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Seven Years of Halloween
Oct 19th, 2008 by Jessica

2008 marks the seventh anniversary in our new house, and therefore our seventh Halloween in the neighborhood. I thought it might be fun to recap each one and summarize all the crazy (and often time consuming and expensive) ways that we have scared the neighbors and their kids.

  • 2001: The Thing – Our first year was pretty basic. We lit up the house with crazy colors and hung a giant spider on the garage. I dressed up like a cow and Andrew was the grim reaper. Our friend Mike Mogan came over in a full camouflage suit that he hand-made, and pretended to be a bush until the kids (or parents) walked past. Then he would stand up and follow them until they screamed and ran away. See 2001 pictures on Flickr.
  • 2002: Blacklite Ghosts – We carved several pumpkins this year and made our front kitchen into a ghostly scene. Blacklites illuminated ghosts hung from dental floss as well as a skeleton scene complete with Tarrot cards. We don’t have too many pictures, and didn’t know how to take good ones at the time… But trust me, it was cooler than it looks. See 2002 pictures on Flickr.
  • 2003: Hand-carved Tombstones – This was a very sad time for me, and I wasn’t feeling particularly joyous. I hand-carved six tombstones out of styrofoam and painted them with grey and black latex paint. Andrew dug a hole in the front yard and we had a skeleton coming out of the grave. We carved several pumpkins that turned out really cool. Overall it was a solemn year, but the pictures are great. See 2003 pictures on Flickr. Also see my scrapbook page of 2003 here and here.
  • 2004: Haunted Maze – By far, the most awesome Halloween we have done! We actually build a haunted maze in our garage. A full blown obstacle course with dead ends and a monster inside (aka Andrew). Mom and Dad stood out front directing the kids and daring them to go through it. Andrew followed them around inside scaring the crap out of them. I was at the end on the garage side yard handing out king sized candy for those brave enough to make it through. This year cemented our house in folklore for years to come as kids excitedly exclaim “Oh yeah, I remember THIS house!” as they run towards our home on Halloween. It was freakin’ awesome! Too bad it cost us several hundred dollars and took about 8 weeks to build, or we would do it again. See 2004 pictures on Flickr. Watch the Haunted Maze video on YouTube. Read my short blog entry about Satan.
  • 2005: Zombie Prom – We made a sweet music mix with songs like “Pretend We’re Dead” by L7, and hammed up the dancing fun with an awesome scene in the garage. We had a real mirror ball and lots of fog machines, disco music and a skeleton party scene. It was so much fun! See 2005 pictures on Flickr. Read my blog entry on Zombie Prom.
  • 2006: Haunted Graveyard and Flaming Pumpkins – Having just finished all three of the Wilton cake courses, I decided to make a haunted graveyard cake with Andrew’s help. It was a huge hit at work and was as delicious as it looked! By far one of the coolest cakes we’ve ever made (except for Optimus Prime, of course). We had a major scene going on with dozens of strings of lights, a lightning effects light machine, several fog machines and tons of extra decorations. As we were putting it all together on the eve of Halloween, around 10pm we went outside to put on finishing touches and someone had stolen everything right out of our yard. About $300-$400 worth of equipment and lighting was gone. We were absolutely crushed. We posted a sign on the garage about what happened, and torched the pumpkins with kerosene. It just knocked all of the Halloween spirit right out of us. See 2006 pictures on Flickr. Watch the Flaming Pumpkins video on YouTube. Read my blog entries here, here and here.
  • 2007: Witch Kitchen Jars – Lucky, our solid black kitty, joined us in August of 2007. Inspired by him and the Harry Potter series, we did a Witch Kitchen scene complete with dozens of disgusting filled jars. Each one was labeled to perfection and organized in a disorderly fashion surrounding me in the kitchen. Dressed up as a witch in full garb with a bubbling cauldron and a broom, I sat in the kitchen and scared the kids by poking at them through the screenless window as they walked by. See 2007 pictures on Flickr. See my blog entry about Lucky.

Well, there you have it. This year will also be spectacular, I’m sure! We’ve got our very own copy of Hallowindow and plan to scare the kids like crazy. We are also planning some really cool confections for the coworkers that are sure to please everyone.

Get ready for a Happy Halloween, 2008!

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Happy Bubbles
Oct 7th, 2008 by Jessica

In honor of our favorite holiday, I decided to theme this week’s portraits with Halloween in mind. Andrew sat in like a good sport, favorite mask on head, and let me take some cool shots. Below are my favorites from tonight’s session.

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Happy Anniversary!
Feb 2nd, 2008 by Jessica

Optimus Prime Drawing

Happy 6th Anniversary Andrew!
(Gotta give him something he loves, right??)

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It’s past Christmas already?
Dec 27th, 2007 by Jessica

Well, okay then.  I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone without blogging before!  A lot has happened since Halloween.  Let’s see if I can recap.

November saw lots of homework.  We started two new classes in the MSIM program: Business Process and Workflow Analysis, and Enterprise Application Integration.  We completed the first five weeks during the first week of December, and will resume the next five weeks on January 14th. 

In the meantime, we are working heavily on our applied project, forming a real technology venture and completing the business plan.  We start our Winter Intensive course this Saturday.  It’s a 3-credit Master’s course in just 2 1/2 weeks: Managing Enterprise Applications.  I’ve been doing a lot of homework to get it out of the way before the Intensive starts.  Hopefully it won’t be that bad.

On the work front, I accepted a very cool position working with an excellent team in Operations.  As we grow closer to go-live on February 19th, a lot of changes are in the works.  Ops will take on the challenge of being Tier 2 triage for SIS issues.  There is a lot of work to be done, but I have excellent people to help with the tasks at hand!  I am so fortunate to have the chance to work with them.

Thanksgiving was different this year.  Mom, Dad, Andrew and I went over to Aunt Barbara and Uncle Mike’s house.  That was it!  Nobody else showed up.  The family is still going through some changes ever since Grandma passed away in 2005.  I wish everyone could just get along.

Andrew and I have been playing Rock Band (Xbox 360) and Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) quite a bit together.  I enjoy the vocals in Rock Band, and I even managed to make it to #3 in the world on the leaderboard in vocals for Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Freakin’ sweet!  Number three…  In the whole world!  I guess the computer likes my tone.  I can’t sing for real but I guess I match the computer just right!  We beat Super Mario Galaxy tonight, but will continue to play it and try to collect all the stars.  We like both of these games because they are cooperative efforts, and we can both play together at the same time.

We went to California the weekend of December 14th and met up with our friend Mike and his new girl, Rachel.  We tried going to Knotts Berry Farm but it was “Bring a toy and get in free” weekend, and the line to buy tickets was INSANE.  Thousands of people were single-file-lined-up to get into the park.  Forget it!  We drove over to Anaheim and waited a few minutes for a 3-day park hopper.  Then we hit California Adventure, followed by Disneyland.  It was lots of fun!

Andrew’s birthday was pretty good, and we celebrated with dinner at Rustler’s Rooste.  I got him a subscription to gamefly.com so he can rent hard to find games.  He seems pretty psyched about it!  Hopefully it works out well for him.  We threw him a little Transformers birthday party with Snickers ice cream cake.  He loved all the kitchy plastic tablecloths stickers and paper plates/napkins with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.  Who needs kids when we can both act like them?!  =)

December 21st was my last day of work until January 2nd.  The College District is on paid holiday for 12 whole days!  Hooray!  Andrew and I have been quite sick with matching sore throats and head colds.  This is the first vacation we’ve ever had that we stayed home on.  It was our choice to stay home (well, Andrew’s mostly, but I thought I’d give it a try).  It has been really relaxing to just sit around and get homework done and watch television.  I’ve been eating lots of junk food and cleaning up the house.  I guess I prefer to leave town when I’m on vacation, but with us being sick, I guess it worked out well this time.

Christmas this year was really low-key.  We tossed and turned all night with matching coughs and woke up being smothered by our four kitties.  We opened gifts together and gave the kitties their new toys and treats.  Then we headed over to pick up Mom, and Dad took Reesy in his car.  We drove out to the Fox’s for a Christmas lunch barbeque.  After a quick exchange it was off back home to relax for the rest of the day.

That pretty much brings us up to speed, I think.  So as I sit here typing, watching Cars on television, Andrew is resting and all the kitties are asleep…  I guess it’s time to do more homework.  Hopefully I can get ahead far enough that I don’t stress about it in January.  We’re almost halfway done with the Master’s program.  Holy cow!  Halfway point… I never thought I’d get this far.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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He’s Bringin’ Spooky Back
Oct 30th, 2007 by Jessica

He’s bringin’ spooky back (Jessica and Lucky)

Spooky Back
Sung to the tune of “Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake

Kitty babe
You see those whiskers baby I’m your slave
You’ll let me pet you if you wish today
It’s just that no one brings good luck my way

Come here cat, go ahead meow with it
Come to the kitchen, go ahead meow with it
VIK, shrimp on me
Lemme see what you’re eating with
Lickin’ those lips
Tasty smile
Go ‘head then and get your spooky on

He’s bringin’ spooky back
Them other kitties just aren’t quite as black
Boy let him walk in front across your path
Cuz he brings good luck for you and that’s a fact

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Happy 4th of July!
Jul 4th, 2007 by Jessica


Happy 4th of July!
Photo courtesy photohome.com

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Happy Anniversary!
Feb 2nd, 2007 by Jessica

I love you!

Happy 5th Anniversary, Andrew!

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Merry Christmas!
Dec 25th, 2006 by Jessica

Here’s wishing you a safe and happy Christmas day, full of love and good cheer.

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Happy Birthday!
Dec 19th, 2006 by Jessica

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Happy birthday to my sweetheart, Andrew!

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Halloween 2006: Flaming Pumpkins
Oct 31st, 2006 by Jessica

Flaming PumpkinWe decided that if we couldn’t have our Flaming Pumpkindecorations back, that the next best thing was to torch our pumpkins. They were a huge hit with everyone who stopped by.

Only a few kids got a little too close to the pumpkins for our comfort. Most of them appreciated the danger of a three foot flaming pumpkin.



Flaming PumpkinThe video is pretty cool but the photographs are amazing… Flaming Pumpkin(If I might say so, trying to be modest here…) Flaming pumpkins are an awfully sweet subject to photograph. The devil pumpkin is mine, with yellow squash as horns. Andrew’s pumpkin is a bit smaller than mine and much more simplistic in the carving.

I’d like to thank ExtremePumpkins.com for the flaming pumpkin idea. It was awesome! I hope you had a wonderful Halloween!

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