Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkins and Heralds

Last night the boys finally carved their mega pumpkins. I picked up this snazzy little carving kit at our local target. I had never really seen this kind of thing in person, although I do have a friend who used to do these kind of artistic pumpkins in Tokyo. I thought it was so nifty -- patterns and cool little tools all in the "easy to use" kit that guaranteed a pumpkin design that would wow friends and neighbors. I stood in line and imagined a hallmark-moment carving session with the boys! I have a really great imagination.

By the end of the session, we did have carved pumpkins. They look pretty cool. They were not that fun to do.

Problem number one: The boys LARGE pumpkins meant something like 2 inch hulls. I think that carving a spider web on the front of a nuclear submarine with a blow torch may well have been easier than using the mini hack saw on Henry's pumpkin. We tried using the core cleaning tool to thin out the hull. Heck the thing even had a "thumb rest" guide on there to obviously allow the user to increase torque when thinning. Didn't work.

Problem number two: The darling little tools, so attractively packaged in the alluring carving kit were, in a word, c-r-a-p. By the end of the carving session we had broken both little hack saws and cracked the core cleaning tool in half. I would mention that we are not any stronger than any other average pumpkin carving family.

Problem number three: The "pumpkin carving difficulty guide" was not accurate. In a rare moment of "keeping this to a low roar", I made the boys choose only patterns that were awarded a two pumpkin rating -- out of a possible four. I'm no martha stewart, so I was trying to ensure that even I could carve these suckers. George's turned out to be o.k. - - but Henry selected a spider web design that required him to follow a bunch of tiny little fly-wheel imposed dots that once the pattern was removed looked like - - well it looked like a boat load of tiny little dots in a completely random pattern. It should have been rated the 4.5 pumpkins.

In the end, as I mentioned we did finish two pumpkins. George finished his pretty quickly, once he got the hang of the mini-hack-saw. Henry was a regular trooper and continued to work through his spider-web design for an entire hour miraculously making sense out of the maze of tiny dots. He finally gave up and turned to me for relief. By the time I took over, there was only one hack-saw left and its blade was bent precariously in three places. I managed to get the rest done and if you squint really hard, you can actually see what it is supposed to be.

So, I took pictures. This is the first shot of the pumpkins. I took it without my reading glasses on. This is evidence that I can no longer read a single thing - - or in fact focus a camera on a giant pumpkin. Damn. I tried to blame some of it on not keeping the camera still during a long shutter click. George the Elder was not buying it. I went off to find my glasses.

The next photos are taking with my glasses on - - not kodak award winning photos. I do think I was able to prove that the whole "out of focus thing" cannot be blamed entirely on my aging eyes. I suspect the George would say I shouldn't blame the camera. Still, I feel better.

On a final note, last Sunday our neighborhood had a little Halloween block party. A nice chance to meet some of the neighbors, let the boys play some games, and have a BBQ. The boys have been deciding what they want to be for Halloween for the last three weeks. Georgie was dead-set on dressing as the ever creative baseball player or football player. In the end, he went on Sunday in the baseball outfit, as his football jersey was not here yet. Tonight he will be a Cincinnati Bengals football player. We have no idea why he likes the Bengals.

Henry, on the other hand was going to recreate his Roman Toga outfit, complete with ivy head thingy made from ivy stolen from some one's yard. Then, in the last minute he decided that he would not be "scary enough" as a roman senator. As you can see, he settled on the most frightening, horrid, child scream inducing - - Herald. Apparently, being dressed as a medieval Herald replete with a cap with a feather and wielding a dangerous scroll as a prop meets Henry's definition of bone chilling. That frightens George and I.

1 comment:

K said...

Medieval Herald? That kid's brain is pretty impressive. I would have guessed some Harry Potter reference.