Trick or Treating: Steampunk, Hagrid and Two Spidermans / by Leslie

Halloween turned out to be fun, as usual, despite the snow and my initial reluctance to get dressed up. Chris came home from work and eagerly put on his costume, so I couldn't be the only one not in costume! I dressed in a Steampunk outfit, and most people didn't really know what that was. I was trying to think of one character that people could identify with, but the only thing I could think of was the comic book A League of Extraordinary Gentleman, which was also made into a movie and might be one of the more popular expressions of steampunk. Steampunk is a rich genre, with associations in a few different movies. The book The Return of the Dappermen has some elements of it, as do some Japanese animated movies like Castle in the Sky or Howl's Moving Castle. All of these examples contain typical steampunk tropes like robots, giant clocks, trains and airships. It's my favorite sci-fi/fantasy look, with it's time travelling implications, and cool gadgets. Typically it mixes historical eras, most often Victorian, with futuristic inventions. That combination of the familiar past with the imagined future creates a plausible alternate reality that is appealing and well suited for science fiction story-telling.

The kids dressed as dark Spiderman and loved it. They love their superheroes. Milo dutifully wore his mask all night long, while Quinn wouldn't put up with it when there were so many fantastic things to see. He was tripping all night long because he was always looking in the opposite direction that he was walking in. The boys were so good about saying "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You" and Quinn even occasionally said "Happy Halloween!" The snow made navigating a bit challenging, but it wasn't as cold as we thought it would be, so it was very enjoyable to be outside walking around. We did our usual route through downtown Warwick (Orchard St, Welling Ave and Oakland Ct) where there are the highest concentration of decorated houses and costumed people. Chris was the star of the night dressed as Hagrid from the Harry Potter series, with people staring and smiling at him all night long and a few even wanted a picture with him! We saw only one Harry Potter and I didn't get a shot of him with Chris, but we found a nerd who looked like Ron when he took his glasses off! When we were looking for costumes, I couldn't find an official costume for Hagrid, so I got Chris a Caveman wig and a long jacket and vest from a comic book gunslinger costume. It was so awesome, he makes a good Hagrid.

We were out for about an hour, getting home right around dinnertime when it was getting really dark. I much prefer going out in the daylight with the kids. They got a good little haul, maybe 40 pieces of candy each. After dumping it on the table we let them eat a bunch of whatever they wanted, then we had a pizza dinner and watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Milo can do a pretty good impression of Charlie Brown saying dejectedly, "I got a rock." It was a great night. One last thing, Quinn has taken quite a liking to the skeleton decoration that is in the last photo. He has named him "Skelly" and claims he is his new best friend. Awww. I don't think I will be able to put him away when it's time to clean up the decorations. Happy Halloween everyone, I hope you had a wonderfully ghoulish night as well!