Archives For October 2012

Halloween Party Details

Ashley Walton —  October 29, 2012 — 1 Comment

On October 27, 2012 the Nay-Walton household transformed into a creepy crawly Halloween hovel, complete with cobwebs, skulls, pumpkins, and tasteful blood accents for our annual Halloween bash. We made cake pops, taco soup, witches’ brew, bloodbath punch, and friends brought apples with dip, Halloween donuts, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and other goodies. We cranked the Oingo Boingo and basked in the company of our delightful friends.

(eyeball cake pops)

(table decorations)

(table detail– the tablecloth was gauze with blood stains)

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Best Halloween Movies

Ashley Walton —  October 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

Here are my picks for best movies to get you in the Halloween spirit. Let me know what you think. Argue. Suggest. Taunt.

10. The Devil’s Backbone

I love Guillermo del Toro with an unrivaled passion. This is probably my second favorite movie of his, after Pan’s Labyrinth. If you haven’t seen this unconventional ghost story, it’s about time. It does have subtitles, so not the best movie for background noise at a party.

9. High Tension

As the title suggests, this film highlights the art of tension-building. I’ve never bitten so many nails.

8. Shaun of the Dead

This is the pinnacle of horror-comedy. Perfect watch for a Halloween party.

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I recently picked up Dishonored for my PS3, and I highly recommend it. After discussing it with a friend, however, I absolutely have to talk about something that I feel is overlooked: the skip all story option. Every time a player interacts with a character outside of combat, they have the option to skip it entirely. I’m not going to try and read meaning into every single game I play, but this story is dripping with meaning.

He looks neighborly.

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If you’re looking for cookies that make you weep with happiness, this is your lucky day. These whoopie pie cookies with a creamy to-die-for pumpkin cream cheese filling will leave you a blubbering wreck. Side note: if you want to avoid people giggling every time you say “whoopie” you can call them sandwich cookies, everything an Oreo wishes it could be in its wildest dreams.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the cookies:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of kosher salt

For the filling:

5 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

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After poring over the prolific section of Wally World dedicated to Halloween sugar cookie supplies, I decided on this cookie cutter set (mostly because it comes in a coffin box). I also picked up some blessed pre-made Pillsbury sugar cookie dough, food coloring, and a couple fine-tipped frosting applicators in black and orange.

I make my own frosting (since it’s easy as pie). Just take some powdered sugar, add a touch of vanilla extract, and add a tad of water until it’s the consistency you’d like. Done and done.

This is the result of my second batch. Word of warning: it turns out Pillsbury sugar cookie dough needs quite a bit of flour added to it. My first batch spread out way too thin, making all my cookies turn out as amorphous blobs (which I frosted and promptly ate). I added about a cup of flour to the second batch, and they turned out pretty well.

I can’t wait to make other Halloween treats! I’ve been compiling lists of recipes to try out, and I’d love to hear suggestions!

A Word Edgewise: The Bat

Jeff Nay —  October 8, 2012 — 2 Comments

Hey readers! I’m going to be posting editorial-type articles here (under this tentative title) discussing certain issues that I feel pertain to the “geek community” (whatever that means anymore). Basically, I’ll be using this space to root for the dogs I’ve got in various fights. Hope you enjoy.

The dust has finally settled (in my mind, anyway) after the epic summer-blockbuster duel between Marvel’s The Avengers and D.C.’s The Dark Knight Rises. I’ve been ruminating on the aftermath for some time (obviously), and though my two cents are probably a late payment by now, I can’t help but explain the reasons for my loyalty to what will surely go down in history as a second-fiddle act to Joss Whedon’s kickass big-time (Serenity notwithstanding) Hollywood debut.

I’m not here to argue with you about which was the better movie; I had one hell of a lot more fun watching The Avengers, and that one is always going to be this year’s ultimate winner.

You know you love it.

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Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. Right around the middle of September, I start quoting lines from Something Wicket This Way Comes and planning activities for the entire month of October. I love going to haunted houses, baking fall treats, watching horror movies, planning Halloween parties, and most importantly, decorating my apartment. So to start off my Halloween-obsessed posts, here’s a guide to some of the geeky Halloween decorations I’ve found and love. Not for the casual Halloweener.

1. Alien Skull. $9.99. eCrater.

This little gem would make a lovely addition to any end table, mantle, or centerpiece. Buy it here.

2. Zombie Gnome Horde. $55. Etsy.

This would look great on any lawn or porch all year round. Get it here.

3. Haunted Memories Antique Photos. $12.99 and up.

If you’ve ever dreamt of owning some Haunted Mansion-esque creepy photos, now’s your chance. Haunted Memories sells holographic, old-looking photos that appear nice one moment and horrifying the next. I bought some of these babies at a Comic-Con booth last year, and they’re awesome. Their website is a bit of a pain, but browsing the creepy portraits is a lot of fun. Browse them here.

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