When I first started writing this blog, I went all over the web looking for advice on how to make it successful (honestly, how to make some money off it…). One of the many sites I researched advised against making the blog too much about current events, as once the event is no longer current, the entries become dated; and outside of high school kids trolling the internet for a paper to plagiarize, those entries would ultimately go the way of the Dodo. So I’ve always tried to put up posts that were timeless, stuff that would have some validity and meaning when read by people 200 years from now. Posts that would continue to ring up that 37¢ per week in Google Adsense cash for years to come. Yeah, right. My blog is about as “timeless” as Flava-Flav.
That being said, there was a current event this past month that I feel bears mentioning, as it could almost be considered timeless. I’m talking, of course, about the Giants winning their first World Series in 58 years.
I spent many summers of my youth listening to games on my Dad’s little Motorola transistor radio in the backyard; and then listening to him curse at it when the voices of Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges relayed the bad news of yet another Giants’ disappointment. Sometimes those curses and disappointments came as early as the last day of school, with the annual occurrence of the “June Swoon” wherein the Giants would drop precipitously in the standings for no apparent reason. Some years the euphoria would last until late August; or in the very rare year, into a late-September first-round playoff loss. After 40-plus years of this I think it’s safe to say that my Dad and I have more than paid our dues as loyal fans. Many people would jump ship over to the A’s during those years, as they were the closest thing to a winner that could be found. But for me, it was always the Giants. They were like your family dog: maybe he has gotten old, and a little fat; maybe he’s a flea-scratching, bag-o-bones that doesn’t see so good or fetch so good, and at times smells pretty bad. But he’s YOUR dog, no matter what. This year October brought the good times, finally, for we Orange and Black Faithful; and it was somewhat spooky that on the Orange and Black Holiday, the Orange and Black Team was still alive and kicking.
Halloween is my second favorite Holiday, after Thanksgiving. Both have less societal pressure to consume (shop) attached, so you can enjoy yourself without going into debt for the first eight months of the coming year; and both have their observances centered around eating and partying. Thanksgiving gets the 1st Place nod (tryptophan pun intended) in the Holiday Standings because of two things: more food choices than just candy, and football. Having the Giants still alive added a welcome, if somewhat disorienting and distracting, sports component to Halloween this year.
One other thing puts Halloween high on the list: spooky movies on TV, in abundance. When I was a kid I was the first in line for the new Dr. Fibes movie, or any cheesy vampire flick with Christopher Lee; but these days, I’m not so big on the slasher-movies until Halloween. Plus, I am a choosey about my gore. I am all about the Classics.
But this year, whenever I saw Halloween, Night of The Living Dead, or Psycho was on, I’d tune in, only to find the more recent, CGI-enhanced re-makes being shown instead of the originals. It seems that about 20 years ago, Hollywood ran out of original ways to kill busty Co-Eds in cut-off jeans, so they just started making the old movies over again. Technically perfect special-effects gore is just not the same as the terror that builds up while Mike Myers slowly shuffles toward Jamie Lee Curtis, hiding in the closet with that coat hanger, ready to skewer his eye like a Stay-Puft at a campfire.
Fortunately for me, this year Halloween was the premiere of “The Walking Dead” on AMC. I am a huge fan of AMC: Madmen, Breaking Bad, Rubicon, etc., all get Tivo-ed at our house. The Walking Dead looked quite promising in its promos, and had the added interest of being filmed here in Atlanta (the running joke is that they didn’t need any Extras for the scenes of Zombies shuffling around Centennial Park downtown, they just used the crackheads already in residence); but due to the scheduling conflict presented by the once-in-a-lifetime World Series featuring Your San Francisco Giants, I would have to wait until Monday morning to see it.
So the next morning, after the wife and daughter head off for work and school at 7:30am, I grab my coffee and fire up the DVR. Once again, AMC did not disappoint. The excellent production values, acting, directing, and script made the first episode truly frightening. If it hadn’t been for the full light of day outside, I would have been going through the house turning on every available light. It was that good.
Trying to compose myself, I tuned off the TV and started going about my house-husband duties, when suddenly our dog starts barking at the front door. This is a regular occurrence that usually solicits no more severe a response from me than a “Shut up”, as there is never anything to really be barking at. Unless you count blowing leaves or the mailman arriving at the curb. But Maya was insistent, standing by the door barking and snarling, so I started to get nervous. H-m-m-m… I sidle silently up to our front door to investigate, halfway laughing at myself for being so spooked and halfway worried that the lack of lights on and no car in the driveway had someone seriously contemplating a daytime burglary. As I neared the door, some motion near the front room windows caught my attention. Someone was OUT THERE!! Now I truly am frightened as nobody had knocked or rung the bell, and I can barely summon up the nerve to look out the small window in our door (cue the music from Psycho: “REE-REE-REE-REE!!”). I look out, and nearly jump out of my skin when I see two people standing on the porch, looking back: Jehovah’s Witnesses. With copies of The Watchtower in hand, these two 70-something ladies had been waiting, contemplating a knock at a silent, apparently unoccupied house. They took a last look, decided there was no one home, and shuffled off; and I collapsed onto the couch, trembling with the adrenalin rush of surviving a Zombie attack of a different sort.
Gotta wrap up this tale of abject terror as the Giants Victory Parade is coming on TV, and I think I hear some Mormon Missionaries shuffling around in my basement. REE-REE-REE-REE!!!