looks clown-like." he offered.  Only later stating, "He is trying to maybe even look like the Batman character The Joker."  Why the hesitation on making this connection?  Because Holmes dyed his hair the wrong color?  He told police he was The Joker, what else do you need?  The police found Batman collectibles in the guy's apartment, a poster and a mask, and he chose to carryout this shooting at the release of the latest Batman film.  He was a Batman junkie, the end.

As a regular viewer of The Today show I know what they're up to.  The goal of The Today Show is to make you afraid to leave your house every morning.  Everything is going to give you cancer, from your morning shower to your drive in to work, don't you all love that Call Me Maybe song? And a sexy cheerleader accused of having sex with her students is on house arrest, let's do 8 million stories about that too.  They are very obvious and that's half the reason I watch it, for a laugh.  So, naturally, I thought they would be the first ones to jump on this Batman connection but maybe they wanted to try and not seem like such assholes this time.  During the press conference on Friday the Chief of Police in Aurora, Colorado fielded some of the dumbest, most embarrassing questions I have ever heard come out of anyone's mouth, let alone professional journalists, "Why Batman?!" "Is it true The Joker was spotted in New York?!" (no joke on that one...) I has half expecting someone to ask, "Has anyone heard from Adam West?!" and "Do we have Catwoman's thoughts on this?!"  It. Was. Cringe-worthy.  Meanwhile, the Police Chief, busy as hell, was trying to keep his lid on and not tell all this morons to get the eff out of his city.  So, I guess, I can see at first why the hesitation to make the Batman connection, because it does seem a little silly, but its now legit.  Are they afraid to paint Batman fans with a bad stroke?  If so, does that even really matter?

None of this really matters.  The Batman connection doesn't matter, the politicians now coming out talking about gun control and trying to MAKE THIS ABOUT THEMSELVES doesn't matter, James Holmes doesn't matter.  What matters are the 71 people he shot.  What matters are the 12 people who died, and what matters is when The Today Show, and the rest of the media has left Aurora with everyone's survival story or heartbreak in their back pockets and everyone's names and acts of heroism are forgotten, we will still be talking about James Holmes and gun control and Batman, and we will still so desperately be trying to make this about ourselves somehow, and that is not right.

The Halloween Hottie of the Day

When I was first forced to watch Hellboy by my husband I mumbled and grumbled before giving in.  It's not that I don't like comic book movies, per se, I just had ZERO interest in Hellboy.  Well, color me surprised when I not only loved it, I was taken, yes, swept away by the character Abe Sapien.  Who is this fluid-moving fish-man?!  He is wonderful!  I assumed he was mostly some sort of  CGI.  Not so!  He was all actor Doug Jones.  Yes, an actual human.  I now had to see Pan's Labyrinth because according to the IMDB he not only plays Pan but also that white long-fingered creature with his damn eyeballs in his hands, ya know, this guy:

That is all make-up!  On Doug Jones!  And this American actor learned all his Spanish lines and spoke them beautifully.  Doug Jones is the real deal, you guys.

I even sat through some weird NBC horror mini-series/one-shot show that aired like two years ago where he played some ax-wielding crazy just because I saw his name in the beginning credits.  (I am currently scanned Doug Jone's IMDB and I cannot even recognize the name of that show...) And indeed I squealed with delight when his name popped up in the guest credits of some random Criminal Minds episode I was watching one night.  Also, my heart did a million summersaults when I discovered he played Billy Butcherson in Hocus Pocus, one of my favorite Halloween movies ever.

He's such a helpful zombie, that Billy Butcherson.

Behold, Doug Jones!  He is outstanding:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

She's Crafty

The word "crafts" brings up a lot of emotions in me.  Frustration, lameness, hot-glue-gun related pain, more frustration, blinding rage,  ...I am not the craftiest person in the world.  I have attempted, many, many times to do a craft (is it do a craft, or make a craft?)  Crafting is a hobby for stay-at-home-moms, which I am, but ya know, I'm like, cool, so it doesn't count.  My theory is, "Well, why would I make something if I can just buy it?"  It used to be a cost-saving measure for a lot of people, but now the materials to make something costs just as much, and sometimes more, as it is to just outright buy something already made, and (most of the time) made well.

The crafts I have attempted run the craft gamut. I have made two Queen-sized quilts in my lifetime.  I have made fairy crowns, scrapbooks, stamped some positive one-word statements on terracotta pots, I can hot-glue stuff on to other stuff and make it look halfway decent, but I find it...well, frustrating.  And it highlights my lack of artistic flare.  The visual arts are not my strong suite.  I can barely draw a stick-figure and I tried to take up painting, because I felt it was less rigid, room for people who don't necessarily paint stuff that looks like anything (Jackson Pollock!) but, alas, I even sucked at painting nothing in particular.

I want to attempt crafting again because I apparently like to have high blood pressure.  I want to do (make?) a Halloween craft.  But, what to make (do)?  What are my strengths when it comes to crafting?  The hot-glue gun.  What are my weaknesses?  Everything else.  Hmmm...

Here is a small sampling of my foray into the world of crafting:

See that shit on the top of me and Cori's head?  Those are my fairy crowns.  Making things that are suppose to look like you found them in the woods is easy.  You don't have to worry about things like symmetry or any kind of precision.  Just slap a bunch of stuff on a (not even all the round) ring and stick it on your head.  Ta-da!  Fairy crowns.

Here is one of the fascinators I made for the Royal Wedding in April of 2011.  That is my daughter Violet.  I took a picture of her wearing it since the rest of us looked like hell since we got up so early to watch the Royal Wedding.

  August of 2009.  The first completed square of my Halloween quilt.  I had made a quilt before, in 2007 for my sister.  My mother-in-law is a Quilting Extraordinaire.  She is an amazing quilter (that is her sewing room I am standing in) and helped me a lot with my first ever quilt, but this one I was more on my own.  It was brutal.

The finished product.  If quilts could talk this quilt would say, "Roxy has a filthy mouth."  My sister suggested I make another Halloween quilt for my craft, but I said if I were to blog about it (which I plan on doing) the blog would just be a series of swear words.  Sewing is also a great weakness of mine.  The word "bobbin" makes me physically angry.  Oh, this quilt also wasn't officially "finished" until October of 2010.  I was nearly nine months pregnant and could no longer easily move so I  gave in and finished hand-sewing the backing on to this motherfuc....lovely piece.

In my search for something that I would not only enjoying doing but easily finished (why am I either bothering?) I went to Michael's craft store for some inspiration.  And they also start putting out their fall/Halloween merchandise out in July!  I can't believe I waited this long to go!

The Michael's I went to had most of their fall flowers out but not too much Halloween.  They were clearly in the midst of switching over endcaps and that sort of thing because merch sat in boxes next to the intended display area.  You know what that means!  I have to go back in a few days to see what wasn't out yet!  Ha!  They also didn't have their Halloween Village set up yet.  Sigh...c'mon guys, it is July 21st!  I put up my Halloween village in August last year, and I'm not trying to sell anything (my village is spectacular, I can't wait to share it with you guys!) But, all is forgiven, because even though I wasn't struck with any great inspiration for a Halloween craft, I did buy my daughter some Tinkerbell Halloween stickers on the cheap (a dollar!) but I also hung out for like, an hour just to take be around it all:

Ahhh....summer will end.  Eventually.

I would have squeezed each and every one of these, but there were other customers around.  And I didn't want to seem like anymore of a weirdo than I already am.

Hehehe, look at this wee little bird!

Violet was NOT into these guys at all.  She wouldn't even look at them,.

But look at what good use they are put to!  I though for a brief moment that this could be my craft...but I can totally just buy it already made.  Is it logic or laziness?

I'm just going to ride out the rest of the summer right here.

"No...you're not, Mama."

"You done yet? Because this sippy isn't going to entertain me much longer."

So I bought her some stickers if she let me live three months into the future a little longer.

I am going to scour the internet for my craft, I think.  I always wanted to make wine cork witches, because I drink a lot of wine and I love witches, so it seems kind of like a no-brainer, but I'm not sure.  Maybe I'll go on Etsy and see things I can never hope to even begin to make and then attempt one of them and get even more frustrated and angry towards the idea of crafting.

 It's a vicious cycle.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Mayor of Halloween Town

Bjorn Skogquist was elected Mayor of Anoka, MN in 2000 when he was twenty-two years old.  When I was twenty-two years old I was living with my sister in an apartment where we would steal the wi-fi signal from the elementary school across the street..  We let our laundry pile up so high in the hallway the wall had like, a laundry stain on the wall when we finally broke down and went to the laundromat.

Bjorn was the second-youngest elected mayor in the state of Minnesota and served in that position until 2008, being re-elected three times by the fine people of Anoka.  While in office, Bjorn encouraged the preservation of Anoka's historic downtown area and preservation of our historic buildings, as well as open-air space preservation and open government.  Being mayor of Anoka also means being mayor of The Halloween Capital of the World!

Bjorn granted me the opportunity to speak with him on the garden patio of the local coffee house, Avant Garden, on Tuesday night. I wanted to know what it was like to run a Halloween town and a town I hold very dear to my heart.  As fun and zany as those terrible made-for-tv-movies and shows make small town government look, it's a lot of hard work.

Straight out of the gate I asked him how much the little hamlet of Anoka (population 18,000) really benefits from holding the title of The Halloween Capital of the World.  Does it benefit the town financially at all?   The "official" Halloween festivities are handled by a non-profit committee, Anoka Halloween, Inc. These official events include three (yes, three) parades, The Light Up The Night Parade, The Big Parade of Little People (kids...not ya know, little people) and The Grand Day Parade. There is also The Pumpkin Bowl, which is a football game between Anoka High School and an opponent from a nearby town (those high school kids go ALL OUT for this.  If you look out at the football field that night all you see is orange.) A wine tasting, that I have sadly never been to, a house decorating contest, medallion hunt, a pumpkin carving contest, and pre-school aged costume contest among other cute, if kind of uninspired events.

  "I don't know if Halloween, Inc. makes a lot of money, if any."  Bjorn said, "They have a budget of probably around 150,000 dollars for all their events.  And if they work within that [budget] with all the big things, the pageant and the royal ambassador program year-round, gray ghost run, parades...it's not a huge money-maker.  From a stand-point of identity, every small town has their festival and this is ours and it just happens to be really big."  I asked Bjorn if, since Anoka does hold the title of The Halloween Capital of the World,  we could do more.  We claim stake to this title and I feel, as a Halloween Lover, that Anoka cannot begin to complete event-wise with places like Salem, Massachusettes and their Haunted Happenings celebrations that takes place over the entire month of October.  Granted, Salem has more of historical lore and tourism draw, and probably a lot more change in the kitty, but that doesn't mean we can work to make ourselves a destination during the Halloween seasons too.

"We don't think big [in Anoka]. We think small."  The former mayor said.

"We should do more!" I said, being my idealistic, far-fetching self.

"I agree with you.  People aren't as creative as they could be with Halloween," Bjorn said, "Or they aren't letting the creative people come in and run with it.  The people with the money, the people in elected positions, they're all scared to try any thing new."  

The city of Anoka is an older-aged population for the most part.  These senior citizens are now looking to get rid of the maintenance and responsibilities of home ownership.  Currently, the city is building a brand-new senior housing high-rise in the shadow the the historic Anoka State Hospital (which was, at one point in time a scary Shutter Island-esque, lobotomy performing mental hospital....I love your view, Grandma!) This would be the third senior high-rise in the city.  There are countless other senior communities dotted throughout the city, mostly single-family homes that have been converted into multi-person assisted living facilities.  Bjorn sees this as a bit of a problem, "Is senior housing going to be our industry?  That isn't as important as making sure young famalies come here to live in our houses."  When Bjorn says, "our houses" he is referring to the numerous hundred year old-plus homes that have been beautifully restored in the city of Anoka and will soon be empty when Grandma goes to live in one of the bajillion senior communities in town.  "The city wants us to tear these [houses] down and build townhomes, because that's what the market wants." he continued, "For people in their fifties and sixties who want no maintenance, then yeah, townhouses but, that's just more senior housing.  Instead of that, why don't we do more artful things, more music, a bigger Farmer's market.  There is that fear of, 'We don't want young people, they're noisy, they don't pay their rent, old people, that's the way to go.'"  

"But, there going to die..."  I said.

"It's an end of life thing..." Bjorn offered.  

As for Halloween, I asked Bjorn what he thought about people, (mostly those "young people" boo! hiss!) trying to create their own events, not going through the official channels.  Is there a benefit to going through the committee, do you have access to more resources? Or is it worth taking the risk and striking out on your own if you feel like you have a great idea for an event?  

"Just because there is a committee and they copy-write it doesn't mean they own Halloween in Anoka."  He said, "Where the committee is a good idea, if it's going to be about Anoka and make everything bigger and better for everybody, then great.  But, if they are just going to get in the way of events, [events] are hard enough to do anyways, you don't need someone getting in your way."  

I told Bjorn about an idea I was kicking around with a friend of mine, of a Halloween Carnival for families (the only official Halloween event for kids and families, besides the parades, was some silly "Halloween Fun at the Library." We ate candy, listened to a story, then had a "parade" where the kids marched around the library in their Halloween costumes, annoying the creepy dudes using the free internet at the library on a Saturday morning.)  "I would imagine getting park space for that type of event would be incredibly difficult."  I said, "The problem with public space is that it's never guaranteed," Bjorn said, "for something like that you would be better off finding private property of a business or something that would benefit from your event.  Because if they benefit from it, they'll have you back year after year, and once your're established, it's hard to get rid of you."

The biggest hindrance for Anoka, if we were to ever become a destination in October with a multi-day festival, is lack of lodging.  We have a beautiful Bed and Breakfast in town, Ticknor Hill, but that only has four rooms.  They are amazing and outfitted with awesome bathtubs (very important for me) but it wouldn't hold a whole lot of people.  "Debbie and David do an awesome job with Ticknor Hill," Bjorn said, "But not everyone is looking for that kind of experience."  The closest, average-rated hotel is just a town over in Coon Rapids, an AmericInn, but that kind of kills the romance of staying "in Anoka" for the Halloween celebrations.  "Billy's used to be a hotel, the Jackson Hotel, and could easily be one again.  And over a hundred years ago, up on Ferry Street, we had a big hotel.  But today, lodging is definitely an issue, how could you stay here comfortably for more than the day?" Bjorn said.  One hundred years ago Anoka also used to host the largest summer festival in the state, it was bigger than the state fair at the time and people would take the train to come to town."  Not anymore. Due to Anoka being the County Seat and housing the courthouse and county jail our Main Street is, as Bjorn put it "roaring" and our downtown isn't all that pedestrian-friendly.  "People argue that places like White Bear Lake are able to make their downtown friendlier and more [of a destination] because they have a lake...and we just have these gorgeous rivers we don't capitalize on.  And having that government presences in town and the courthouse, that can really kill the downtown [area]" Bjorn said. 

If Halloween falls on a weekday, the big day in Anoka is always the Saturday previous to the 31st. That is the day of The Grand Day Parade, along with a host of other activities, ending the night by hitting up the bars on Jackson Street, one of which, Serum's, throws a huge tent party with live music and a costume contest with prizes worth winning, like trips to Hawaii and stuff!  For the mayor of Anoka, though, that day is a whirlwind.  "That day is crazy. It starts at nine or ten in the morning, at the legion, ride in the parade, go to the post-parade banquet, go get cleaned up, do the Royal Ambassador Pageant, MC that, it's a twelve hour day of events after that and you're beat.  But yeah, you still go out at night, because it's Halloween and you have to."  

At the risk of making myself sound like a crazy person, I told Bjorn about the Limestone Theory in regards to Anoka.  According to local Paranormal Investigator Ross Beard the structure of Anoka around the rivers is key as to why we are The Halloween Capital of the World, not necessarily the Powers-That-Be in the 1920's getting together and trying to prevent the kids (damn young people again!) pulling pranks on Farmer Joe.  "[The land] contains three elements necessary to generate energy," Ross told me, "The first is limestone with many voids, cracks and fractures.  The second is the water.  The limestone allows the water to seep and flow into the voids, cracks and fractures.  The third is quartz crystal.  The water flows across the quartz crystal, that motion alone.  No one knows or has measured this, but many studies have taken place or are in the process to prove out this theory.  Next with the history and depth of character it has taken to build this community, for one reason or another, tragedy or triumph, certain entities have decided to stay, with the substructure acting as battery for them to draw from and coexist."

 I tried to explain this to Bjorn the best I could.  "That's....interesting."  He said, "I have never heard that before."  I then asked him what he thought about the paranormal in general.  "I'm not a very perceptive person." He started, "So I guess, about ghosts and that kind of things, I don't know."  He then told me of an incident where he had dreams of a family member that had passed away or had been sleeping and felt something, a presences of some kind in front of him and opened his eyes to see blackness, but in front of his face was a darker blackness, as if something was directly in front of him.  I understand his unsure answer, I think most people feel that way, the "maybe, maybe not" route when it comes to the paranormal.      

It was incredibly interesting to talk to Bjorn, especially about the political aspect (by "political" I mean "dealing with all the bullshit") of being the mayor of a small-town (we went more in-depth about things that wouldn't be interesting to people who either don't leave here or don't care about all this small-town going-ons.)  Being in that kind of power-position at such a young age, twenty-two, is a fast way to learn how things work, how people work together (or don't work together) and the flaws and strengths of your community.  "For all my sore spots," Bjorn said, "I love Anoka."  

I also love Anoka, and I think with the right people in the right positions of decision-making, and people with passion for their town and what we can accomplish, Anoka, with hard-work, can become the Halloween destination it should be during the month of October.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Halloween Hottie of the Day

I know what you're thinking, "Who?"  or, "He looks vaguely familiar..." or "Seriously, who?"  But Cheyenne Jackson is wonderful!  Full disclosure, I only know his from 30 Rock and had to look up if he was really Canadian or not (he is...NOT) but he is earning Halloween Hottie status today for his adorable music video for his first pop single Before You.  It's very Buble-esque, which I'm not too crazy about (Michael Buble?  Totally Canadian) but the video stole my little Halloween heart.  A nod to The Munsters (did I hear that Cheyenne Jackson was actually going to be in The Munsters re-boot Mockingbird Lane, or am I just making things up about that show now?) Behold, Mr. Jackson, if you're nasty, and the Before You music video below!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Palmer House Part Two

Here are some of the photos we took during our time at The Palmer House:

Here I am outside The Palmer House.  This building was constructed in 1901 after the original Sauk Centre Hotel burned down.  The streetlights in Sauk Centre are a little more modern.  There is an automated, irritated male voice that tells you to "WAIT." after you press the crosswalk button, and then he tells you again to "WAIT." again....and then when it's your turn to cross the street he starts a very stressful countdown and boy, you better hustle across that street before he gets to one!  This voice made us tell each other to "WAIT." all night and to ask each other, "What is your WEIGHT." and as we drove home through "WAITE." Park.  It was endless LOLs.

 Here is the front desk.  I love the old-school key system and mail boxes.

The Grand Staircase.  I almost fell down them SOBER, mind you.  And where we felt a strong force telling us to GTFO as we scurried down them in the middle of the night, bags in hand, Scooby-Doo style.

The lobby had a handy-dandy fainting couch, since I'm sure it is used for actual fainting on occasion.

In the pub on Friday the 13th.

We settled in nicely and designated the fourth glass of wine to the female spirit, Lucy.

Apparently, our conversation was captivating to me. Or I was just staring at this....

This is the window of the cute little Main Street store.  They love their ghosts in this town!

These cool stones adorn all the banisters throughout the hotel.

Me and my sister Cori hanging out in the pub!

This lovely lady's portrait sits behind the bar.

Let's explore Sauk Centre!  Oh, that's it?

The hallway.  It wasn't so cozy and warm once the sun went down.

Room 11, said to be one of the most haunted  We were next door in Room 9.

Hey, Ghost Adventures filmed here!  It's going to air in September!

See!  Soda?!  C'mon guys...

Us girls being silly in our room after Christy decided she didn't want to sleep in her twin bed...

I took one last picture after this one of all our legs in the air being silly and I texted it to my husband as a "Ha, ha, you're missing out on sexy fun times!"  And then...we had to leave.

Why?  You ask?  Well, you need to read Part One of our Palmer House experience.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Palmer House Part One

We came into the central Minnesota town of Sauk Centre at about four o'clock in the afternoon on Friday.  The 13th.  The date on the calendar is neither here nor there when it comes to strange happenings at the historic Palmer House Hotel, the place we were to call our home for the evening.  About that.... Well, a valiant attempt was made.

I was joined on this little road trip with my sister Cori and our dear friend Christy.  The three of us all went to The Palmer House for very different reasons.  I went because its a great historical site in my beloved state of Minnesota AND it's in a part of the state I am somewhat familiar with. And of course, the hautings.  Now, if you are a frequent reader of my blog you know that I am a total chicken, so it's not that I wanted to see a ghost or communicate with a ghost, I just wanted to hang out with them.  Kind of like being invited to sit at the cool kids table in the lunchroom at school.  You don't talk to anyone and feel a bit out of place the whole time, but it's pretty awesome.  Christy went because she is working on honing her medium abilities, something she has always had, but is only now recognizing and accepting what it is, so she was out to communicate or have some kind of contact.  And my beloved, Cori, she wanted to get outta town for 24 hours and have a fun wine time with two of her favorite people.  My sister Cori is not a skeptic, per se, she just believes that the last thing dead people want to do is communicate with the living.  She feels they have better things to do than talk to someone who is being, in her opinion, a little insulting, when they are doing that, "Can you make a noise for us?" kind of stuff.  So she wasn't closing herself off to anything, she just didn't expect to see or hear or experience anything.

We checked in and hauled our stuff up the narrow and not-easily-navigated-while-wearing-flats staircase to the second floor and went to our room, Room 9.  At first, I felt very cozy at The Palmer House, it had a very much a "Grandma's house" vibe to it.  A hand-sewn quilt on the bed and small TV with crappy reception on the dresser, ya know, Grandma's house.  There were two beds, a double bed that Cori and I were going to share and a twin bed up against the wall that Christy was going to sleep in, a small nightstand next to the double bed with a lamp and alarm clock.  As we settled in a bit, Christy was picking up a female spirit, "She's curious." she said.  "We are three women here by ourselves, she just wants to see what's up."  "Well,"  I addressed the female spirit, "modern ladies like to watch The Real Houswives of the OC and drink wine with our friends."  I had switched on the small TV and the channel was on Bravo, which was showing the ghoul-fest that is The Real Housewives of Orange County.  Christy just giggled and said she thought the woman's name was Lucy.  Now, full disclosure, I did not watch any of the investigation videos on The Palmer House's website, this Lucy name was something I never heard.  Cori however said, "Christy!  They said on the video that the lady's name was Lucy, don't you remember?"  What followed was a quick bickering session between the two about how Cori didn't have the volume up loud enough on her computer speakers so Christy didn't hear what anything was being said (have I mentioned these bitches work together too?)  So, whatever.  Wine was waiting for us down in the pub we pretty much claimed as our own most of the night.

My comfort level at The Palmer House was very high.  The only way I can describe it in the late afternoon-early evening hours is pleasant and cozy.  The pub was awesome.  It was Grandpa's part of the house.  Very masculine and overstuffed, golfers on the wall, large oak bookcases and lots of liquor. We made a beeline to the couch and wing-backed chairs in the corner next to the fireplace.  Towards the end of the night I was stretching out on that couch without any regard of how many people may have done the exact same thing before me, and what level their personal hygiene is at.  But, that's kind of the risk you run when it comes to staying in hotels in general.

After sitting in our spot for several hours, with our attentive little waitress Christine keeping us rich in the vino, I decided I wanted to "explore" Sauk Centre.  Cori wasn't too quick to give up our primo spot in the pub since it was starting to fill in with a late dinner crowd, but we managed to get her outside.

Hey, Sauk Centre has a movie theater.  The end.

In no time, we were back in our corner, wine in hand.  Well, me and Cori anyhow, Christy decided she was done drinking.  She only had a glass and a half earlier in the evening and the moment she started to drink the energies she was picking up began to disappear.  She wanted to keep a clear mind for the rest of the night.

As the night and the chit-chat went on, things started to get more....active, I guess is the word I would use.  From where Christy and Cori sat they could see down the entire pub and out a doorway to where the restrooms where.  At one point, Christy saw the female spirit, a solid torso, but a faint upper body, as if she was working, going about her business.  She also picked up a male spirit in the bar.  This man was very irritated that there were so many females drinking in the bar, and he was very focused on the alcohol behind the bar itself.  He wanted it.  He wanted to have a drink, but, Christy said, since the bartender was female he wasn't going to gain access to it through her.  He was mad that women where drinking and that a woman was the one giving out the drinks.

Then, what I thought would never happen happened.  Cori was listening to our conversation about God Knows What (probably some disgusting bodily function or hair where there ought not be any hair on the human body) and suddenly made a small "Ohp." noise.  "Did you see it?"  Christy asked her?  My back was to this active area.  I was facing the window looking out onto a side street  all night.  "Yeah.  At first I thought it was a woman accidentally walking into the men's room.  And then she just kept going.  It was just a shoulder."  For my sister to say this is huge.  Like I said, she's not a staunch non-believer, she's just not a, ya know, believer...While she was saying this and observing, she wasn't freaking out or panicked, she was just casual, where as I would be "HOLY CATS!  WTF IS THAT GHOST SHOULDER NONSENSE RIGHT THERE?!?!"  (so maybe it's for the best I did not witness this.)  Christy and I switched seats though so I could take a peek and see if I saw anything, "It's sorta like a Magic Eye picture," Cori said, "You're not going to see anything if you are starting right at it."  Well, bugger.  I could never see those Magic Eye pictures anyways.

By this point in the evening we were all starting to get tired and decided to head up to our room and eat candy for a while.  Christy made a comment while we were on the stairs that the little boy who is said to haunt The Palmer House was on the steps with us.  Apparently he followed us into our room.  We all changed into our comfy clothes and Christy went into the bathroom to wash her face, Cori and I cuddled up in the double bed and started being giggle-pusses for whatever reason.  Probably because between the two of us we had like, four bottles of wine.  My phone was at my feet and I wanted to take a picture of me and Cori so I reached to get it while facing her.  Just then I hear a bang at my other side.  I looked and the remote for the wall-mounted air conditioning unit, the remote that was sitting in the CENTER of this nightstand, was now on the floor.  Christy then came out of the bathroom.  "Um, that remote just was thrown on the floor."  I tell her.  "It's the little boy," she says, "He was tugging at my shirt in the bathroom while I was washing my face and I just told him 'not now.'"  Cori laughed and turned on Jimmy Kimmel.

Christy picked the remote up and set it back onto the nightstand and turned her attention to her bed.  She was taking down the covers when she suddenly said, "I don't want to sleep in this bed."  Christy was soon in the middle of a Cori-And-Roxy sandwich in the double bed.  Many giggles followed after this and the general silliness soon turned to talk of the angry male spirit in the basement (so glad I didn't watch any of the investigation videos) and not only where we talking about "Micheal or Mike" in the basement, and the burial ground this building is built on etc., we were also being ridiculous and taking pictures of our legs all together and I was sending them to my husband and brother-in-law like "Haha, aren't we funny and cute?"  Our behavior was very carefree and somewhat flippant.  Then the mood changed right quick.  "I don't want to stay here tonight."  Christy suddenly said.  "Me either..." Cori echoed.  I, on the other hand, was only bummed about my lack of pillows because I need to sleep with like, three or four pillows every night.  It's a very elaborate set-up.  "I'll even pay for the room..." Cori said.  Next thing I know, Christy is on her phone with the AmericInn that sits right on the highways when you first come into Sauk Centre.  Oh, they had a room available....some ridiculous suite for 150 bucks a night.  No deal.  The next call was made to The GuestHouse, a hotel across the parking lot from the AmericInn.  80 bucks!  Let's go!  (Our last resort was sleeping in Cori's car in the parking lot of the AmericInn.  Oh yeah, we had a plan B.)  

As soon as we decided the leave The Palmer House, this sense of urgency came over us and our room.  I don't even remember packing (probably because I was into the wine...) but I know we were out of there fast, and as we descended the staircase Cori felt a tingling sensation in the back of her head that she first described as a hair stroking, and massive goosebumps, Christy felt sick to her stomach, and by the time we reached the parking lot, Cori was thinking about maybe having a little bit of an asthma attack.  The cozy, Grandmotherly feel The Palmer House first gave me was gone and something more sinister had taken over.

"That negative male energy, he didn't like us, he wanted us to leave.  He didn't like how we were behaving so comfortably and carefree and having fun and laying in bed together, he didn't like it.  And if we didn't leave he was going to settle in our room for the night and mess with us. He wanted us to leave."  Christy was saying as we hastily threw our bags into the trunk.  "The little boy, I think he was trying to warn us, he was trying to get our attention, that's why he was pulling at my shirt and that's why he threw the remote."  Christy continued as Cori sped down Sinclair Lewis Avenue to our refuge.  We reached The Guesthouse in record time and was greeted at the front desk by a too-smiley-for-working-the-midnight-shift-at-a-hotel clerk who didn't ask questions.  The moment we stepped into our room at the new hotel it felt as though a huge pressure was off of all of us.  The air had cleared and we could all breath and think a little better (and bonus...ALL THE PILLOWS!) Sleep was possible in this hotel, where is at The Palmer House it would have been impossible.  We all managed to get a few hours of sleep, but we did need to return to The Palmer House in the morning to return our keys (which I insisted stay in the glove box in the car.  I didn't want them mucking up our new safe spot.)

Christy and I went back to The Palmer House this morning to return our keys just as a gallery reading with local psychic Tiffany was about to take place  The places was jumping, the sun was pouring into the lobby through the open windows, people were excited to be there, the good vibe was back.  We turned in our keys and hung around the lobby a little bit looking at the pictures and the music for the player piano.  "The other spirits are out when the man isn't."  Christy said, "It's almost like he's the one, the boss, the mean guy....the other ones scatter when he's around."

And scatter, we did.

*Part 2 of my blog will be all our wonderful pictures!  I'll let you know when it's up!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Palmer House Preparation

Tomorrow is the day!  I am off, along with my sister Cori and our sister-from-another-mister Christy to The Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, MN!  I cannot wait!

I have traveled to Sauk Centre many times in my life, most recently in 2004 when my great-grandma Angeline Klasen was in a nursing home there run by nuns.  My Grandma and I went to visit her for the day and a few weeks after that she passed away.  She was 94-years-old and smoked non-filtered cigarettes most of her life and WAS NOT killed by lung or any other type of cancer so, good for you, Angie!  I haven't been since, but as a kid we always came through Sauk Centre on our way to visit relatives "up home"  Oh, and yes, Cori and I may have affectionately nicknamed it "Suck Centre" when we were younger, but, I am excited to see how much of the town I actually remember.

Nerves are setting in though, because I am a chicken.  I was offered some paranormal investigation equipment from my friends at Anoka Paranormal Investigations, a Mel Meter, K2 dealy-ma-bob, something with a lot of lights on it that makes the room look like a cheesy disco or wedding reception...I opted to just borrow a digital recorder.  I figured this way, in case I am so frightened by something and I spill my wine glass, I won't ruin hundreds of dollars of equipment that isn't mine.  Plus, I am going with Christy, who is beginning to hone her medium skills a little more and is really trying to get a untainted and organic read of anything and everything she can while we are there, and without the equipment maybe picking up on something like an electrical current from the outlet or something else that may read as paranormal but is actually quite ordinary and explainable. Also, The Palmer House are no fools and charge people 250 dollars a group to conduct paranormal investigations in their hotel, and if I am going to spend that kind of money there, I'm going to do it at the bar (Lord, I hope I don't...)

I was going to take the time this afternoon and watch a few of the posted video clips of paranormal investigations that were conducted at The Palmer House that are on their website, but I am now thinking "the less I know, the better."  I don't want to say it's pure nerves that are getting the best of me, it's also excitement.  I'm excited to get out of town if only for 24 hours, I'm excited to stay in a historic building in a historic town with two of my favorite people in the world.  I'm excited to see how late I can stay up on Friday night like I'm an eighth-grader at the cool girl's slumber party.  There are so many other things to be excited about on this little excursion than maybe running into a few ghosts.

But, if the ghosts want to hang out with us girls, they are more than welcome to!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Halloween Hottie of the Day

I'm watching Access Hollywood while the girls nap and it's all "Tom and Katie!  Divorce! Scientology, WTF?  Suri's Pretty Cute, Isn't She?!"  Well, thanks to all this media craziness we get to gaze upon the beauty that is Nicole Kidman, the former Mrs. Cruise.

Oh, I love Nicole Kidman!  We share a birthday (different years) and Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite movies of all time, but today, she gets Halloween Hottie status for her turn as sexy-trashy witch Gillian Owens in the movie Practical Magic.  This is a cute little movie based on the book of the same name by Alice Hoffman.  Personally, I recommend the book, but the book has a severe lack of Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing and is completely a different animal from the movie.

Also, Nicole plays the best ghost mother of all time in The Others!  She carriers around so many keys in that movie!

Heck, she could almost be The Halloween Honey!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Confusion Is The Color Of My Energy

I'm sometimes amazed by how stupid I am.  No, wait, that's not fair to me, let me start over.  I am sometimes amazed at how hard it is for me to grasp certain concepts.  Sometimes I think I have a learning disability or something, (I know what you are thinking, "You do have a learning disability, it's called wine."  But I had this same problem when I was a kid too, so neener, neener.)  It mostly happens when I am trying to learn something about math or science.  My brain just shuts down and I immediately start either thinking about something else or get so confused and overwhelmed I feel my thoughts get all jumbled up and then I shut down and start thinking about something else.

The last time this really happened was when I interviewed Paranormal Investigator Ross Beard for the blog post Interview With A Ghost Hunter.  Ross, bless him, thought I was smarter than what I really am, science-understanding-wise.  We got to talking about limestone under the streets of my beloved Anoka, MN.  This was the first time I had ever heard of the so-called "Limestone Theory."  He tried to explain it to me, and asked me if I knew anything about quantum physics.  I refrained from telling him that most of my knowledge on anything "quantum" is Quantum Leap (my favorite episodes were when he had to dress like a lady.)     I am not going to try and explain the Limestone Theory, not because I don't understand it (I kinda do...) it's because I cannot explain it with confidence because I don't feel like I really know what I am talking about, it if that makes sense.  Okay, here are the Roxy Notes: The Limestone Theory is like, okay...like, okay....if water runs over limestone it creates quartz and crystals and traps energy, and that is why some buildings and other locations that are fraught with mostly residual hauntings, it's because the energy is trapped by the earth beneath them.  So, okay, are you with me?  It's okay if your not because I'm not.  I think I am sort of right, but mostly wrong.

I think the Limestone Theory holds a lot of water (pun) when it comes to proving any type of paranormal because it's something that is not easily argued away.  You can't say, "No, there isn't limestone here, limestone doesn't exist!"  It does!

So, anyways, I was talking to my husband Jim today, who often hears me go on and on about how I don't get things, and we started talking about energy.  It's true that once energy is created it doesn't go away, yes?  Then, to put it in broad terms, why isn't the existence of "ghosts" or whatever you want to call that trapped or stuck energy more widely accepted?  If I am energy and my heart stops, my body dies, but my "energy," whatever is propelling me forward through life, doesn't die.  It's still here.  Now, when you say it goes to a different plain of existence, then that is when you get into the religious and spiritual aspect of things, but "scientifically" (is this science?) it would almost have to be common knowledge that that energy that created your life force, your energy, is still around.  Jim made this point, "When you start a fire, it burns up whatever you are burning, then it turns to smoke and goes up into the atmosphere and then it turns into rain or whatever else, it's always evolving and changing, but it's still there."  So, why isn't this the same for human energy, animal energy...am I making any sense?!

The more I think about all of this, the more I feel like I don't think its completely silly to believe in all the ghosts and hauntings and all the other things most people feel like they can explain away.

I woke up with a migraine this morning, you guys, and most of the day I have had that "Uuuuuuuggggghhhh" hang-over-y feeling one gets while recovering from a migraine, so I hope this blog post made sense.  It made sense, right?

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Halloween Honey, Small-Town Author

Qjj?  What the hell?  I just logged onto Blogger today to well, blog, and I see that apparently a blog was posted at 5am that read "Qjj."  So, that's weird.  I did not post that, and I'm not really sure how it got there but I am going to blame myself anyways for letting my 20-month-old daughter play with my iPhone much too much. 

Speaking of my darling offspring, her and I had a wonderful day out today where I forced her to go to her first antique shop ever with the help of my mom!  We went to Antiques On Main in downtown Anoka.  We went there because I have embarked on a quest to collect all the Anoka Halloween buttons I can get my hands on (like Pokemon!  Gotta Catch 'Em All!)

Antiques on Main was a bit of a jackpot for me when I saw this glorious display:

All!  All!  I want it all!  Turns out, none of it was for sale.  Whaaa??  Why would you do such a thing to a person?!  Apparently this collection belongs to Antiques on Main's owner, whose mother used to be a "dealer," was all the information I could get out of the cranky old lady working behind the counter.  A "dealer" of what, I can only assume is Anoka Halloween merchandise, but I'm going to let my imagination run and just say she was a arms dealer who loved Halloween. 

Look at this glorious piece of Anoka Halloween merchandise:

That pennant would look lovely in my home.  Alas, it's not meant to be.

There were a few of the Anoka Halloween buttons for sale that I did buy.  A 2001 and 2002 for fifty cents!  And a 1980 for five dollars.  There was some from the seventies, but I experienced some sticker shock when I saw that they were 25 dollars a pop.  Yikes.  So, I am going to continue my search on The World's Garage Sale, the internet!  And see what I can find, possibly for cheaper.

Here are the ones I purchased today:

You know what really frosts my cookies?  Here is a picture of me from 2006, wearing the Anoka Halloween 2006 button.  Do you think I know where it is?  Of course not:

I got to thinking today though.  I wonder if there is a definitive book on Halloween in Anoka? I doubt there is, because I would have probably known about it and checked it out from the library on several occasions like I did on the bi-centennial edition of the History of Anoka County I have checked out from the library about three times now (I am a super nerd.)  And if such a book doesn't exists, should I write one?  I think I should....

This would be a huge undertaking, which is fine because it is a topic am dorkily crazily interested in (and I secretly think there is more to the story....limestone underneath the streets, surrounded by two rivers and all that...) but it is the nichiest of niche topics.  Who would read it outside of the fine people of Anoka, MN?  Would you read it if you lived outside the state of Minnesota?  Probably not.  Plus, I don't know if what I write would be condoned by the official Halloween Committee since I have heard less-than-favorable things about certain committee members and practices just from around town (small-town bullshit politics are one of my most favorite things EVAH!)

I wonder how much cooperation I would get from the committee and the city if I asked?  I can't possibly be the first person who thought to do this?  Could I be snarky?  Would I want to be snarky?  My love for this topic is pure and untainted, so I think it's safe to say snarkiness would not be required.  Hmmm...I feel this is an idea worth pursuing.  Mayhap I will contact the city.

"The worse they can say is 'no.'"  As my Grandma Betty would say.  But she says this phrase in regards to meeting famous people.  Oh my, I got to hear all about how she met Paul Williams the last time I saw her, o which I said, "Who is Paul Williams?"