I nearly forgot that Valentine’s Day is in less than a week. We aren’t usually big on celebrating, but I do love a good handmade card. The moray eel card from Volta Press is kind of the best thing ever.
Mary and I are huge fans of old board games and I’d have to say the game Careers is probably our favorite. The object of the game is to earn points by gaining money, happiness, or fame and you can choose different careers along the way to help you achieve those goals.
We originally found a ’70s version of the game and fell in love with it. The career options in this version are Big Business, Sports, Teaching, Politics, Arts, Space, and Ecology.
A year or so later, I discovered a 1950′s version in an antique store in Detroit. This version, which I later found out to be the original, had careers in Farming, Big Business, Out to Sea, Politics, Hollywood, Expedition to the Moon, or Uranium Prospecting.
“(it) was developed by noted sociologist Dr. James Cook Brown, who also happened to be a science fiction author (he wrote The Troika Incident) and inventor of the artificial language, Loglan. Dr. Brown designed Careers to be an answer to the what he perceived as the 1950s focus on greed and monetary-based self worth. Careers encourages players to think beyond just making money, and instead consider that being successful in life has many paths and aspects. He later redesigned the game to include “enlightenment”, “virtue”, and “power”, but these were not also adopted by the game’s publishers as it transformed Careers from a family game into a game for adults.”
On top of Careers being a blast to play, it turns out it also has quite a history. Just check out these later editions, starting with 1979, 1990, 1992, and 2003 respectively. The quality of cover art really decays over time. Also, please note that “super mom” is a career in the ’90s version and that there’s French on the 2003 version, indicating its probable release only in Canada.
My two favorite things about holidays are seasonal food and music. Much to the chagrin of the people around me, I usually make a few holiday mixes that I listen to non-stop. Here’s a few of my favorite songs to listen to during Halloween.
Bobby (Boris) Picket and the Crypt-Kickers The Monster Mash
This is the quintessential Halloween song, so I couldn’t leave it off the list. There are countless other monster dance songs from the 50s and 60s, but none have the kind of staying power that this one does. I had an awesome record of novelty songs from this era called Monster Mash as a kid. I recently re-purchased it.
Bauhaus Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Spooky Bauhaus had to show up on this list at some point. What better than a song that references the star of Dracula. Also, I couldn’t find a video for Cry Little Sister.
Sheb Wooley Purple People Eater
This is another song that made an appearance on my Monster Mash record. Really what is even going on in this song? And why aren’t more people purple people eaters for Halloween.
The Spooks California Boys
I’m allowed to include a song just because it has a theremin in it right? I’m really into The Spooks right now.
Warren Zevon Werewolves of London
This song features one of my favorite lyrics ever. “I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vics’s, and his hair was perfect.” The piano hook has unfortunately been blatantly ripped off by some Kid Rock song, which has lead to a lot of turning up the radio followed by a feelings of disappointment. I won’t let that ruin the song for me, though.
Daniel Johnston Devil Town
Another song full of awesome spooky lyrics.
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown Fire
“I am the god of hell fire and I bring you…” my second favorite Halloween hit. I remember seeing this video in high school and being completely mesmerized by it. Dig that crazy dancing. I’m a sucker for anything with an organ though. If you want a good chuckle, check out another festive song by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown called Vampire Club.
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins I Put a Spell on You
“It’s Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and he’s a wild man, so bug off.”
-Eva Stranger Than Paradise
This is hands down my favorite song to listen to during Halloween. It gets double points for being covered by Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus. There are about a thousand other covers of the song as well, but nothing beats Screamin’ Jay.
Oh, my! There are so many great spooky songs. I had to cut myself off.