Halloween and the Giant Skull Head Mushroom Monster Mash

This Halloween too much sugar and a graveyard bash with Dracula could be a pain in the neck at my house. What really irks me about Halloween is all of the sugar we let our kids eat.  Teachers give kids candy at school. helloween-1021366_640 They get it at Halloween parades and carnivals.  candy-corn-1726481_640 In our neighborhood, we even pre-game with parties where  kids load up on the candy and cupcakes  before they even start trick-or-treating.  I’m a dentist’s daughter and Dad always said nothing good comes of eating candy.

The tell-tale signs of too much candy consumption aren’t hard to miss. By now, you’ve probably all seen the anti gravity video for the song “Upside Down & Inside Out” by the rock band OK Go.  It was a single released on their fourth studio album, Hungry Ghosts.  You can watch it here.

This year Halloween falls on a school night.  I think that stinks too.pumpkin-958251_640 A lawmaker in  Connecticut tried to get Halloween moved to the last Saturday in October when it would be more convenient but people thought he would upset tradition.  dog-714861_640Many believe Halloween is rooted in a holiday started by the Celts.  I’m not talking about the Boston Celtics basketball team.  I’m referring to Celtic tribes 2,000 years ago in what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France. They would  light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off the dead they believed  returned to earth on  Samhain,  a Pagan festival celebrated on October 31.  img_0970I’m beginning to wonder if they might have been on to something  thinking about the skull head mushroom that is haunting my backyard.


Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA 2016.  Pictured are Frankenstein’s Monster, left, Dracula, my husband, and The Mummy.

It’s very creepy  and emerged from the ground  just in time for Halloween.   I’m beginning to fear that the skull will do the  “Monster Mash” on my lawn with other ghosts, ghouls and goblins.img_1097  My husband, who loves hanging out with monsters,  says he’s stocking up on  Killer Bloody Marys with a Skull garnish  for the graveyard bash.  He’s having trouble though figuring out how many guests to prepare for since there is no guest list.img_0995

His toast for all the uninvited guests will be:”Rest in pieces.”



Monkey See, Monkey Do: How To Be Role Models for Our Kids

We tell our children not to lie or their noses will grow like Pinocchio. The puppet’s creator Italian author Carlo Collodi, who died in 1890, was a writer and social commentator. He was steeped in an 18th century Italian culture where marionette plays helped teach kids right from wrong.  There are some who believe his children’s story about a naughty puppet had a powerful social message. pinocchio-1193969_640In the original story, Pinocchio’s carpenter father lies, and then so does his puppet son.

One of my kids is getting confirmed this year. The reverend told parents that we need to model the behavior we want to see in our kids. He said that if  we don’t want our kids to drink, take drugs or smoke, then parents shouldn’t do so either.  It’s the old motto:”Monkey see, monkey do.  I couldn’t agree more.  Which brings us to the case of a chain-smoking chimp who learned how to do it from his trainer.   The video is going viral.  You can watch it here.


My advice to parents is to stop mucking around. pinocchio-595732_640-1 Children have a memory of what we do that is longer than Pinocchio’s nose.

Save Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers Before the Wicked Witch’s Hourglass Runs Out

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is heading down the Yellow Brick Road on a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to conserve  Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers.  The Smithsonian is asking the public to help save the slippers, trying to raise $300,000. Over half of the money needed has already been raised in two days.  Judy Garland wore the slippers in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.           


Courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

Museum spokesperson Melinda Machado tells me that the slippers have “wear and tear and fading over time you’d expect for something which has been so cherished by the public.” 4e1309997b3410a8e7e02c982c676a68_original

She said the slippers have been damaged by light and need to be restored and preserved in a new state-of-the-art display case.  She said that an anonymous donor bought them at an auction and gave them to the Smithsonian in 1979.  Aside  from cleaning them and briefly loaning them out to places like the Victoria and Albert Museum in England and to Oprah Winfrey’s Show, Machado says this national treasure has been on  continuous display in the American Stories exhibit at the museum.

Kickstarter is a third-party online funding platform where the goal must be met within 30 days.   The launch began on October 17th.  If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, Kickstarter says backers’ credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding  is all-or-nothing.  If the goal is exceeded, the museum will use the extra funding for outreach and educational programs.

The public can back the project on the Kickstarter page, si.edu/kickstarter .  The campaign ends Nov. 16.39c4d0fd73afb878350564ab83deebd5_original

In 2018 the slippers will be moved to a new pop culture exhibit tentatively called On With the Show along with American treasures such as Muhammad Ali’s training robe, Jim Henson’s Muppets, John Coltrane’s saxophone, R2-D2 from Star Wars.

dolls-373469_640-1Another campaign is raising money for other iconic treasures to be displayed at the National Over the Hill Museum in Palm Beach, Florida.  These items  include my bubble cap, stretchy pants and retired flip phone.  So far $1.50 has been raised that was pledged by my mother.

the-wizard-of-oz-516687_960_720You can follow the Ruby Slippers campaign on social media using the hashtag #KeepThemRuby. Tony Award-winning Broadway costume designer William Ivey Long  has created an exclusive, custom Ruby Slippers design for many of the rewards given to project backers.  These include rewards for contributions from $10 to $100, including digital and printed posters, a decal, tote bag and t-shirt.  Long will sign and “hand-glitterize” posters at the $500 reward level. Other rewards include a custom hand-sewn replica pair of the Ruby Slippers by Randy Struthers, and a behind-the-scenes look  at the Ruby Slippers at the museum.

You Better Pass on the Crumpets and Prune Juice

If you want to fudge about  your age, it’s not just sitting and knitting that will give you away.  Pass on breakfast.crumpets-1385193_1280

BuzzFeed  says that what you eat for breakfast gives your age away.  They even have a test you can take here.

I took the Buzzfeed test and my choices reveal that I’m 24 years old.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-10-05-11-amcereal-635741_640Even though Ovaltine and Raisin Bran weren’t on the menu, I found this result very surprising for someone who is over the hill.  The test told me that I like convenience.  If eating a convenient breakfast is actually making me younger, maybe I should head over to a fast food place.   McDonald says it’s serving breakfast all day.  So if I eat a savory sausage, egg and cheese McGriddles at midnight while watching The Late Show, I may be able to hold off on the cold cream.

A fisheye image of a woman dressed for a beach vacation guzzling a fancy cocktail.

If that doesn’t do the trick, tossing out the OJ and having a Ponce de Leon cocktail may help me find the Fountain of Youth.