Soundtrack for the Season

Chilling, thrilling sounds of the Haunted House!
Chilling, thrilling sounds of the Haunted House!

What a find! I popped into my local public library branch just before closing and saw this album cover as the centerpiece of their Halloween display–a blast from my past, and for sale at $1!

The album is a collection of sound effects from Disney–stock footage of wind, howling wolves, screaming cats, insane cackling, and all other things Halloween. Side A strings them together in a series of vignettes, mostly cheesy, but a few of these filled me with genuine dread as a kid, like the sounds of creatures chewing their way through a moon lander and its crew. I didn’t like to imagine an Apollo mission coming to such an end. Side B is just the sound effects, sans narratives, to serve as atmosphere for your own Halloween party.

This album was the soundtrack to many of my Halloweens–I’d ask my parents to cue it up while getting into costume. So it’s great to stumble across it now as an LP, even though I have MP3s of the tracks on my iPod already. I’ll frame it and display it proudly year-round.

I’m a good enough person that I won’t play the Cat Fight track just to see how my kittens respond. I won’t. Much.

50 years of the Twilight Zone…

Submitted for your approval, some examples of Rod Serling’s parting thoughts:

“The Monsters are Due on Maple Street”: “ The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices. To be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the frightened, thoughtless search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own: for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things can not be confined to the Twilight Zone.” Continue reading “50 years of the Twilight Zone…”

Critter Country Zen

Once I was at Disneyland and saw a group of Buddhist monks filing out of the Country Bear Kitchen restaurant, elderly men in salmon robes. Some children were playing tag in the crowd. One little boy, sprinting while looking backward at his friends, ran full-tilt into an old monk…

…who rocked with the impact, caught the boy to prevent him from falling, stood him back on his feet, and patted him on the head. All in one motion, all without looking down, and with no apparent interruption to his conversation with another monk.

And taught a lesson in reflexive kindness.

Potheads of the Caribbean

Some lowlife was trying to sell me ‘buds’ while in line at Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. Putting on my businessman hat, I convinced him I was an executive from Ty looking into licensing deals on the West Coast…and that he could make more money cutting open his wife’s Beanie Babies, filling them with ground beef, and selling them as dog treats. Either she kills him or he spends his days as a happy idiot, shoveling meat into toys. Either way, a victory.

The “Grown Up” Survey

The Grown-Up Survey

Tired of all of those surveys made up by high school kids? Here’s questions for the people who are a little older… Copy and paste into your own note, then answer the questions. Finally, tag your friends (including me, please!).

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
Rent. I’d like to own, to have roots and be a solid citizen.

2. Do you miss being a child?
I do–and yet, I remember long stretches of boredom, too. Boredom apparently has a shorter shelf life as memories go. “When I was young, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.”–Mark Twain. Continue reading “The “Grown Up” Survey”