Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 0: Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween
It's late and we are sleepy, 
the air is cold and still. 
Our Jack O' Lantern grins at us 
upon the window sill. 
We're stuffed with cake and candy 
and we've had a lot of fun, 
But now it's time to go to bed 
and dream of all we've done. 
We'll dream of ghosts and goblins 
and of witches that we've seen, 
And we'll dream of trick-or-treating 
on this Happy Halloween. 
--by Jack Prelutsky

12:01 A.M.
No more reason to shudder shake
shiver, tremble, quiver, quake. 
No more reason for throat to thirst.
Halloween's over.
It's November FIRST.
--by Lee Bennett Hokins

An Old Cornish Litany
From ghoulies and ghosties
and long leggity beasties
and all THINGS
that go BUMP in the night, 
Good Lord deliver us. 
--by Anonymous

(Alright, so I lied. I posted tonight after all. Happy Halloween Everybody!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 1: Goodwill's Secondhand Cinema Halloween Edition!

So, it's the penultimate post of my Halloween countdown, and I am just exhausted. Mentally, spiritually, physically, literally, figuratively, financially, socially, emotionally, and any other -ly... exhausted. 

So things are going out with a bit more of a whimper than a bang. I'm featuring some horror DVDs that I've bought at Goodwill in the recent months. I paid 2.99 for each of them, and I am EXTREMELY satisfied with them. So sit back, pop some popcorn, and get ready to watch: a poorly written review by a barely coherent blogger about some second hand horror movies he bought at Goodwill. Good times. 

Read more after the jump... if you dare!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 2: Jack O' Lanterns!

So this weekend we carved our Jack O' Lanterns! We always tackle this as a family, and this year was no different. 

Fall has come to the Goodwill Geek's house, and those poor, unsuspecting pumpkins were just hanging out on the porch, innocent to the horrors that awaited them.

See the finished results after the jump!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 3: My One Goodwill Online Purchase

I've been sitting on this post, and wanting to do it since I started the blog. How I managed to make myself wait for the Halloween Countdown, I'll never know. But here we go!

I have only ever made one purchase on the online Goodwill site. It is very similar to eBay in a lot of crummy ways, but the stuff on there feels like more of a treasure hunt because it's usually all posted in lots, and often the folks posting the lots have no idea what they've got their hands on. The shipping costs are ridiculous more often than not, but in this case I was willing to foot the bill as long as I could get the whole lot for a reasonable price. And... it turns out... I sort of did. I ended up spending just under 50 dollars for the following items: The image above should be a bit of a hint as to what this lot included. It was pretty great. 

And I can think of few franchises from my childhood that would be more appropriate to feature in a Halloween themed post than: The Real Ghostbusters!

See more Bustin' Fun after the jump!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 4: Goodwill Graphic Content Halloween Edition!

To continue my Halloween editions of everything I normally post here on the blog, I'm going to do an article on some graphic novels that I've picked up recently at Goodwill. 

M by Jon J. Muth is an adaptation of Fritz Lang's movie. I haven't read this one yet, but it looks moody, atmospheric, and very well illustrated at a glance. I understand the story is about a serial murderer of children... and I've not seen the movie either... so it may be a while before I dig too deeply into this one. This is the only graphic novel on this list not actually bought at Goodwill. I got it at Mardens for .50 cents. A big, hardcover graphic novel based on a famous film... for .50 cents! 

See 4 more that really ARE from Goodwill after the jump!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 5: Quick Stop Halloween Edition!

Tonight I'm totally going to cheat and just post stuff with very little comment from a Quick stop I made a while back. As long-time readers know, a Quick-Stop for me is a trip to Goodwill that is not a Payday Friday (as tonight was, but more on that another day...) and usually consists of me swooping quickly through each of the sections I frequent in an attempt to make some fast purchases and be gone like a ninja.

This was a while back, and I can't remember exactly when... but it was late September sometime. It was a GOOD trip. Not everything fits the Halloween theme... but a lot of it kind of does, so here we go!

Not off to a great Halloween-y start, I'll grant you. 
Halloween or not, you don't NOT pick up a Rescue Rangers book when you see it. .99 cents.

See more after the jump!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 6: Goodwill Haunting!

Today I'm giving some props to the store that inspires this blog: Goodwill!

Goodwill (or rather their advertising people) comes up with some downright creative advertisements to bump the Halloween costume shopping traffic every year... and if you think about it, it makes sense: Where else can you go to get some cheap threads to shred into a zombie costume? Or random clothes to become well... just about anything really!? As the above ad demonstrates, there are a lot of costume choices that can be made on Halloween, and Goodwill is a great place to start looking!

I'm going to showcase some of the cooler ads they've got floating around online, and I have to hand it to them, they put their logo and the thrifty nature of their store to great use in them.

See more after the jump!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 7: Top 10 Kid's Books for Halloween, Books 5-1

I'm back with the rest of my top 10 Halloween books for Kid's at the Goodwill Geek's family abode! I'll start things off with a few more honorable mentions:

All of these are great books, and they get a lot of great play here at our house. It rips my heart out that I'm no featuring Shy Mama's Halloween on this list. An amazing, inspirational story about an immigrant family discovering Halloween for the first time... but honestly, it's a bit too long for all ages. 

Now on to the top 5 books in my top 10 countdown!!!

See the top 5 books after the jump!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 8: The Great Pumpkin Came!!! The Great Pumpkin Came!!!

The Great Pumpkin Gift Exchange organized by Dex over at AEIOU and Sometimes Why has been a smashing success... in my opinion. 

I myself played Great Pumpkin for Jaime over at Shezcrafti, and I hope I did enough for her. I sent her a parcel containing several cool Goodwill finds, plus some candy and books and other goodies to make her season a little more Autumn-y. I also tossed in some original Halloween poetry as my "magic" portion of the gift. 

And my own package came yesterday!!! 

I found out who my Great Pumpkin is: Reis O'Brien from the Lair of the Dork Horde!!! Reis is an incredibly cool guy, and he made my Halloween that much cooler and creepier with his generous and fun "Great Pumpkin" gift. 

See what my Great Pumpkin sent me after the jump!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 9: This is Halloween! (LoEB Style!)

I'm postponing the rest of my Top 10 Kid's Books for Halloween for a couple of days, because it's League of Extraordinary Bloggers time again!

This week we're fitting the Countdown with a topic that is near and dear to my heart: Halloween traditions!

great pumpkin league

Let me take you on a tour of the Halloween traditions going on at the Goodwill Geek's house on and around Halloween!

See more after the jump!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 10: Top 10 Kid's Books for Halloween, Books 10-6

So... I was going to do the Top 20 kid's books for Halloween, and I realized I just didn't have that much to write about the 20-11. So I'll toss a few "Honorable mentions here before I get to the actual countdown. 

Phew... now that that's out of the way... Welcome to the Goodwill Geek's Top 10 Kid's Books for Halloween!  (At least at his house... where his kids are concerned). I'm just going to focus on the first 5 books of the countdown tonight, and finish the rest tomorrow. 

Some Honorable Mentions:

These are all great books, but ultimately not Top 10 material for various reasons. I'm not going to talk them to death, but you should definitely check these all out (There'll be more honorable mentions tomorrow). I feel especially guilty for putting Jack Prelutsky's It's Halloween in the Honorables... but I had to make some tough choices. Let's just move on before I start tearing up. 

See the Top 10 after the jump!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 12: Dead People

Today I'm going to showcase some books about death and the afterlife... hopefully in that order? Well, not really. 

First up is Ghost Hunters by Deborah Blum. It follows the strange decision of William Jame, a professor of Psychology at Harvard university... to hunt ghosts. This book follows his studies into hauntings and other ghost investigations, around the end of the 1800's. I haven't read this one yet, but I am genuinely interested in finding out how they went about doing this with the technology of those times. This one cost me 1.99.

See 3 more after the jump!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 13: The Master of Suspense

All right, I can honestly say that I am not an Alfred Hitchcock fanatic. BUT I have seen Psycho, and the Birds, and North By Northwest, and was soon afterward compelled to own each of these movies, because I loved them so much. I also remember seeing reruns of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents show as a kid, and loving the idea that there was a whole TV show based around people murdering each other. Mr. Hichcock himself always seemed like the embodiment of what a good Horro host should be. He reveled in the Macabre, and was always most comfortable making jokes about it. Plus "Funeral March of a Marionette"? Best. Theme-Song. Ever. 

Soon... as in the near future, I plan on immersing myself in the work of the "Master of Suspense" and seeing how much more inspiration I can draw from him in my own creative endeavors. Knowing this, whenever I see anything at Goodwill that is Hitchcock related, I am guaranteed to pick it up. So today's post is dedicated to the Hitch himself:

Can you hear it in your head?

See More After the Jump!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 14: The Thing In the Jar...

Just a quickie today kids!!! And this one is a doozy! Here's a homegrown Halloween decoration I put together myself with an awesome toy that I actually got at Goodwill and was considering getting rid of... when I recently got a Really Great Idea!!!

Ooooh! See what the heck this thing is after the jump!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 15: Vamping it Up

Today's post is going to focus on a Halloween mainstay: Vampires! 

I picked through the cave to see what I had that would fit the bill, and came up with quite a few items to share, most of which were in fact purchased at Goodwill! So let's see what I came up with, shall we?

See more after the jump!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 16: Take a Trip! (Halloween Edition? You'll see.)

Ohhh snap. It's League of Extraordinary Bloggers time once again! A while back we took on the assignment of our ultimate Road Trip. That was mostly real-world locales, and involved a lot of sight-seeing and wish-fulfillment for real-life me.  This time around, we're planning pop-culture trip, involving surreal locations:

So in keeping with my Halloween count-down, I came up with another road trip, this time with a distinct purpose and set of goals in mind.

We ain't afraid of no... well anythings. 
I'm going on a horror movie pilgrimage. I'm loading up the Ecto 1 with proton packs and Scooby Snacks, and bringing along some consultants and colleagues such as Velma Dinkley, Egon Spengler, Buffy Summers, the Winchester Brothers, and Cassie Hack, and I'm hitting the road Ghost Adventurers style. We're going monster/slasher/creature/ghost hunting across the USA. We'd be visiting the world most often populated with horny teenagers and ax-wielding maniacs: Every Horror Movie Ever. 

See where all of our stops after the jump!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 17: My Top 10 Halloween DVDs

Today's post is going to be all about something near and dear to my heart:

Halloween movies and shows! This time of year there is a definitive set of movies I want... nay NEED to see to get me fully in the spirit. There is one official new entry to the list this year, and for a very good reason. But before I dive in, I want to explain my criteria. This list is for movies that I consider to be Halloween movies... not just horror movies. I wanted to include movies that completely encapsulate the spirit of Halloween. My first two choices may not be strictly Halloween movies, and for this reason they only barely beat out a few other movies like Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, and Pumpkinhead. But they were chosen for very special Halloween-y reasons.

10. Cabin In the Woods

So, the first film on my top 10 is a brand-new movie I was just given for my birthday this year, but I can guarantee it will be required viewing every year around this season. Cabin in the woods manages to wear several masks all at once. It's a straight-up horror comedy, with plenty of laughs and plenty of genuine scares. There are jumps, there are slow-boil scares, there are moments of real tension where you just don't know what to expect. All of these are required for a good Horror. But then there are the other layers of the onion. The stuff where things get weird. And it's this stuff that really turns the movie into not just a skewering of the genre, but a fun examination of why we like horror movies. It also gives us some meta lore on why it is we deep down need horror movies. There's no aspect of the atypical horror movie that isn't laid bare in this film.

See the other 9 films after the jump!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 18: Payday Friday: Halloween Edition! (Mostly)

Everything is Halloween Edition this month! And so was my payday Friday (..sort of)! So when I went into Goodwill this Friday, my first stop was at the Halloween section, which gave me some great toy and decoration finds right off the bat. Then I cruised toys, found a grab-bag that I can sort of connect to the theme, and then I picked through the books, where 2 out of seven books definitely fit the theme, but the rest I had to... stretch a bit. So get ready... for that.

The Arrival is a book that I wanted to buy when I first heard about it. It looks amazing, and because I love graphic novels, this book looked like it would be right up my alley. This tells the story of an immigrant to a bizarre new world filled with creatures, strange landscapes, and sometimes frightening, sometimes enlightening experiences. It is hauntingly and beautifully illustrated, and filled with character, charm, and empathy. I was so excited to find this book at Goodwill for 1.99. This was the one book I really couldn't justify as a Halloween book at all... except that it's got some weird creatures and a weird dream-like feel to it... but otherwise, nah. 

I do a better job from here on out tying it all in, I promise. 

See more after the jump!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 19: Another Peek at the Cave, Halloween Edition!

So as I may have mentioned a few times in the past, I've recently moved to a new house, got a new room to keep all of my Geek-stuff in... and I've been slowly putting it together ever since. So I thought I'd showcase a few little corners of the room, namely the DVD shelves that feature horror-themed collectibles and horror movies. I have not actually organized my DVD collection in any fashion other than separating out the horror films... I'll be getting around to that sometime soon. Any-who... Let's get started. 

This first picture is of my Mez-Its collection, accompanied by the Harlequin Demon from The Nightmare Before Christmas. You're seeing the first wave of Monster Mez-Its, plus the Vincent Price Mez-It from the Edward Scissor Hands set. Edward himself is currently MIA, but he'll be up here soon enough.  The Mez-Its have an amazing amount of detail on them, and we have the four classic universal greats: Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolfman, and the Mummy. Vincent Price is just one of those classic icons of horror as well. In terms of DVDs, there's also a nice selection of zombies, ghost stories, and Tim Burton movies.

See More After the Jump!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 20: Short Story Collections for Halloween

Another semi-quick post tonight about some Halloween-ish short-story collections, some of which I've picked up recently from Goodwill and some of which I've had for a while, and got elsewhere (I'll point out the ones I did not buy from Goodwill, because most of these, I did). Most of these I picked up because I thought the cover was trippy, or the title was trippier. Some of them I selected simply because they had "classic" stories or writers included. You won't find any "huge" modern names on this list, like Stephen King or Clive Barker... just because I may be saving them for another day.

Masters of the Macabre I picked up because it has stories by Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, and Bram Stoker, among others. It's a book of "classic" authors writing ghost stories and the such. And not the ones you'd expect. Washington Irving's story, for instance is not "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". So many of these stories sounded new to me that I felt safe buying it. I'm not 100% sure that it won't bore me to tears... but whatever. It was .99 cents. 

See more after the jump!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 21: No Time! No Time!

No time to blog tonight, so I'm just going to leave this here for now. I'll be posting more pictures of our Halloween display soon, but here's a little taste of the hutch in the dining room. 

One of the best things we've done since moving has been putting up Halloween decorations. It makes this new house feel like our real home. This set up here contains some of my very favorite decorations (some of which were year-round fixtures even before I had the new Cave). I thought I'd just check in tonight and drop a few hints as to what's coming up soon, and show off one or two more of our decorations.

Hit the jump to see some of what's coming up soon for the blog while the countdown is still going on:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 22: Goodwill Halloween finds!

Today I'm just tossing together a bunch of decorations I've recently bought from the Ellsworth, ME Goodwill. The selection is always a very mixed bag when it comes to Goodwill Halloween, but I've managed some pretty cool finds in the last few weeks. For instance: 

The spider problem is getting... out of HAND!!!
I'm sorry.
Here's a severed hand that has been making the rounds through the house. It's been found sticking out of the recycling bin, and may be hiding out in my new cave somewhere right now. I paid 1.99 for this beauty. As you can see, my daughter had some fun webbing it to one of the trees in front of our house... but it survived the experience, and went on to have other adventures.

See more after the jump!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 23: Goodwill Grab-Bag Beetlejuice Edition!

A few months back, before I had ever even dreamed of writing and maintaining a blog, I found an excellent, excellent grab-bag at goodwill. I've detailed some of the other excellent grab-bags I've found including various different Masters of the Universe and other 80's toys in them... But I've been holding back on showcasing this particular one because I knew at some point I was going to want them for a Halloween post.

Only some of the items in this grab-bag were semi-Halloween themed... so I'll start with the three that have NOTHING to do with Halloween at all. (Unless you count the hockey mask... which I guess I sort of do... but then I guess I have to count the other two as... Easter?)

Casy Jones, Ace Duck, and Usagi Yojimbo
See More After the Jump.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 25: 9 Halloween Kids Books found at Goodwill

Today I'm going to focus on something a little less geeky, but still Halloween-centric, and definitely from Goodwill. It's a pile of kids' books I bought for Halloween reading with my children. This is NOT a top 10 Books of Halloween list... THAT post is still yet to come. This is just a showcase of books that I have found at Goodwill for the Halloween season. Every single one of these books was picked up for .99 cents a piece. 

The first book is called Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Megan Halsey. This is a nice, autumn-y story about a boy named Jeffrey who knows Fall has arrived and Halloween is on its way as soon as he starts to see pumpkins showing up everywhere. From making paper Jack'O Lanterns at school to making a trip to the local pumpkin patch with all the familiar yearly sights this is a book all about Fall and its traditions, leading up to the night when Jeffrey's Jack'O Lantern is lit and placed on the porch. It's a nice, cozy little book that encourages kids to celebrate Fall. 

See 8 more after the jump!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 26: MILFT5: Halloween!

It's that lazy time once again kids, where the Goodwill Geek is going to just drop this here and let you check it out because he's got other things going on. But believe me, these are all movies I'm looking forward to (MILFT for short)... maybe they've come out already, maybe not... but I haven't seen them yet. 

"Monster Brawl"
How can any of this be wrong? I'm not even a wrestling fan, and I am excited to see this for all the camp, and wrestling nostalgia.

See 5 more after the jump!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 27: Goodwill Grab-Bag: Halloween Addition!

As I've mentioned on several occasions, Goodwill is famous for their bags of little goodies. As October was drawing near, I started keeping my eyes peeled for a grab bag with a genuine Halloween theme (I have other themed grab-bags to come, but none of them contain actual Halloween merchandise like this) in with the Halloween stuff. And guess what! I totally found one. 

This ridiculous bat is just one of four items I found in this grab bag. It's just the worst. But it's so bad looking I almost like it. I mean... look at that tongue. But because it was my very least favorite item, I used it as the teaser image. 
See more after the jump!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 28: LoEB: Costume Ideas!

Well, I'm a little late getting to it this week, what with the countdown kicking off and everything, but it's League of Extraordinary Bloggers time again! This week's assignment:

Well. I remember when Halloween was a big deal for sure, because at my house, in my family... it STILL IS a big deal! My family goes all out every Halloween, and we even go as a themed family group some years (see below). Note to anyone who knows me and my family, who may also frequent the blog: I'm posting pictures of myself, my wife, and my kids on here for the first time, but I am not posting their names. 

First up though, Reis, over at The Lair of the Dork Horde has been posting vintage Halloween costumes, and I recognized a few of them as being ones I wore as a child myself. So first I'll share some of my favorite childhood Halloween costumes (honestly, I think these are the only surviving pictures of my childhood Halloween costumes):

Those leggings weirded me the eff out. They were worse than corduroys.

See more after the jump!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 29: The October Country & More

Those of you who actually follow this blog on any sort of semi-regular basis (and I like to pretend THOUSANDS of you do...) will probably notice that I don't usually give in-depth reviews of the books I purchase, and with good reason: I usually haven't read them yet.

But for my Countdown to Halloween I wanted the chance to actually speak with some sort of knowledge on a handful of the items I would be sharing with you. And with Ray Bradbury's recent and untimely death back in June (didn't seem that long ago honestly) I felt something I could speak on with some intelligence would be the October-y writings of one of our most beloved authors.

R.I.P. Ray. May your bones lie undisturbed.*

So today I'll be talking about The October Country, The Halloween Tree, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and From the Dust Returned. The first three books I bought at Goodwill for .99 cents apiece, the last one I bought from a place called the Big Chicken Barn, an antiques mall and used book store in Ellsworth, ME and I think I paid 2 dollars or so for it (can't recall).

See more about these four books after the jump!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 30: Eye Like Whoopee

Just a quickie today... but a SPOOKY quickie! I'm featuring one item that you'll really want to keep... an eye on. 

See this item after the jump!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 31: A Word on Candy Corn.

Let the Countdown begin!!! Every day from here to Halloween I'll be trying to post something Halloween related until the Big Day arrives. It's also a part of the big communal blog-block-party Countdown to Halloween! So be sure to check out what everyone else is doing for their countdowns as well!

Now that October is here, I can finally share some of the great things I've found in the past weeks that I've been sitting on and waiting to post.

But today? Today I'm focusing on something we NEED to talk about:

Candy Corn.

Over at The Lair of the Dork Horde, Reis posted his Top 5 Halloween treats. What was numero uno?

Candy Corn.

This of course sparked a powder keg of debate (actually, is a handful of comments considered a powder keg? or even a debate? I'm not sure...) culminating with me leaving an ominous message that I would addressing the issue on my own blog during my October Countdown. So let's talk...

Candy Corn.

Learn More After the Jump.

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