In The Desert Of Seth

By G. B. Marian

Samhain 2014 (Part 2)

Our Samhain 2014 holiday weekend went very well for the most part. On Friday – All Hallows’ Eve – an extremely nasty cold front came in, and we even got a bit of snow towards midnight. I was pleasantly surprised that we got as many trick-or-treaters as we did, and for dinner, I made the very best batch of vegetarian potato stew I’ve ever made in my life. (I even made enough of it to last through the weekend.) Then, at 7:00, we lit our candles for our Gods and ancestors. I said some prayers, inviting our ancestors to spend the weekend with us and thanking Seth and Ishtar for making the weekend possible. (We even offered a can of tuna to the cat.) My intention was to keep the candles burning until sunrise, but I only made it to 6:30 a.m. before I has to close my eyes and go to sleep. That’s almost 12 hours, and we lit them again on Saturday and Sunday evening, which I figure must count for something. At any rate, our kitchen (which was really the most logical place for us to set up our ancestor shrine) felt overwhelmingly holy for the remainder of the weekend.

My wife, my brother Patrick and I watched all of our obligatory Samhain movies that evening, including Halloween (1978), Halloween III (1982), Trick ‘r Treat (2007, not to be confused with the Trick or Treat from 1986) and Pumpkinhead (1988). Even though Halloween doesn’t really scare me that much anymore, there’s just something about watching it on All Hallows’ Eve that still gives me the creeps after all these years. (The weather certainly didn’t help, what with all the eerie wind and the loud whispering of the trees.) At one point, I thought I saw someone sitting at a table in our neighbor’s yard across the street. It looked like the person was just sitting there perfectly still and staring right at our house. My brother and I then used a pair of binoculars to get a better look at our would-be Michael Myers, who turned out to be just a potted plant and some gardening tools. (They were arranged on the table in such a way as to resemble a human head and shoulders in the dark, no doubt by sheer coincidence.) To our credit, these are the same neighbors who were being stalked by some weirdo with a shotgun one night last summer, so the idea that someone might be lurking around their yard on a freezing Halloween night was not entirely unrealistic. But I’ll admit that seeing Halloween shortly before this happened only made my imagination run wilder.

On Saturday – All Saints’ Day – we slept for most of the day and didn’t get up until after the Sun went down. After re-lighting the candles for our ancestors, we spent the evening watching informercials from the 1990s. I forgot all about the time change; I thought it was supposed to happen the following weekend instead. I used to love it when daylight savings time ended (especially when I was a kid, since it meant I could stay up an extra hour and fit in an extra movie on the Saturday night when it happens). But I’ve discovered that I really hate it as an adult. I think we should just keep daylight savings time on all year round, because I hate when it gets dark at 5 p.m. And our original plan for Sunday – All Souls’ Day, which is also our wedding anniversary – was for us to go out of town somewhere and stay at a hotel for the night. Well, this idea was unfortunately scrapped because my wife got sick, and we stayed home and watched some cheesy direct-to-video sci-fi movies from the 1980s. (Specifically, we watched 1987’s Hell Comes to Frogtown and 1989’s Robot Jox.) This isn’t necessarily as bad as it sounds; we have a mad love for films of this sort.

The theatrical poster for Hell Comes To Frogtown (1987)


4 responses to “Samhain 2014 (Part 2)

  1. katakhanas November 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Happy anniversary to you and your wife! I’m in favor of autumn as the time of year in which to marry; my own wedding took place on a beach in Hawaii in October. And speaking of Hawaii, one of my chief joys of having lived there was NEVER having to deal with the end of Daylight Savings Time! Since the islands are so close to the equator, clocks never have to be adjusted come October and March; instead, you’d have to deal with adjusting to other peoples’ changed time zones. Although I’ve been back in my native Chicago for years now, I can say that my body *still* has a rough time adjusting to the 5 p.m. absolute darkness this time of year. Every weeknight when I step out of my office building, it’s like a kick in the stomach. Ooooof!

    I’d love to have your vegetarian potato stew recipe! Soon I’ll be making big batches of my famous curried leek, potato, and spinach soup. It’s packed with Vitamins A, D, K and lutein. THE thing to eat when you want to keep your immune system up and running!

    A couple of nights ago, I really was in the mood to watch the original “Omen” movie starring Gregory Peck, but was disappointed Netflix didn’t have it, so I wound up watching this exorcism movie called “The Taking of Deborah Logan,” which was so absurd I had fun giggling and making Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque comments the whole time–while drinking mead! Mead is GOOD!


    • G. B. Marian November 16, 2014 at 11:32 am

      I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii; I’ve never been there before, but what little I’ve seen of it on TV makes me think I’d enjoy it. The lack of daylight savings time is also attractive, but just one question: what’s the bug situation like? I’m terrified of spiders, and I won’t step foot anywhere they get bigger than we have here in Michigan.

      I got the recipe for the stew from, and I pretty much followed it to the letter, except that I had to let it sit and simmer about an hour longer than the recipe says. This actually led me to think I had botched it somehow, but it turned out tasting great. Maybe it was because I kept the stock when I drained the potatoes, celery and carrots, then added it back in when adding the whipping cream and onions. Not sure if that was necessary or not, but it tasted great!

      I am a HUGE fan of the original Omen, and once I get around to it, I plan to review the entire trilogy. The first one is definitely the best by far, but my personal favorite is the third one, The Final Conflict (1981), when Damien’s all growed up and being played by Sam Neill. It’s got its flaws (as most third films in a series do), but Neill is a real show-stealer in that one!

      Liked by 1 person

      • katakhanas November 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        Well, the insects and arachnids on Oahu are pretty terrifying, and I’m not the kind of gal who freaks out over seeing spiders, millipedes, etc. in the house. What were loathsome to behold were the DIVEBOMBING, PALM-OF-YOUR-FIST-SIZED COCKROACHES aptly nicknamed B-52s. Those first made their appearance in my backyard within three weeks of my move to the town of Ewa Beach, about 12 miles west of Honolulu. I was entertaining friends in my new backyard with scrumptious margaritas when, BLAMMO! Something thudded on my head. When I had that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach that the “something” was WRITHING, I screamed and spilled my drink as I bolted out of my chair. Sure enough, I’d been dive-bombed by the repulsive B-52 winged cockroach.

        Four months later, when my mother was paying my then-husband and I a visit, a “fire centipede,” so-called for its reddish hue and nasty bite, crawled into the house from underneath the front door. My orange tabby kitten, Loki, immediately went to try and bat it around and play with it, which horrified me as the bite can be severely injurious to pets (and small children). However, I didn’t want to draw attention to the intruder as it really would have sent my mother into cardiac arrest. Mercifully, she removed her eyeglasses to clean them, and she said that Loki looked like he was playing with something on the floor. “Oh, that’s just a shoelace,” I lied, wincing. I flagged the attention of my husband, grabbed Loki off the floor, escorted my mother into the kitchen, and handed a hammer and a dustpan to my husband so he could take care of the centipede outside. He wound up reporting that it was notoriously difficult to kill, and he even wound up setting it on fire with a blowtorch! The whole evening felt like a cross between an episode of “Three’s Company” and a B-grade horror film! 😛

        Speaking of horror films, I will have to check out the entire “Omen” trilogy. I adore Sam Neill and think he must have done a fine job as an adult Damien, especially with those piercing eyes of his. (Check him out as an evil vampire pharmaceutical company CEO in “Daybreakers”!) 🙂


      • G. B. Marian November 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        I still haven’t seen Daybreakers, but I aim to correct this very soon. Actors of Sam Neill’s caliber often aren’t willing to do horror films (and I don’t necessarily blame them; why would a Lawrence Olivier want to be in Paranormal Activity 9 or Saw XIV?), but the fact that he does – and that his horror performances are all outstanding – makes me respect him even more. So if you dig Sam Neill, get ready to root for his version of the Antichrist. 😉

        As for the bugs in Hawaii, all I can say is good show for Loki trying to defend your home from such monstrous invaders! And while a blowtorch might seem excessive to some folks, having lived in Texas and near Mexico I can safely say I wished for a blowtorch a time or two!


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