Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cooking up Breaking Bad for Halloween

My husband asked me to take him shopping the other day. Believe it or not, that never happens. We shop differently. He goes to the hardware store and comes out empty-handed. I go to the mall and buy everything. But this time, he wanted me to come along because he wanted my opinion -- another first.
"I need makeup," he said, as we headed out the door.
Oookay. What could he possibly need makeup for? To cover up the scratches in the kitchen table? Don't they have something at the hardware store for that?
"And I need it to match my skin tone," he continued.
Then it dawned on me. We'd recently been invited to a Halloween party and he was planning his costume. At least, I hoped that was it.
I haven't been to a Halloween party since I was young and thin enough to fit into a French maid costume. There's no way I can wear any of those sexy outfits as a middle-aged woman. First of all, they wouldn't fit around my middle-aged fat. And secondly, no one wants to see my sun-spotted skin, thunder thighs and beer/wine/coffee gut protruding out from that skimpy material. There will be no more Naughty Nurse, Bawdy Barmaid or Pretty Princess costumes for me. Now, if you want a hospital custodian, drunken old sot or weight-challenged witch, call me.
"So what are you planning to wear to this Halloween party?" I asked, worried he might be thinking of going as a Naughty Nurse, Bawdy Barmaid or Pretty Princess.
"A Meth Dealer." That made complete sense. We've been so caught up in marathon viewings of "Breaking Bad," it seems like Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are part of the family. As for the meth part, we're not sure what that is exactly. Probably some kind of metaphor for life.
"I've got the baldhead cap," my husband said, "but I need it to blend into my skin so it looks real."
"I see," I said. "As for the rest of the costume, you're not planning to go in your tighty whiteys like Walter White, are you? Because there's no way I'm going out in public with you in your underwear."
"Fine," he said, channeling his character. "I'll wear pants."
"So," I said, "if you're going to be Mr. White, the chemistry-teacher-turned meth-cook, do you want me to go as his beautiful wife?" 
"I was thinking you'd be Jesse Pinkman, Walter White's assistant." What? He expected me to wear baggy, low-slung jeans with my boxers showing, a T-shirt that says, "Yo, Witch!" (edited for the family newspaper), an oversized hoodie and a knitted stocking cap? Works for me. Hopefully no one will recognize me.
Tom is totally into this costume. In fact, he plans to "cook" his own blue crystal candy (he got the recipe on The Food Network site.) I just hope there are no DEA agents there, or we may have to call Saul to bail us out of jail.
Oh well. It's only for a few hours, right? Then we can go home, eat a bunch of leftover Halloween candy and watch the last episode of the best TV show ever: "Breaking Bad."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Want to see something really scary?

I love scary movies. When October rolls around, I turn on the Chiller, SyFy and FX channels and record every movie that offers a thrill.

It doesn't matter what kind of scary movie -- teen slashers at haunted camps, mutant bugs the size of Godzilla, creepy clowns that come to life when no one else is looking, marine mammals that turn into tornadoes. I even like the old black-and-white classics when Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman at Dracula's Castle (with or without Abbot and Costello.)

As a kid, I was scared of everything. The dark. Boogeymen. Spiders. Even the Tooth Fairy gave me the creeps, sneaking into my room in the middle of the night. How did she know where I lived? How did she know I'd lost a tooth? How much did she know about my hidden treasures?

Back then I never watched scary movies. When I was in fifth grade, all my friends at the slumber party had seen "The Blob" -- that scary movie in which Steve McQueen and his teen pals stumble upon a gooey sticky substance that begins devouring everyone in sight. I got nightmares just looking at the movie poster.

When I was in high school, I took my little brother to see "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The House of Usher," but I spent most of the time in the well-lit lobby, pretending to buy popcorn. I was probably the last one to see "The Exorcist," terrified I'd find myself possessed by the devil.

So now I'm catching up on everything I missed. My TiVo is filled with zombies (undead, walkers, breathers, brain-eaters), ghosts (spirits, phantoms, apparitions), witches (pagans, wiccans, warlocks), spiritualists (voodoo queens, tarot readers, fortunetellers) and other paranormal activities. I'm looking forward to watching things that come out of the swamps and chase you, things that swoop down from the sky and pick you up and things that hide under the bed and grab your feet. I'll be eating them up like popcorn.

But as fearless as I've become over the years, there's one thing that scares me more than any of these so-called scary movies. Something scarier than any sharknado-crocsaurus-chupacabra-mutant beast combined: floating around in space.
Alone. Untethered. And running out of air.

Yep, I just saw "Gravity," the Sandra Bullock/George Clooney movie. In high-resolution Imax (10 times larger!), 3-D (be a part of the experience!), with digitally remastered sound (feel the vibrations in your bones!) Big mistake.

I haven't been to a movie like this since Ben-Hur came out in Technicolor. Not only did I hold my breath the entire 90 minutes of the film (like Sandra Bullock's character, who didn't even find someone to buddy-breathe with), but I was so tense trying to help Sandra grab onto the side of the space station, I had a knot in my neck the size of a lunar module. That movie scared the spacesuit off me.

Now I'm back to watching plain old horror movies on my plain old flat-screen TV.

Today's lineup: "Halloween," "Halloween II: The Sequel, Duh," "Halloween III: The Return of Michael Myers," "Halloween IV: The Revenge of Jamie Lee Curtis," "Halloween V: The Curse of Freddy Kruger," "Halloween VI: The Resurrection of John Carpenter's Career," and "Halloween The Thirteenth: With Abbott and Costello."

I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Check your spam for important news!

Like most computer uses, I have a built-in spam filter. Every now and then I check it to make sure I haven't missed anything important, such as a receipt for a purchase, a letter from a reader or a diagnosis from my doctor.

I hadn't done this in several months, so I took a day off from work to read through my spam and see if that check from Publisher's Clearinghouse had somehow ended up there. No such luck. But I did find lots of emails waiting for me that I thought were just as important. If I hadn't checked, I would have missed the following:

Dr. Oz Weight Loss Reveal. Boy do I need this. If famous Dr. Oz wants to reveal weight loss information to me personally, I must really need it.

Urgent Message from Mongolia. Doesn't "spam" know that the word "urgent" means I need to see this message right away? Especially one from Mongolia. Maybe a dear friend is stuck there and has lost her luggage and passport and all her money and needs me to send her a sympathy card.

"Girl" Finder. I can't print the actual word that was used instead of "girl," but suffice it to say, I'm not looking for a date at this time. Maybe later.

Eighty percent-off Viagra. Eighty percent off! I can't pass up a deal like that, even for a product I don't really need. Now if only they had 80 percent off Breathe Right strips. My husband could use those.

Learn Your Credit Score. I'm going to pass on this one. The less I know, the better. I plan to continue using my Visa as if there is no tomorrow.

Earn Your Degree. Who wouldn't want another degree in this economic climate? I'd like to get my doctorate in massage therapy or cooking. And a degree in liberal studies would certainly come in handy.

Congratulations Dear Lucky Winner! Finally! I've never won anything in my life before this! I wonder what I won. A new car? A vacation in Hawaii? A ShamWow? Can't wait! All I have to do is send them a check to let them know I really want this.

The Very Worst Food You Can Eat! I'm not sure I want to know. I've eaten a lot of junk over the years, so it's probably too late. Especially if chocolate and cupcakes and cookies are on the list. Delete.

Luxury replica watches! No one wears a watch anymore, now that we have smart phones that tell us the time, remind us to take our meds, and wake us up in the morning. But I'd like to buy a bunch of fake Rolexes and give them as gifts to older people.

Dr. Oz Fat Buster -- Drew Barrymore lost 24 lbs. Another one from the TV doctor! I love how Dr. Oz has taken a personal interest in me with all these emails. And I could really use a Fat Buster, since I look a lot like Drew Barrymore when she was 24 pounds.

These so-called spams are just the tip of the iceberg. I have so many more to read to make my life better. Time's a-wasting, according to my new fake Rolex.