October 31st Halloween

Another year has passed and it’s that day of the year again where we all go out and get candy from our neighbors. Well, maybe not all of us… and maybe not all neighbors. In fact, the chance of getting visited by little monsters at your front door is getting to be less and less of a tradition anymore. Now we meet at malls and in parking lots.

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The idea of Halloween in the past was to ward off evil. When I was a kid Halloween was one of the most fun events on the calender, the chance to get candy, dress up in silly outfits and walk the streets of a safe neighborhood where friendly neighbors were thrilled to greet you.

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Many people celebrate the Fall Harvest instead. Those are the places where you eat pumpkins rather than pumpkins eat you!

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I miss the old Halloween. The one where it was fun to get a little scared and do a little scaring. Where candy wasn’t laced with something and front doors were always opened in good will and caring. And nobody gave out toothbrushes as a treat.

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How to celebrate – Decorate your yard for Halloween. Find the perfect costume for your personality. Go to a haunted house.

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October 30th Mischief Night

It is fitting that the night before Halloween would be Mischief Night. You know, the night where you go soap windows, fling toilet paper, knock on doors and run away, throw eggs and rotten tomatoes at houses, cars and whatever happens to cross your path.

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It is said that it started in 19th century England. Perhaps it was before the tradition of giving candy to children the next day. I’m thinking it might not be the brightest idea to do any of that stuff to anyone you are going to ask to give you something the next night.

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I think the attitude has changed somewhat these days though. People save the toilet paper because, well… have you checked out the price of toilet paper lately! They just spray the soap off their windows making them clean again and you are likely to get shot if you go knocking on doors. Eggs and rotten tomatoes are a different thing though.. they actually cause damage so you should avoid those.

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If you want to do something funny for mischief day you could cover someone’s lawn with pink flamingos! It’s a little costly but at least it doesn’t cause any real damage or get you thrown in jail. Keep the mischief in your mind where it belongs.

How to celebrate – Plan all the evil things you can do for Mischief Night, just don’t do them. Do mischief to your own house and then blame someone else. Scramble up those eggs and add tomatoes to them.

October 29th National Frankenstein Day

Frankenstein is very popular, after all… this is like the 30th Frankenstein Day we’ve had this year already (not really it’s only three but who’s counting). The fact is, Mary Shelly really hit it big (I wonder if she lived long enough to know it). And what makes today even more special is apparently it was created by Frankenberry Cereal!

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Frankenstein is probably the most popular monster ever created (don’t tell the Mummy or Werewolf). There are at least 54 movies created that either feature Frankenstein or he makes an appearance in. That’s even more than Rocky! And that’s not even counting television! He has been portrayed as evil, funny and even love-able.

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Now that we are close to Halloween, he will be even more visible than ever. Although, recently he has become a little less of a monster than in past years. Now kids dress up as political figures, various Pokemon creatures and those always scary ballerinas.

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Frankenstein is an international wonder. A part of him is British, French, American, Swedish, German, Hungarian, Russian, Brazilian, Spanish… well, you get the picture. He got the legs, arms, heart, kidneys, liver…

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So enjoy another of the many Frankenstein Days. There’s enough of him to go around and his wife, The Bride of Frankenstein covers his days off. Invite Frankenstein over for an evening of fun and merriment… just don;t leave any of your spare body parts laying around.

How to celebrate – Read Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Try and build your own Frankenstein. Realize that monster is an ugly word.

October 28th Plush Animal Lover’s Day

Who doesn’t love a plush animal? They are easy to take care of, never make a mess of their own (forget the times they get ripped open and their stuffing gets all over the place, it’s not their fault) and don’t eat a lot… if at all.

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Somehow they make you feel better when times are difficult, they make the good times even better and they can show off your talents at the fair. They never actually pass on, listen to all our stupid problems and are really good friends when we need them most.

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And they never talk back. They can create your own forest without all the trees, a flock of sheep that don’t require a shepherd and even sea creatures without all that water! And they always seem to be happy! There’s a plus! Sure they sleep a lot but they are talented because they can sleep with their eyes open!

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So like I said, who doesn’t love a plush animal. Even most animals love plush animals. Who can forget their first teddy bear? Who can forget that first plush given in love or received in love? Who can forget that shock when you first looked at the price tag on that stuffed animal?

How to celebrate – Remember back to your first plush animal. Make your own plush animal out of a sock. Take your favorite stuffed animal to lunch.

October 28th International Animation Day

October 28th International Animation Day

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Today was created by the ASIPA in honor of Charles-Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris where his first animation appeared in 1892. UNESCO celebrates the day as the “art of Animation” in over 50 countries around the world.

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Since animation first appeared it has evolved to the point where some of the art is so real it is difficult to tell it from actual life itself.

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How to celebrate – Go to an animated show. Visit Disney. Learn the art of animation.

 

October 27th National Tell A Story Day

Okay, so I am writing this blog in the US but that does not mean we can’t celebrate days from other countries, particularly one we are so close to! It is National Tell A Story Day in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

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True, we do have our own Tell A Story Day here in the US but you really cannot get too many days where you tell a story to someone. I do, however, suggest avoid telling the “Hamilton” story in the UK. Even though he was sort of a Brit, they do not feel exactly the same as we do about his story.

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There are plenty of other stories to tell. They can be fiction, non-fiction or whatever you feel most comfortable with. If you can’t find anyone to tell the story to, you can try telling it to your dog… but don’t expect them to stick around to the end unless you have a lot of treats.

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It’s best to try and find a captive audience, at least when you start it. If you are a good story teller, you will capture their attention once you’ve gotten started, it’s the beginning that’s a little rough. The movie industry learned this the hard way. So today they like to start off with a lot of explosions and controversial scenes so people will stick around to hear the rest of the story.

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Or maybe just find a child to read to, most love to hear a good story and like spending time with their parents, teachers and people they know.  They will believe nearly anything you tell them so make sure it is a story worth hearing. And naturally, today you need to speak with a British or Scottish accent to honor the day in the UK.

How to celebrate – Find a story to tell somebody. Make up a story to tell somebody. Visit England/Scotland and have someone tell you a story today.

October 26th National Frankenstein Friday

Okay, so we all know Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein in 1818 when she was only 21 years old. Wow, what an imagination! With Halloween and Frankenstein Day both coming up soon, it’s nice to kick it off with a Frankenstein Friday. The idea was created by Ron MacClosky, who appropriately won the “Franky” award for doing so.

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I mean, who doesn’t know about Frankenstein? Children, adults, other monsters… we all know about Frankenstein! I even wrote a play about a fashionable, intelligent Frank Einstein (Available on Playscripts.com). The monster has been played as sad, humorous, curious and just about any other emotion you can imagine.

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The thing is, his name shouldn’t be Frankenstein because that was his creators name. If want his last name to be Frankenstein then, okay… but he needed to be given a first name as well. Maybe that’s why he roamed the countryside so angry all the time. How would you like it is people only called you by your last name!?!

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He is probably the only monster ever created that heart could really have belonged to daddy. He was very conflicted as well. He had one arm that had belonged to a man named White. The other belonged to a man named Wong. That makes it easy to understand that in the heat of the moment, he might not be able to know White from Wong.

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So, you might ask why do we celebrate Frankenstein Friday? It’s simply because if we didn’t we might find ourselves Abbey Normal. Think about it.

How to celebrate – Read the first chapter of Frankenstein but wait to read the rest on Frankenstein Day. If you want a good laugh, watch “Young Frankenstein”. Experiment n your own by mixing parts from a Barbie doll and a GI Joe.