So, this last Halloween I had some fun with the kiddos that come around asking for candy.
Last year I did something similar, but simpler. This year was a bit more complex.
It seemed simple enough a task for the trick-or-treater: walk in, enjoy the spooky ambiance (and random lasers stabbing thorough the upper level of fog), grab a reward from the yellow glowing pumpkin, and move on to the next house.
Not with me around. (Haha – trick or treak? Trick!) With the help of my sister, we ushered all the, um, victims into the cage (a repurposed dog “kennel”). Once the kids were sure the smiling Goth-dressed-female wasn’t going to bite them, and that everyone was clear of the door, the lights would suddenly drop out. An enormous thunder and lightning strike from directly in front of them would illuminate a monster, arms outstretched and ready to grab them! Before anyone could but turn around, the door to the chain-link cage would swing shut, chains clanking loudly against the metal. You were trapped!
And then . . . we let them go. We didn’t scare the really litl’ ones.
Here’s an AVI movie, I’ll have to get me a flash player setup sometime. The microphone normalises stuff too much so you can’t really hear things.
By the end we had fog, black light, strobes, lasers, subs, amps, a laptop . . . so pretty much an instant rave party afterwards.
Lemme catch up on some achievements here…
Big, Spendy Plans
Get pre-approved (not pre-qualified) for a mortgage loan.
Date completed: 4/16/2009
Super Nerd (in la-la land)
Spend more than eight hours of your life playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Date completed: 4/2009
Master of a Universe
Take on the role of a DM in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
Date completed: 4/2009
(Random: just finished the third Eragon book.)
When I was in school in English class, one the oddest things I remember being taught was how the story line in a book or movie was supposed to go.
It was something line this:
The teacher disclaimed, “It’s not always exactly like this, the hill can be steeper on the side and sometimes that’s more than one hill.”
I wasn’t all that much convinced, even at the time.
When I read a book or watch a movie, it’s usually very much unlike that. Yeah, there are more exciting and more boring parts, and yeah, it sometimes starts and ends boring (not even close to always), but beyond that there are no real similarities.
THIS is a plot. Twists, turns, and more than one “climax”. If our school system was trying to foster the young minds toward the careful art of authorship, or to prime them in life to be able to readily recount anything more than a simple story, then they work working against heir goals.
Better question: Who the heck thinks this is important to even teach to kids?!? I mean, seriously, if it was important, wouldn’t they figure it out themselves? How about instead of assigning us those boring, gory, lewd excuses that the world tries to pass off as “classical literature,” they instead gave us some bestsellers and other good books to read instead? Wouldn’t a young mind, engaged by a book that fascinates them, be more likely to not only read the book (instead of using their good friend the internet to get cliff notes), but wouldn’t they be driven to gain a better understand the language of the author as well? Isn’t the point of a grade-school education to teach the student how to use language? And was I ever paying attention to semantics when I couldn’t hardly pay attention to the droll subject matter?
I decapitate this subject and make it it’s own point with a failure to include a proper close.
(The following is based on a dream I had last night. This is what I get for reading Eragon books before going to bed.)
We crested the top of the short, wide staircase. The dry desert air did nothing to bother me – everything was going well.
It was here, I knew it.
Closing my eyes I focused and instantly knew the direction. I walked over to a specific gap in the stone behind a pillar and saw it on the ground.
It was small, just smaller in diameter than a penny and nearly as thick as my finger. It was all white except for a small, light green dot in the center. I smiled and picked it up out of its enclosure which had held it for the last 500 years.
I smiled. I had found another of the cores of the lost dragons. Supposedly, it contained the mind, power, and soul of a dragon of times long past. With it, the other four I had collected, and the final one I was now to set and find, I could bring dragons back into the world.
My team entered the senior citizens home mall in pursuit of the last dragon core. After wandering the mall I finally discovered its location on the second floor, inside a planted bed. As I did a final check, sensing its location, something bothered me. I saw it – it was right there. It was the same shape and size as the others, except this one had a black ring embellishing it, something wasn’t right. This was too easy. Before picking it up, we went down to the main floor and took a nap. When we awoke, it was gone – picked up by my rival.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t concerned by this. I could still sense the core, but it wasn’t my rival’s hand.
Confused, I went down to the main floor again and asked my dad to keep an eye on things while I explored the memories of the last person to know of this dragon. We were fortunate to have the Memory Communication Slab (which looked oddly a lot like a gray Wii Balance board) that allowed us to do this.
In this man’s memories I discovered that when he had originally sealed his dragon in a small, roomless core, he had placed it in the saltwater ponds on the main floor. Unfortunately, the salt corroded the small white piece until it was crusted like the docks of the sea. When he discovered this he was distraught, for he cared about his dragon. With some new metal, and the current corroded core, he pressed it into a coin, which he had hid elsewhere. All one had to do to bring back his dragon was find the coin and toss it into the salt water – the instant corrosion would release him from the spell and bring the first dragon back.
Excited, I wet back up to the planter and looked under where the small white marker had been before. Underneath it I found a bag of rare, old, and, to coin collectors, extremely expensive coins.
My rival saw this and was jealous. He asked for the bag and naturally I told him no. I began to parse through the contents. There were some very old coins worth great amounts, some because of their rarity, some because they were mutilated by by the mint that created them. These, and their multi-million dollar sum held no interest to me as I looked for a coin that was unlike any other – the one that would produce a dragon.
At last I found a small stack of coins pressed together and held with crud. I began to pull them off the stack one at a time, watching the years of each successive coin go back farther and farther in date. At last I reached the last coin and I was overjoyed. I picked the coin up. It was a little worse for shape and never would have passed for uncircumcised, but the inch and a half proof was one of a kind. I was surprised at how shiny it was, especially considering it had been pressed from corroded metal and magical stone. It was soft – so soft it flexed under only a slight pressure. Careful not to break it, I read the inscriptions that told little of what it was – only of a man’s love for something. I was, however, certain this was what I was looking for – I could feel it.
Leaving the rest of the coins on the raised marble edge of a planter, I walked over to one of the two pools and held the coin high. I paused only a second for effect before plunging the coin into the cold, smelly water.
The reaction is almost instant, but didn’t come from in front of me as I had expected. Suddenly and without warning, the entire building is whisked away and we were left in the valley it was built it. A large, calm river snaked around us. Suddenly, an explosion blew out a large section downstream of me and everyone else.
The river started to flow in a mighty rage as it was freed from restrictions and begins to fall to unknown depths. My nearest companion and I quickly get onto a makeshift raft – it was held together with coarse rope and the logs were mossy. I pulled a stick out and started to paddle; my partner did the same. As we failed to quickly draw away from the impending waterfall, I paddled harder, so much so that I unbalanced our efforts to move away. For several moments I struggled to keep paddling as hard as I could while simultaneously trying avoid spinning the raft around. I was annoyed that my companion failed to push as hard as needed.
Suddenly we rand aground uphill and were safe. To my surprise, everyone was partying because there was now a fun new waterfall they could jump and slide down. Many children were making good use of it already.
I didn’t care about jumping down a waterfall and breaking my neck. I stepped to the summit of the fall, however and looked heavily rinsed land over. The river had settled again and was now flowing lazily. At one point the river split in two to go around a shallow, rocky island, and to my joy – standing prodly on top of it, was a black dragon – the first of many that I would awake.
Bewarned: I don’t speak for all the art of all these people, some of it derserves to be skipped.