1. Be Better at…Halloween.

    We had just moved to a rich, ultra-fancy neighborhood in Dallas (we were probably the poorest people in a 10 mile radius) and as an effort to make friends, I ventured off to trick or treat. 

    Prior years, living in a middle class hood meant a pretty mediocre ratio in the old candy sack…60% stupid candy, 38% awesome shit and 2% weird items that I threw on someone’s front lawn before returning home. But this year…this new place was different and ruined every Halloween to come. 

    First off…I was shocked to see most houses inviting kids INTO their homes, and the kids were actually going in…DUMMIES! Don’t you know that’s how you get chopped up in little bits and stuffed in a donkey piñata for the next serial killers anonymus meeting!?

    I soon learned that you don’t need to be scared of rich people.

    So on the 3rd or 4th house, I waltzed in like I owned damn the place. I then discovered that these idiots had probably spent more than my current yearly income on transforming their mansion into an ACTUAL haunted house and had hired actors to lead kids through a maze of cheap thrills like touching brains and eyeballs (which this sassy jaded 6th grader knew was obviously a jello mold and peeled grapes). 

    After an overpriced 10 minutes they led us into the foyer (rich people LOVE a motherf*cking foyer) staffed by a couple actors who asked us to open our bags (for the record, other kids had monogrammed candy bags…I had an Albertson’s paper sack).

    Let’s talk about the haul…each of us got 4-5 king-sized candy bars and a ten dollar bill. This type of treat-gifting pretty much continued through the night and contributed to my journey into being a real spoiled brat… which I’m sad to say has followed me into adulthood. 

    All that to say, this Halloween don’t be the dumb house that gives away the wrong kind of candy…

    To aid in your shopping here’s a quick guide:

    -Reese’s: A perfect give-away unless little Tommy has an unknown peanut allergy. You didn’t go crazy and buy king-sized treats but you did a respectable job this year. 

    -Loose Candy Corn: ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL SOMEONE? Loose, unwrapped candy? You expect me to put my hand in that pumpkin-shaped bowl of swarming bacteria where 85 other poop-coated miniature fingers have been to get such a measly reward? Have you tasted candy corn lately? It’s pretty much like sweet butter-flavored wax. STOP. 

    -Tootsie Rolls: Oh, you’re too cheap to buy ACTUAL chocolate so you are going to try and skate by with cocoa-flavored treats? No one is fooled. 

    -Coins for Unicef: WTF. You want me to do what with this rusty penny? What the crap is UNICEF? If you give coins away, check your birth certificate as you must be over the age of 68. 

    -Snickers: YES! Best house ever!!! But hey, stick with fun size…not minis, ok? My mom slaved away on this two-person horse costume…make it worth our while. 

    -Dum Dums: You are what you serve. Also, these don’t even have gum inside.

    -M&M’s: Better go with a peanut or new pretzel option here IMHO.

    -Pencil: Really? This is going straight in your lawn.

    -Almond Joy: Don’t ask me, I didn’t taste one until I was 25 due to my mom always taking these as her payment for driving my ass around.

    -Apple: Sigh. I feel sorry for your children. Also, unless I’m bobbing for $20 bills…don’t make me stick my face into a bucket of water to get my treat. 

    -Sorta “peanut flavored” chewy candy in solid brown or orange wrappers: Terrorist candy if you ask me. If anyone can find a brand name for these, I’ll give you all my candy. 

    Happy Halloween y’all!

    xo Chinae

     


  2. Be Better…at The Day After Halloween.

    It’s the day after Halloween. If you went out, you’re probably exhausted, hung-over, and wondering what the hell you are going to do with that “Naughty Paula Deen” costume (complete with buttery Slip n’ Slide). If you stayed home, you probably had one trick-or-treater like I did (who was handsomely rewarded with an Atkins Chocolate Chip granola bar)… then ate all the entire bucket of candy yourself and watched Jamie Lee Curtis not die in the original Halloween movie.

    And here we are…stuck with a headache/stomach ache, owning a shitty costume and living with a stoop full of more decorative gourds than you can shake a stick at. What the hell do we do now?

    HANGOVER CURE: HERE ARE MY 3 TOP PICKS OF WHERE TO GET YOUR POST-BINGE NOSH ON IN THE HOOD.

    • MOIM (206 Garfield pl. at 7th ave): Nothing kicks a hangover like a hot, steaming bowl of spicy, soupy goodness. Go to Moim and order the Kimchi-Jjigae and a side of Kimchi Man-du and you’ll see that hangover melt away.
    • BONNIE’S GRILL (278 5th ave between 1st and Garfield): Get the wings, pulled pork, or a burger and fries, add copious amounts of water….and you’re going to be just fine.
    • DRAM SHOP (339 9th St. between 5th and 6th ave.): One word…BURGER. Add a decent IPA as your “hair of the dog” and wait it out.

    ***Halloween Hangover Pro-Tip: Next year, plan to wear a homemade coconut bra as part of your costume, and save the coconut water for the next day’s hangover! 

    After consuming that 32nd Fun-Size Kit Kat (Fun-Size means you can eat until you stop having fun, right?), and hiding all the wrappers at the bottom of the trash can so your significant other/room mate doesn’t judge you…you feel like butthole. Now what?

    STOMACH ACHE CURE: TRY MY HOMEMADE GINGER BREW

    Cut up pieces of fresh ginger into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick, until you have about ¾ of a cup of sliced ginger root. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add the ginger to the pot along with 5 cinnamon sticks. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes and then let it cool.  Strain out the ginger pieces and cinnamon sticks before drinking. This is great served hot in the winter and then put into popsicle form in the summer to keep on hand for instant stomach ache relief.

    NOW THAT YOUR BODY IS STARTING TO FEEL HUMAN AGAIN, YOU’LL NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE LEFT OVER PUMPKINS…

    • USE YOUR PUMPKIN FOR GOOD: Do your part in supporting local farmers and take your janky-ass jack-o-lantern to a composting drop-off site: Park Slope’s location is at the Grand Army Plaza Green Market at the Grow NYC booth on Saturdays from 8am-4pm at the NW corner of Prospect Park. More informationHERE
    • USE YOUR PUMPKIN FOR YUMS: The obvious answer for post-Halloween pumpkin usage is for fall-centric treats. The pumpkin “meat” can be used for all kinds of baked goods and sh*t (don’t use the carved ones)…and the seeds are the easiest thing to take to work and brag about: “Of course I roast my own pumpkin seeds in my spare time”.

    Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

    2 cups of washed pumpkin seeds (dried for one day)

    2 Tablespoons of butter, melted

    1 ½ Teaspoons of Salt

    Mix butter, seeds, and salt together. Bake on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes in a 250-degree oven.

    • USE YOUR PUMPKIN TO GET HOTTER:

    Pumpkin Face Mask:

    2 Teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed

    ½ Teaspoon Honey

    ¼ Teaspoon Milk/Soymilk

    ½ Teaspoon of Brown Sugar

    Combine all the ingredients together and apply to your face for 10-15 minutes. Relax. After the time is up, wash your face as normal and moisturize. This works bitches.

    (Me in my mermaid costume with Andy Warhol)

    AND LASTLY — WHAT TO DO WITH THAT LEFTOVER COSTUME:

    • DONATE THAT SHIT: Drop off your costume at the same Grand Army Green Market location as the composting site. More information HERE.
    • SELL THAT SHIT:  Take it on over to BEACON’S CLOSET and see if they’ll throw you a couple bucks for your costume. Though you’ll probably have better luck at the Beacon’s in Williamsburg (see: my new favorite time-waster website, HALLOWEEN OR WILLIAMSBURG
    • REUSE THAT SHIT: Sounds like you need to get on with planning a mid-winter costume party!

    xoxo Chinae

    p.s. this post is also over on the Brooklyn blog I write for: www.fuckedinparkslope.com

     


  3. Be Better at…Halloween.

    I love Halloween. If I could dress in theme everyday (sh*t. I sort of already do) I would. 

    The idea of being able to for one day, be whatever you want to be and no one being able to REALLY place hard judgement on you…is the best thing EVER.

    Every year around this time the over planner comes out in me and I start thinking and plotting for costume ideas. Also, over pretty much every conversation with pals, someone asks me what I think they should be for Halloween. So…let’s lay down some ground rules and tips for being better at Halloween so I can stop answering that f*cking question.

    5 Halloween DON’Ts:

    -You can’t just add the word “sexy” onto your costume and call it a day: You know what I mean here. There is something really f*cked up about a sexy cat or a sexy pumpkin…don’t you see that?

    YOU’VE JUST TRIED TO MAKE A GOURD A SEXUAL BEING. (hello?!)

     If you are wanting to be sexy for halloween, I get that. It’s really the only time you can be absolutely scandalous and blame it on something other than you actual being a ho-bag. BUT at least do it in a smart way. Some 1ft piece of polyester that came out of a plastic bag from Ricky’s Costume Warehouse isn’t going to be cute or original. If you are going to be sexy, make sure that you’re something that’s actually sexy in real life…like a celebrity or something…not an oversexualized insect or condiment. Although, I would pay good money to see a sexy mustard bottle this year.

    -Dead Celebrities aren’t as funny as you’d imagine: As much as I love Steve Jobs, Amy Winehouse, Gaddafi, or Randy “Macho Man” Savage…dressing up as a recently dead celebrity isn’t really very interesting since you’ll be among about 2,000 other people dressed up as the same dead person as you. Plus, we know you are just lazy by buying a black turtleneck and carrying around your iPhone. 

    -Zombie or Vampire…something: This is often used as a tool to jazz up an otherwise boring costume…Yes, I get that you don’t want to be JUST a ladybug so zombie ladybug sounds better…but resist the urge to just tack on the word zombie or vampire for sh*ts and giggles. 

    -Couple’s Costumes: If you’re going to do a couple’s costume (which are very tricky to do right), PLEASE don’t totally emasculate your boyfriend by making him be some inane sidekick to the costume you are wearing. I literally saw a man dressed as a cotton-ball covered sheep so he “went” with his GF’s Little Bo Slut costume. Ridic. 

    -Effortless Costuming: If you aren’t going to put any effort in, just don’t dress up. A nametag or a pair of glasses is not a costume. You are just insulting the rest of us dressed in full garb that may or may not have spent 4-5 hours applying temporary tattoos to our entire body.

    Halloween DO’s:

    -Be Funny If You Can: I know it’s hard to stand out and be funny in the world of hipster mermaids and boom mic operators..but give it a go if you can. I absolutely loved being a chola last year and being a little funny/scary/unsexy was the best time I’ve ever had dressing up (see Chola photo above). Really tops the really unfunny/desperate/annoying “sexy” girl scout I was in college (vomit).

    -Get Interactive: My friend Jon suggested this point and I can’t agree more. If you can incorporate an activity, hand motion, stance, or musical number in your costume…you get SO many ghost points. Who cares if your arms are going numb from having to have your hands straight up in air all night being a “roller-coaster rider screen shot photo”? You committed and we respect that more than anything. 

    -Keep it Simple in Construction and Explanation: You know you’re probably going to have like 5-10 Whiskey sodas over the course of the Halloween night…so seriously think about your props and construction of the costume. You don’t want to be leaving hunks of your Space-Cowgirl-Lara-Croft-Tomb-Raider outfit all over the damn bar. Attach that sh*t well ok? Also, know that by 10pm you are going to be all slurry and the like…so maybe pick a theme that takes less than one sentence to explain what the hell you are. 

    All that to say…I think I’m going to be Pocahontas this year…so yeah. Yawn. 

    What’s everyone else thinking?

    xox Chinae