Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pop Quiz and Halloween Photos

Pop Quiz!

While blanching green beans, or haricots verts if you are somewhat French or Martha Stewart:

boiling beans

which of the following do you think of?

1) Blanche Devereaux, sexpot Golden Girl
2) Blanche DuBois, who has always depended upon the kindness of strangers
3) Blanche Hudson, crippled prisoner of her sister Baby Jane
4) What the hell is blanching, and how do you do it to beans?

While any answer is acceptable, mine involved me stirring the pot while muttering, "But ya are, Blanche, ya are in that chair!" and giggling. I was blanching the green beans because I was making a bean and potato salad for our office soup and salad luncheon on Wednesday. While we don't have a fixed date for it, we've had one every year I've worked here to celebrate the change of seasons from summer to fall, the season of my birthday and of Halloween.

Even though the official holiday is today, my Halloween festivities started a little early when I was invited to judge the floor decorating contests in one of the halls. While some of them were pretty haphazard and low effort, some of the floors went all out in terms of theme and effort:

"Wicked" wall decor

Apple bobbing horror

Jack and Sally

I voted for the "Nightmare Before Christmas" floor, but have not heard who actually won. I also forgot to take pictures of the "Batman: The Dark Knight" floor, which also had a student-made video playing for us, but it was very impressive. On my way back to my car afterward I also saw this impressive graffiti in one of the bus stops:

bus stop men

I love the way it looks like the heads are actually made out of the map. I didn't examine it closely enough, but it's possible that they actually are.

Today, Halloween itself, was also a home football game, and I was working. I wasn't sure what would happen when we mixed a dress up holiday with football, but other than a random costume here and there:

tipsy teletubby

Super-football fan-man

and a line stolen from "The Exorcist" to compare our football coach to Jesus:

compelling sweatshirts

there wasn't much difference from normal. The rain probably had something to do with it, but also the fact that most of what people wear to the football games borders on costume on a normal day means that we didn't see anything really outlandish.

Unless, of course, you count the Vols Team Grill:

Vols Grill

or the Vols office chair:

Vols office chair

but even those aren't that bad if you remember the basic rule that you can paint anything in Tennessee Volunteer orange and someone will buy it.

My shift at the game only went to the end of the first quarter, and since it was dark and raining I decided to just head back to the parking garage and go home:

bridge to the garage

but on the way I had to walk past Ayres Hall. According to internet legend, the lawn of Ayres is haunted by spectral phantoms of Civil War soldiers, a story grounded in the fact that the building where Ayres now stands was a hospital for the injured of the Battle of Fort Sanders. Ayres is a beautiful, collegiate-looking building, but is currently closed for renovation. Given that it is empty, fenced off, dark, allegedly haunted, and that it was night, raining, Halloween, and that I was alone, I crossed the lawn for a closer look in spite of the knowledge gleaned from years of horror movie viewing:

Ayres Hall by night (1)

Ayres Hall by night (2)

No ghosts, but plenty spooky.


Lauren said...

Joel-Saturday I saw a Stouffer's microwavable version of the welsh rarebit! I thought that was very odd. You are such a chef! I just made my first apple pie-woot! I love love the Nightmare Before Christmas floor-good to see Morrill is still awesome.

JMBower said...

"Hey let's go investigate that creepy house" is right up there with other suicidal horror movie utterings like "Hey, let's split up and investigate that creepy sound" or "Hey I'll be right back" or "Is it dead? Guess I'll poke it from close range" or "Let's have sex for comfort while there's a stalker on the loose" or "I think Sarah Palin would do a wonderful job as president".