Saturday, September 3rd:
Just got home. Me and Jay went on a Halloween hunt that ended up being pretty fruitless, but that’s okay, because we got to blast the jukebox while driving around, and I think that’s all we were really after, anyway.
We did manage to find that blueberry coffee from 7-Eleven, though! I wasn’t joking: It really DOES smell & taste like Boo Berry cereal. Like, so much so that I cannot imagine even one person arguing that it doesn’t.
The trick is finding a 7-Eleven that actually carries the coffee, because not all of them do. We got lucky today… only took two 7-Elevens to find it, unlike last year, when I think we hit 28 of them or something.
Delicious! Put this on your Halloween season to-do list.
By the time you read this, the Halloween Countdown will be live, and I’ll be halfway out the door. For the last several years, my post-launch tradition has been to drive out to whatever Halloweeny thing is still open in the late hours, blasting the Halloween Jukebox while I do.
These drives typically start with a 7-Eleven run to see if they have blueberry coffee, because as I’ve told you before, 7-Eleven’s blueberry coffee tastes exactly like Boo Berry cereal. (Or at least, it smells exactly like it.)
From there, I usually end up at a 24/7 Walmart, somewhere over in Jersey. I’m at Target like 50 times a week, but Walmart runs are rarer, so I often find some Halloweeny thing worth buying that I didn’t already have.
So, once the Countdown has launched and I’ve ensured that nothing broke in the process, imagine me in a near-empty Walmart, surrounded by stockboys and stacked boxes, searching for Hocus Pocus cereal.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this season is how even something as mundane as that can feel like an adventure.
Thursday, September 1st:
Freeform just released their schedule for this year’s 31 Days of Halloween television event, and I’m getting such a kick out of it. Look past the expected glut of family friendly movies, and there are some truly unexpected gems hiding in the lineup.
I’m also digging the screwball times that so many of these movies will be airing. It’s such a throwback to the Halloween television marathons of my youth. The whole lineup is over here, but I’ve plucked out my favorite bits below. (Listed times are EST.)
Saturday 10/1: Edward Scissorhands @ 7AM
Monday 10/3: Buffy the Vampire Slayer @ 1PM
Tuesday 10/4: Ghostbusters 2 @ 2PM
Sunday 10/9: Get Out @ 6:55PM (?!!)
Monday 10/10: Halloween (2018) @ 4:15PM
Weds 10/12: Simpsons Marathon @ 8PM
Saturday 10/15: Hook @ 7AM
Tuesday 10/18: Fright Night (2011) @ 3:30PM
Monday 10/31: Beetlejuice @ 3PM
The 31 Days of Halloween event is something I’ve mostly admired from afar, but I’d like to actually partake this year. Even if it’s just on the television in the other room, as background noise for my cats.
I’ve seen most of these movies dozens of times, but they hit differently when they’re on regular television. Not sure if it’s the commercials or the camaraderie. Maybe it’s just the fact that I won’t have to pick what to watch. I’m so indecisive!
Wednesday, August 31st:
The highlight of my day was a trip to Yankee Candle, where I loaded up on giant autumnal wax thingies. They were having a 2-for-1 sale, so it was perfect timing. Of the four I bought, Spooky Spider Cider is rocking my world hardest – if only because I went crazy trying to find that candle last year, to no avail.
Happy to report that it lives up to the hype. “Spiders” apparently smell like spicy apples, and the label design is beautiful, too. I’m trying to reserve that one for an extra special night, so right now I’ve got another of my pickups going: Haunted Hayride, which has enough of a cedar kick to pay off the “hayride” part, but otherwise smells like a faint perfume. It’s pleasant enough!
I know I was talking up those cheap candles from Michaels a few days ago, but I just felt like splurging on the best possible Halloween scents. Especially because I’m gonna be in edit hell until Friday night, and making my office smell like cider and hay is how I plan to cope.
Tuesday, August 30th:
It’s 1:30 AM right now. Technically Wednesday. I just finished “work,” which I’m putting in quotes because I don’t know if I can qualify reviewing Halloween toys while in vampire makeup as work.
In any event, it’s been a tremendously long day, and now I need to unwind. I already know what I’m eating — popcorn with way too much bottled ranch dust on top. But what will I watch?
One of this season’s many thrills is hastily picking a spooky movie and just running with it. So I pulled up HBO Max and quickly chose The Blair Witch Project. I’ve seen it a million times, but it never loses its punch.
The real appeal of picking it tonight is that I know I’ll fall asleep before the freaky parts. The kids’ adventures are actually pretty enviable for the first third of the movie. I just love the idea of crashing at a bad hotel to eat Cheetos while passing around a bottle of whisky. Weird as it sounds, that’s my favorite scene in the movie.
Monday, August 29th:
Got up bright and early to script this year’s first (but hopefully not last) Madd Matt video, because that’s really the only thing that’s gotta be done by Friday night if I don’t want to be drawn and quartered.
Especially during the Halloween season, I prefer to work on Dino Drac stuff very early in the morning or very late at night. The world is louder than ever, and I like being able to focus without the nagging notion that I should be zipping through 80 tabs and apps every five seconds.
My key accompaniments during these quiet work hours include a cheap autumn candle from Michaels and a big cup of coffee. I’m a huge fan of the Ashland candles from Michaels, which are inexpensive but on-point. Best of them is Pumpkin Pie Spice. It’s not quite on the level of a similar Yankee Candle, but the fact that you can buy 5 or 6 of ‘em for the price of one of those is pretty great.
As for the coffee: Dunkin’ is preferred, not just because I like it, but because it was the coffee that kept me afloat during the earliest Halloween Countdowns, when they amounted to massive, solitary writing marathons. To this day, no matter what time of year, the smell of regular coffee from Dunkin’ puts me in a Halloween mood.
Sunday, August 28th:
I’m sure it’ll come up on the site again, but last night I finally tried Mtn Dew VooDew 4. I say “finally” because I’m the moron who bought bottles off eBay for a ridiculously inflated price several months back. Decided to hold off on taste-tasting until it hit stores because I didn’t want to “spoil” the flavor by guessing early. See how I look out for you?
If you saw my little vid on Instagram, you’ve heard my guess. I think they’re going for Airheads this year. (Blue raspberry if we’re being incredibly specific, though I doubt Mtn Dew is.)
This doesn’t seem to be a popular guess right now, but I’m sticking with it, and I think the fact that this year’s reaper mascot basically looks like a bunch of stretched Airheads only helps my case.
In other news, this is the last day that I can kinda/sorta relax before Countdown preparations take over my life, so that’s what I’m doing. My neck is busted from sleeping crooked to accommodate my cat, so it’s a good day to be lazy, anyway.