Saturday, January 31, 2009

Maker Profile-Jake Von Slatt

Last year, I did an entry on Steampunk, a neat combination of art and fabrication, and a re-imagining of modern contraptions into a Victorian sensibility.

Most agree that Jake Von Slatt is one of the more visible steampunks. I ran across a video featuring him on "Maker."

Gad! I wish I had all those nifty power tools! And the goggles. Must... Have... The... Goggles!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Martha Stewart Halloween or, Just Your Basic Egg Sac

You've seen the title of this blog. It has the words, "Martha Stewart," in it. I want to make one thing perfectly clear:

I don't approve of Martha Stewart. I think she makes the rest of us look bad.

We ordinary men and women, schedules crazed by work and home commitments, don't usually have an army of minions to do our crafts for us. The one or two minions we have access to may even, when asked to help with a project, roll their eyes at us and huff, "Okay. But just for a minute," and do it wrong anyway. So they won't get asked again. And then, they'll ask, "Well, why do you have to do it that way? Wouldn't it be easier to..." And go into a "helpful" explanation that will almost certainly make the project look like it was made in China. By a blind person. With a multiple-personality disorder. And none of the personalities have an I.Q. above, say, 30.

Most of us don't have advertisers funding our projects. Most of us don't have residuals to fatten our bank accounts. (I have to say I was amused to find that the prisoners beat her in a decorating competition. So gratifying.)

This is why I don't approve.

But, sometimes that freakin' overachieving housewife comes up with something kinda cool. Like spider egg sacs.

I have been schlepping around the October 2003 edition of Martha Stewart Living for, um, well, six years. Last year, I tore out the stuff I wanted and pitched the ads. This project caught my eye and looked like it would go pretty quick.

Unfortunately, the website doesn't have the project specs any more, but I do!

Grab your trusty glue gun and your bags of spiders. You need small and medium spiders. Also, go to the Dollar Store or someplace like that and pick up either white stockings (cut off the legs) or white knee-highs. Since Easter is only a couple of months away, there will be styrofoam eggs aplenty available, so pick up a gob of them. You can also use varying sizes of styrofoam balls. Lastly, pick up some white batting from a craft or sewing store.

Take your foam ball or egg and wrap it in the white batting. Pull the stocking leg or knee high over the ball.

Grab your baby spiders and position them inside between the stocking and the batting. Hot glue a bunch of them around the outside. Mix in the large spiders, too. Hang them from the ceiling of your porch with push pins or self-stick hangers.

I did this for my porch last year and hung them up a few days before Halloween. Neighbor V came by to drop off a couple of things for our party. She told me she was startled by the egg sacs at first, then completely creeped out every time she had to go by them. They looked really good at night.

You can see the other parts of the projects here.

Search results for Martha Stewart's Halloween projects here.

For the antidote, go to Gothic Martha Stewart.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Epicurious Halloween Party Ideas

I've been sending Halloween wedding ideas to Creepy Cupcakes today, and thought I'd include this. Forgive me if I've posted this before, but I think I'm starting to get pre-menopausal hormone brain!

Anyway, Epicurious has some great articles and pics for Halloween parties, as well as gorgeous recipes.

I'm really big on planning way in advance, so the expense is spread out over the longest period of time. That's why I love to find these articles in, say, January!


Ball of Sound

I caught this on YouTube and thought that with a few tweaks for outside use, it would be a great speaker arrangement for a yard haunt, hidden away in a bush or behind a gravestone.

Can't wait to make this. In all that spare time I have!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Starting the Good Work

For some reason, starting new creative things puts my mind into a sort of free-association; a thread of thought I can follow easily and that others may get tangled in. Here goes...

Ten years ago, Mrs. ShellHawk, though a different ShellHawk, was married to someone else who was a sculptor. This person was a sort of antidote to my creativity. (No blame here, after all, I let it happen.) I remember picking up his Sculpey one day and making a cute and fat little wizard that really didn't turn out half bad. I didn't bake it, not realizing I should, and it lived on my bookshelf for two days.

I came home on the third day and glanced at the bookshelf. No wizard. I asked him where it went.

He told me he had used it to fix the leak in the pipe under the sink! That it was the only thing around that could be used!

Mind you, there was an OSH at the end of the street that carried as much plumber's putty as anyone could ever want, for about $1.59 a crack. And he had another full box of Sculpey lying around. But no, it had to be my sculpture. I am ashamed to say that the ShellHawk of those days laid down and took it, in order to keep "harmony" in the household.

Later, after I broke myself out of the situation and had lots of counseling, I realized that the man was so desperately insecure as an artist (and a person) that he had to attack other people's art to make himself feel o.k. I remember a very talented artist friend of mine coming over with his portfolio, and the ex telling me after my friend left that his work was terrible. My friend's work has since been displayed in the offices of the Mayor of Los Angeles. Goes to show, huh?

So here I am, years later, with a supportive, wonderful husband (best one I ever had, heh!) and many, many fun experiences under my belt ( I was going to say, "things under my belt," but I know how your mind works), re-starting my artistic life.

So Monday, I had my first "real" working class in my new medium: clay. I am taking a course at the local community college, for credit, where the teacher has only one demand: NO COFFEE CUPS OR ASHTRAYS! I can respect that. My table-mate is an 18-year-old young man who shows a lot of artistic promise, rather like I did at that age. I find myself having to repress any phrase that starts with "When I was your age..." for fear of spouting about "Uphill. In the snow. Both ways."

After class, I came home, had a spot of lunch, then dove into further cleaning the garage (a long story), but had to stop because I suddenly started to feel dizzy. Turned out some decongestant helped knock it back. I woke up yesterday and
still felt a bit dizzy, so I took it easy until I couldn't take it any more. I dragged my art table into the house, draped everything within a ten foot radius with plastic dropcloths, and started making paper mache pumpkins. I even did one layer of a paper skull, too. (Did you know that applying one layer of newspaper to a one foot tall pumpkin takes you through the first hour of Aliens? I found out that it does.) Even as I found myself thinking how glad I was that I could sit down and make these things, I was also thinking I'd start my 22" pumpkin today.

It's hard to explain to people who live in serious snow/winter country that January always feels like spring to me. Even though it's still cold (for California, that is), and it's our rainy season, the incremental lengthening of days makes me feel a lightening of spirit, a thankfulness to be alive, and grateful that I did the work to have the life that has room for creativity, deep love, and growth.

The birds are pairing up now, in preparation for starting their new broods. The bulbs I planted last autumn are coming up and soon will flower. Even though the roses have been given their yearly hard pruning, little shoots are starting to develop. I feel the same way, as if every little creative idea I have will be born and take wing before I know it, because I finally figured out how to lay the foundations for that to happen.

How do you start that kind of life? It's easy.

You just start.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dia De Los Muertos

I have really become inspired by the images of The Day of the Dead, which starts on November 1. I'm looking forward to this theme for the interior of the house for Halloween this year.


And here are a couple my dad took when we went to Olvera Street.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tombstone How-To

I found this nifty tombstone how-to on YouTube. I can't wait to use it!

And some great news for me: I just got my Chinese horoscope for the year. I was born the Year of the Monkey. Check yours out on Yahoo. Happy Year of the Ox, everyone!

(Dear Buddha, Please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket.)

House of Faust


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Moving Eye Painting

I ran across this painting on flickr and asked for some how-to help on it.

I'd love to make one of these for inside the house. Right next to Aunt Grizelda, on the Haunted Memories site. A gallery of odd photos and paintings in the entryway. Hmmm....

Thursday, January 22, 2009


A few years back, Mr. ShellHawk and I took a trip to the June Lake area. June Lake is in California, on the eastern side of the Sierras. We both feel it's one of the most beautiful areas in the state. We stayed at a condo, which we used as our base of operations, and took little day trips from there. We got a lot of fishing done, visited Mono Lake, and took a trip up to Bodie.
Bodie was a mining town in the 1860s, growing rapidly during those years to a population of 10,000. As I understand it, Bodie was inhabited until the 1950s. To my knowledge, Bodie remains the largest unrestored ghost town in California, and perhaps the U.S.

For those of you who are into Gold-Rush-era history, take some time to head to Bodie and walk around a bit. The mine itself is closed now, as it's unsafe, so you can't tour that. What they do have available is a self-tour that's really interesting. We didn't get to Chinatown while we were there, as we were walking around all day and were a bit tired, but I look forward to going again one day. There are a few buildings you can actually go into, but most you can just peek through windows.

Some of these shots I took with my cell phone, so pardon the picture quality. The rest, Mr. ShellHawk took with his Digital Rebel.


Ghosts of Rhyolite

Ghosts of Rhyolite
Originally uploaded by Chris28mm
Imagine running across this late at night.

You might be forced to use this.


Pumpkins at Boston Common

The pumpkins at Boston Common, all 30,128 of them. Yee-ha!

Also, a worthy experiment on pumpkin preservation. What works best? See it here, at

Lastly, pumpkin murder by hippos. Shocking! And the giggling in the background. Scandalous!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Halloween in January

Non-haunters who know me ask politely how the plan is coming for Halloween. I tell them it's coming along. I may have mentioned that Mr. ShellHawk and I were at a friend's for dinner and I was asked the follow-up question that often comes from the man of the house: "Did you plan your wedding like this, too?"

Of course the answer is yes. Both Halloween and weddings require maximum planning, so things will go as right as they can on the big day. (Halloween is actually better, I think, because you can put the decorations out a month in advance and almost forget about them until the week of Halloween.)

I think the Military should contact a hard-core Haunter or two the next time they need to plan manoeuvres in an urban setting. But I digress.

I joined the northern California chapter of CalHaunts (tag line: "If You Build It, They Will Scream." Catchy, huh?) at the beginning of the month, so I could have some fun time with people whose eyes don't glaze when I start talking about my plans for Haunt 2009. We had our first meeting last weekend, and I walked away with a brand new gravestone popper that we constructed at the make and take, and the very peaceful feeling of belonging somewhere. Everyone was very kind, and helped me through my power-tool challenges. I made it through with all my fingers, and that's always a good day in my book. I also am learning about animatronics, which was something I had planned to do in that nebulous, "someday," we all dream about, and I am happy that someday is now.

I'm on the waiting list for a clay sculpture class at the college (wal
king distance, no less!), and today is day one. I plan to go and hang out, and hopefully there will have been a few people who have dropped out of the class. I'm really looking forward to it, to further my fine art and for Halloween art, as well. I feel very fortunate that I have this opportunity available to me!

Finally, I was on HauntForum the other day, discussing the sad loss of certain Halloween traditions we had as kids. Some folks had the costume parade (I did!), and most dressed up for Halloween at school. We all know Halloween has been under attack by various groups intent on sanitizing the holiday for the "benefit and safety of the children." Some cite the urban legend of candy poisoning as a reason to stop trick-or-treating and take the kids to a city-run party instead.

I wondered where this rumor of cyanide and razor blades had started, so I went to Snopes to do a little research. Of course, the rumor was FALSE! Amazing how much we believe without checking facts ourselves... Essentially, one child was poisoned by his dad for insurance money, and the dad tried to make it look like a random act. Snopes also has numerous other cases listed of police and media overreaction to the tragic deaths of some children around the holiday, but having nothing to do with poisoned Halloween candy.

So the next time your church or school tries to abolish trick-or-treating, send them the link to the Snopes article, and hit the streets.

I hear you can still get Pop Rocks with a soda at some places...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enviously Green : Kawasaki-Halloween 2006

In response to the ever-more-lame and thoughtless costumes we are seeing at Halloween, here is someone who obviously put some effort into it!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

RIP Alan Hirano

The Rev. Carl Roberts, left, Alan Hirano, on bass, right. Photo: Sherri Miranda

Bass player and friend of Mr. and Mrs. ShellHawk, Alan Hirano, passed away in his sleep on January 14th, 2009, after a long struggle with numerous health issues. On his MySpace page, he claimed to have been 102. If so, he looked fabulous for his age.

You have probably never heard of Alan Hirano, but chances are, you have heard him. Alan played bass since childhood, and had his first paid recording gig at Capitol records when he was 16 years old. Alan has played with many of the greats, such as B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, Billy Preston, John Mayall and Ronnie Mack.

Alan and I met when I was at a pub in Santa Monica and he was playing bass with his soul band, The Samurai Homeboys. Alan found out I had managed an Irish band he knew and asked if I could help with booking his band. I agreed, and we developed a partnership and a friendship that I will treasure always.

When I mentioned to Alan I was getting married to Mr. ShellHawk, and asked for his help in writing a song as a gift for him, Alan agreed. Over the next few months we worked together on the project, The Waterfall and the Man, eventually bringing the Homeboys in to record their various parts. Alan and The Homeboys really internalized the feeling I wanted this song to convey to Mr. ShellHawk, and it showed on the final recording.

Alan treated the song as his baby from the moment I placed the words in his hands, and although I had no experience in songwriting, he always made me feel as though my song was as important as any on the Top 10 at Rolling Stone. Sometimes it didn't seem like the inanimate objects we worked with wanted to cooperate, but Alan's legendary sense of humor kept all of us going. My friend Nancy and Mr. ShellHawk's best man, Brian, recorded their vocals at the Samurai Village Studios in Chatsworth, California. All the while, the project was kept secret from Mr. ShellHawk until its unveiling as his wedding present at our wedding reception. The Samurai Homeboys played it for the first time in front of an audience, Alan's bass keeping time. It was a moment I'll never forget.

Alan and I maintained contact, even after I moved away and was no longer able to give The Samurai Homeboys the attention they deserved. As I ran across different avenues to promote his band, I'd email him or call, and he was always glad to hear from me and find out I still had him and his brainchild on my mind. Alan was also a producer on other bands' albums, and would sometimes send me a song or two to get some outside input. I don't mention this to aggrandize myself; Alan lived and breathed music, and strived to make every song its absolute best.

Alan is survived by the people whose lives he touched so deeply, and I am proud to call myself one of them. He will be deeply missed by us all.
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ideas Are Percolating

The last few months have been interesting for me. I got laid off in early October, which was convenient at the time because of my frantic drive to get Stewie and his little brothers done for Halloween. Of course, losing the money wasn't so convenient, as it makes the Halloween (and yes, the mundane) budget a little tighter. Fortunately Mr. ShellHawk has a job that pays well, and he's told me that he's really o.k. with me not working. So this has given me time to catch up on a number of lingering, time-consuming things around the house, and has also allowed me to spend some time each day on creative things. (Between looking for work and taking care of the house, Mr. ShellHawk, and our dogs.)

This blog is really the first daily creative thing I do. In my heart, I am a writer first, and all my other creative urges flow from that one thing. I've read and practiced Julia Cameron's The
Artist's Way, although nowadays I do it in fits and starts. One of the things she talks about is writing three pages, longhand, every morning. The pages don't have to be about anything spectacular. Just write what's on your mind without filters or judgement. I did this for at least three years, on college-ruled paper. You can imagine how much paper that wound up being. I called it my brain barf, and it really helped me to clear out some of what was blocking my creativity. Then my brain, my creative brain, went into overdrive and I was writing songs (one of which I gave to Mr. ShellHawk as a wedding gift, played by The Samurai Homeboys at our wedding.), poetry, and drawing again.

Now that my mind is back in hyperdrive, and my focus has changed somewhat to three-dimensional art, Halloween ideas are flowing like the flood attraction in the old Universal Studios park.

Initially I thought I would do a Headless Horseman and horse for this year's haunt. While this concept still interests me, it occurs to me that this won't get me creating something new, something distinct. Any artist develops their own style over a period of time, and you can tell by looking who did what piece of art you may be looking at. Take Pumpkin Rot, Spooky Blue, and Stolloween, for instance. All three have very distinctive styles, although they all use similar materials.

I also didn't have a name for my haunt. All of us Halloween geeks seem to have one, and I'
ve been kicking some ideas around about the name. Of course, when I pick a name, the theme will have to flow from there, which kicks a number of nifty creative ideas into gear for me. I'll let you know soon about the name, as I'll have to pick soon to have enough time to build.

One thing I'm pretty sure I've decided is to do a Dia de los Muertos theme for the inside of the house this year. It's bright and festive (although neighbor V argues that skeletons are NOT FESTIVE, we agree to disagree on this one), and I'll invite the partygoers to bring pictures of their honored dead to place on the altar I plan to make of my fireplace. I bought a Dia de los Muertos craft book that I'm looking forward to diving into in order to make this happen, and the next time I visit the folks in L.A., I'll head downtown to Olvera Street to purloin ideas.

This, of course, after I finish painting my home office and writing my children's book. Maybe it'll be during...

Yes, indeed, the creative brain is in overdrive right now. It'll be interesting to see what new things will come of this!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hungry Pumpkin

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Changeling

I love a good ghost story. A cold winter night, curled up on the couch with a glass of wine and my sweetie, getting chills from a movie I've seen several times over the years and finally bought for my collection.

Ghost stories, the really good ones, share that element of unfinished business, of the ghost demanding justice of their slow-witted and disbelieving (sometimes terrified and unwilling) human servant. Relentless. Unforgiving. Righteous. Even so, brush aside their uncanny nature, and ghosts are, in a sense, the most sympathetic character you can create.

The Changeling (1980), starring George C. Scott as John Russell, is one of the really good ones. After his wife and daughter are killed on the side of a snowy road, Russell moves to Seattle to teach music at his old college and to lick his wounds. Through a new acquaintance, Claire Norman of the Historical Preservation Society, (played by real-life wife Trish Van Devere) he secures a lovely Victorian mansion to live in. It's furnished with everything he could ever need, including a piano to compose on. And, we all know, an invisible resident. Over the next few days, Russell is awakened by a loud pounding noise at exactly 6:00 AM, and you all know what that means.

Russell begins to have visions of past events that have occurred in the house, the most vivid being that of a little boy being murdered by his father.

I'm really not kidding when I say this movie still gives me chills. There is no gore, but there is a skilled building of tension that neatly replaces the shock value of any bloody beheading. Scott's performance is masterful, particularly in the moment he shouts at the ghost: "What is it you want from me?"

Rent this movie, make some popcorn, and put your arm around your sweetie when you hit, "Play." You'll need someone to hide your eyes behind.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What to Do With Your Home Cannon or Trebuchet

Proof that you really can have too much time on your hands.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Midnight Syndicate

As I was tootling around the website last year looking for scary things as I was waking up, I came across a few groups who cater to the haunt/Goth community. I bought two, one from another group, and one from Midnight Syndicate. The CDs arrived a few days later, and I ripped off the plastic on both and popped them in my garage's cheapie CD player.

The first one was o.k. Moody, scary to a point. Pretty good. When the disc ended, I took off my latex gloves (I was elbow-deep in carpet glue, constructing Stewie, at the time) and I put in Midnight Syndicate's The 13th Hour as I read the back cover. Founded by Edward Douglas, Midnight Syndicate includes the talents of his co-composer, Gavin Goszka. I was blown away.

I'm sure all you haunters have known about this group for ages, and have used their music to enhance the dark settings of your haunts. But ShellHawk has pointed out previously that she misses a lot of what's going on in the outside world, hasn't she?

I listened to this album several times over the next few days,
its orchestral heartbeat sometimes my only companion in The Garage of Doom as I was building Stewie. A neighbor wandered in one very hot afternoon as I was listening and building, and commented on the dark sound emanating from my Big Lots Special CD player.

"Wow," he said, "That sure sounds sinister."

"Oh. Yeah," I replied nonchalantly, not telling him this was the eighth listen. "I'm vetting some music for the display."

"You must have some really weird dreams," he joked.

I just smiled, thinking, "You don't know the half of it."

Since then, The 13th Hour has been joined by other albums by Midnight Syndicate, the latest one being The Dead Matter: Cemetary Gates.

In researching for this post, I was delighted to discover this latest offering from the group is from a real movie soundtrack, the release slated for sometime this year.

Starring Andrew Divoff and my own favorite, Tom Savini, this zombie/vampire movie trailer looks promising. One of the co-producers is Robert Kurtzman of From Dusk Till Dawn fame, so you know you're in for a chilling ride of gore and violence.

Find recent interviews here at Fearnet, and at Fangoria, here.

In reading over the info on their latest offering, I was pleased to find that this movie project is a re-make of a movie Douglas had made for a whopping $2000. I've always felt that movies did not have to be expensive to be good, that the story is what should carry the movie. If the movie lives up to the soundtrack, it should be a heartstopper, indeed!

Check out the group's bio here, as they say it better than I could.

Monday, January 12, 2009


When ShellHawk was but a young'un, her one acceptable Halloween outlet was her Halloween parties. Mom severely restricted party attendance at first ("Only six people!" she ordered the first year.), but as I got into high school and my hormones demanded defiance of all authority figures, that number grew. By my senior year, the word had gotten out that ShellHawk's parents would let everyone watch slasher films on video, and the attendance on that party shot up to 70. I had a friend who would read people's fortunes on his Tarot card deck, and when my parents disappeared into their bedroom to watch t.v. and pray their furniture would survive the teenage onslaught, the tapes would slide into the VCR and the screams would start.

I ran into a friend from this time period. He was a fixture at these parties, and was mostly there for the movies. By the time I ran into him, he was in the entertainment industry in L.A., doing goodness knows what. He thanked me for turning him on to Phantasm, which remains to this day his favorite horror film.

You can get to the official website here.

I don't know about you, but the thing that freaked me out the most were those nasty little spheres, flying around and drilling into people's foreheads. Trivia according to IMDB: The walls of the Mausoleum were plywood and marble colored plastic contact paper. For those of us haunters who are budget-challenged this year, that little factoid gives hope.

Made in 1979 for $300k, it still scares me. It has spawned four movies so far. Not bad for a movie whose big bad guy says only, "Boy," in a menacing voice.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Haunted Hearse

In my deep visualization/meditation of how it will feel to take home a measly $25 million from the California Lottery, I have a fantasy.

I help my parents out with a home remodel, after we pay the last of our debts and set up our finances so that all the money isn't gone in a year, after we donate to charity, there is my pro haunt, which will also raise money for charity.

will be an indoor/outdoor haunt. It will be a cemetery, attached to a mausoleum. And there will be a hearse. An old, Victorian-style hearse, pulled by two black horses decked out in appropriate funeral tack through the streets in the hour before sunset. Silent, but for the sound of the clop-clop of horses' hooves on the pavement, and the sound of the casket within twitching and kicking, its tenant not dead yet. A ghostly driver, scanning the crowd for his next passenger. The light glints redly off the etched glass of the hearse as the sun flames a last time on the horizon and dies, just as it turns up the driveway and starts the final leg of its journey towards the mausoleum.

Scare Factory has done a masterful job on this design.

Hearse (wholesale, before 5/1/09): $7985.
Deluxe Golden Casket: $895.
Dancing Casket Rig: $495.
Terrorizing for charity: Priceless

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Makeup FX

Found this series of videos on YouTube. If you want to do some good makeup effects on the cheap, you might want to check out this series. While it is pretty fast-moving, you can follow along relatively easily.

And here's a fast, cheap, fog chiller. The only thing to keep in mind is that you really shouldn't put the pipe with the ice right up against your fog machine for safety reasons.

I used Froggy's Fog Swamp Juice for my two 1700 watt fog machines this year. I loved it! Totally worth the price, and I have plenty left over for this year. I was looking at some fog juice recipies on Google in order to maybe save some money, and honestly, I didn't trust them not to be toxic. Paying for pro fog juice makes me feel like I'm not gassing my TOTs to death or causing them horrible respiratory disease.

Lastly, from this same series, is a cheap zombie makeup effect.

I'm glad I found this series early in the year so I can take advantage of the techniques shown. I find it's easier to plan a haunt out way in advance so you don't wind up having to spend all your money for your effects at the same time, and you have plenty of time to troll Goodwill and sales for your stuff.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A CAT? The blog is written by A CAT?

As I sat on my parents' couch over the Holidays, surfing the 'net on my laptop, I went to the site to search for other Halloween blogs. I made a horrifying discovery.

A cat's blog was rated higher than mine.

Yes, my friends. A C-A-T. By a freaking editor at Blogged. (Don't they realize that cats can't even type?)

I like to think that my ego isn't huge, but, dear readers, I find myself undone by this turn of events.

A stinking cat, named "Halloween," of all things. The blog has nothing to do with Halloween. At All. Hey, I do like cats and have even owned two, but the cat a better blogger? Holy goodnight!

I can understand being rated below the chick with the naked witch artwork. I accept that my blog is probably not sexy to non-haunters. I can understand being rated below HauntStyle, 'cause that blog is fabulous (a word, by the way, I got fired for saying, but I digress...) and has lots of great content to pore over. Creepy Cupcakes outranks mine as well, and that's great. Again, really good content, well written, imaginative. I am 100% o.k. with my rating in comparison to theirs.

But a "cat that showed up in my people's back yard"? I tell you, the madness nevah ends! I mean, is this what America has come to? Pathetic! (Mr. ShellHawk suggested I write this entry in Stewie's voice, ending with, "If you liked this, then please go vote for the stupid cat." I couldn't bring myself to do it, and Stewie's language has yet to be translated.)

I think of all of us Halloween bloggers who work so hard to find cool things to post about our subject. The how-tos of our projects. The research and time that goes into each lovingly crafted post. The struggle with grammar. All of us bested by a cat. It's just wrong on so many levels.

I suppose I've found my New Year's resolution: I just want to be better than the gorram cat.