Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Failed Scary Pumpkinhead Dude and Other Halloween Musings

After I saw a Buzzfeed feature on old Halloween postcards featuring pumpkin-headed people, I was inspired, in the tradition of my previous holiday artwork, to use my limited computer graphics resources to draw a scary pumpkin dude.  

I had a terrible time drawing it, and what I ended up with was less of a scary pumpkin dude and more of a lame and uncertain pumpkin dude.  I think that my biggest mistake was trying to give him an evil smile, rather than an angry frown.  Also his bodily proportions look wrong somehow.  

He carries a glaive, which is intended to make him more scary. (Also he wears a broad-brimmed pumpkin hat.) The glaive is a Medieval polearm weapon; like many polearms, it was developed from a farming tool.  This agricultural connection reinforces the concept of the pumpkinhead as a scarecrow-type figure come to life.  We are, however, on shaky ground in combining the glaive and the pumpkin, because the glaive was a weapon of Medieval Europe, whereas the pumpkin originated in North America, and was unknown in Medieval Europe.  But then, we are on shaky ground in accepting the existence of a pumpkin-headed humanoid in general.

In case that picture was too scary for you, here is a slightly different view of the pumpkinhead dude.  

He is collecting for UNICEF. 

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I get a certain feeling that Halloween is already over.  It dawned on me that this year most of the Halloween parties, and probably at least some of the trick-or-treating, occurred over the weekend.  (To me, if Halloween is on a Thursday, the logical day for a Halloween party is the following Friday.  But most people's minds don't work that way.)  Perhaps the time will come when Halloween will be celebrated not on October 31 specifically, but rather on the last Saturday of October, whatever that date might be, in the manner of Thanksgiving and some other holidays that are not tied to a specific date.  

*   *   *   *

The Washington area was earlier predicted to get some heavy rain late on Halloween night (but now the rain is predicted more for the daytime on Friday). I am thinking that Halloween rain might be kind of cool, as long as it holds off until the trick-or-treating and other festivities are over.  A midnight thunderstorm could provide some nice scary ambiance, when everyone is home safely in bed, and the streets have been ceded to the real goblins and ghouls—and pumpkinhead dudes.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Revisiting the Pumpkin Days Concept

In a recent blog entry I put forth the idea of the Pumpkin Days, a sub-season comprising October and November.  

At the same time that I was writing that entry, I was also assembling content for my new blog, The Wandering Archives, which collects my old blog entries from the Wandering Army site.  

And now I notice that in an introduction to one of my 2006 posts, Wandering Army publisher Marc Brush wrote the following:

Now cast your mind back to the pumpkin days of October . . .

And so it appears that I may have unconsciously plagiarized the term "pumpkin days".  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Meet the New Blog, Same as the Old Blog

I am introducing my new blog, which is actually my old blog.  It is called The Wandering Archives, and it collects my posts from 2006 to 2008 on the old Wandering Army site.  (Wandering Army was an online literary journal run by Marc Brush, that went out of existence in early 2009.)  As of now, I've put up an introduction and the first five posts, from late 2006 and early 2007.  Over the next few months, I hope to gradually get all the old posts back online, because for some reason I think that a permanent record of my internet writings from five to seven years ago is what the world needs.  

As I like to say, check it out.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Orange Glow of the Pumpkin Days

October is half over,  and we find ourselves in what one might call the Pumpkin Days.  The Pumpkin Days are a sub-season of autumn, consisting of the last two months of the meteorological season, October and November, during which our lives are defined by the presence of pumpkins—first  the decorations for Halloween, and then the pies of Thanksgiving.  

Halloween is approaching, and as always I am itching for something cool to happen.  And, as always, nothing cool will happen.  I'm not even sure what kind of coolness I want, but recently I have been leaning toward dancing zombies, along the lines of the "Thriller" video (but without Michael Jackson, because some things are just too scary).

And speaking of things meant to frighten us, as a resident of Virginia, I am spending the month suffering through television ads for the state's gubernatorial race.  The rest of the country is enjoying a break from electioneering right now, but for some reason Virginia elects its governor in off years.  Whenever one of these ads comes on, I silently yell "No!" in the manner of movie cop trying to push his partner out of the way of a bullet, and reach for the remote control.  

I have some minor new endeavors in the works, which I hope to get completed in the next few weeks.  Maybe they will come to nothing, as often happens, but maybe they won't.  

And soon the Pumpkin Days will be over, and the orange of pumpkins and leaves will be gone, and nothing cool will have happened for Halloween, and I'll be wondering how I missed out on walking around in the beautiful fall weather, but that's the way that life goes.