Our Day at the Orchard, Part 4 of 4: Because Autumn

Gourds!

Gourds! They come in all sizes, shapes, colors, tastes, temperaments, lineages, medical histories, and skin care qualities.

On our birthdays my wife and try to find some new place to experience or untested activity to try. We’ve visited rural town squares, we’ve checked out local tourist attractions, we’ve done day trips to outer Indiana, and one time we even attended a film-festival screening, complete with famous-actors Q&A afterward . Last May for my birthday, I had us on a walking tour of the town of Muncie. This year my wife wanted to keep her own birthday outing simple yet nonetheless original. For once we took advantage of her autumn birthday and went somewhere fairly alien to us: an orchard.

Indiana has its unfair share of copious farmlands in general and orchards in particular. Every October and November the local media like to trumpet dozens of opportunities for Hoosiers to leave the house for fresh air and edible scenery. The busyness of life tends to block those from catching our attention. In the interest of broadening our horizons, or at least in the interest of observing the little things nearer to us than to the horizon’s edge, a few weeks ago we drove out to Danville and attended the annual Heartland Apple Festival at Beasley’s Orchard. ‘Twas the season.

Right this way for the final round of photos! And links to the chapters you may have missed!

MCC Home Video Scorecard #2: Costumes and Scares

42: the Jackie Robinson Story!

Chadwick Boseman: a black hero in a white genre.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we launched a new recurring feature that’s me jotting down capsule-sized notes about not-new movies I catch at home. In this batch of Stuff I Recently Watched: two recent horror DVDs that were given to me for free, just in time for Halloween; one Shakespearean adaptation with a most unusual costuming approach; and one period-piece/biopic featuring an actor whose biggest starring role yet was just announced earlier today with much delightful fanfare.

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“Sleepy Hollow” 10/27/2014 (spoilers): Everyone Knows It’s Wendigo

Sleepy Hollow!

Abbie and Crane share drinks and toast to absent characters at the Tarrytown Cheers.

Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Ichabod Crane learned his beloved Katrina was keeping yet another secret from him, this one involving the accidental death (or was it murder) of his long-lost ex-fiancé, who returned from the dead as a zombie naiad and killed a dear friend. Meanwhile, Crane’s evil son Henry Parish received evil demerits from his demon overlord Moloch for not submitting this petty revenge exercise through the proper evil approval channels.

In tonight’s new episode, “And the Abyss Gazes Back”, it’s time to meet yet another long-lost family member we never knew: Our Heroes meet Zach Appelman as Joe Corbin, son of the late Sheriff Corbin, for which Clancy Brown returns in another minute of new voiceover. Joe’s got a secret, Henry’s got plans, Hawley brings friends, Jenny brings organs, Captain Irving faces temptation, and Crane faces the sinister threat of backstabbing gamers. Also, there’s a monster.

For those who missed out, my attempt to streamline the basic events follows after this courtesy spoiler alert for the sake of time-shifted viewers…

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MCC 2014 Pilot Binge #20: “Constantine”

John Constantine!

“The power of comics compels you to watch! The power of comics compels you to watch! Um, uh, accio remote!

It’s time for more comic book TV! Longtime readers know John Constantine from his first appearance as an obnoxious Swamp Thing ally and/or as the star of his own mature-readers DC/Vertigo series that ran for 25 years before it was canceled and replaced by a more mainstream version ready-made for super-hero crossovers. Too many movie viewers first knew him as the focus of just another failed Keanu Reeves vehicle, whose high point was Tilda Swinton as a creepy angel. The new John in NBC’s Constantine is basically Dr. Strange on zero hours’ sleep wearing Harvey Bullock’s clothes. Regardless, the cunning yet selfish antihero has been handled by so many great writers over the decades, shown in so many states of mind operating in so many peculiar ways, that this pilot had no chance of pleasing all the people all of the time.

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Them Apples: the E! True Hollywood Story

Apples!

The Apples in Stereo!

In a modest Indiana town called Danville, there’s a place called Beasley’s Orchard where parents can bring their children to let them experience the natural resource of fresh air, and older couples can wander around as a birthday date and/or happy excuse for light exercise. During certain times of the year, visitors to Beasley’s can peruse a farmer-food shop, walk quickly through a small-business sales-tent, get lost for years in a corn maze, or lay traps for the Great Pumpkin in their rather sincere pumpkin patch.

You’re surely familiar with one of the orchard’s biggest superstars: Them Apples.

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Our Jack Skellington Team-Building Pumpkin Showpiece

Sometimes team-building exercises can take you to the most unexpected places.

During our Customer Service Appreciation Week, our department and several others were challenged to a pumpkin-decorating contest. Each area received one (1) pumpkin, some bottles of paint, three paintbrushes in different sizes, a sheet or two of random Halloween stickers, probably some other art stuff I never even glanced at, and a few days’ advance notice in case we wanted time to formulate a strategy and bring our own art supplies and accessories. Once our allotted time began, we had ninety minutes to go from plain pumpkin to polished pièce de résistance, and with only one rule: no carving. Presumably the company has plans for all the pumpkin guts after the festivities end.

My team landed on the idea of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Pumpkin Skellington!

Right this way for more details and a look at Spiral Hill!

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