It’s October, bittttccchhhheeessss


It’s October, my favorite month. I don’t care what yours is. October is the best.

It’s finally starting to cool off in southern California, except for the week that the Santa Ana winds hit and half the region becomes a giant barbecue. The air feels more crisp. Sure, you people up in the northwest, east coast and Midwest can laugh. But the slightest chill to the air means crisp out here. AND IT’S FANTASTIC. The leaves turn from green to brown; it’s beautiful.

Football is well into its seasons (college, NFL). Our favorite television shows have returned to hopefully not start sucking. Homeland returned this weekend with LOTS AND LOTS of talking. We finally get to find out how Ted met his children’s mother, Parenthood is back and I have no recollection of how last season ended. The mom doesn’t have cancer anymore, right? RIGHT??? The Walking Dead and American Horror Story start back up. Great, two MORE hours of trying to cram in TV that my wife doesn’t want to watch with me. My DVR will want a raise.

But there are two main reasons why October owns my heart.


The older I’ve gotten, the more Halloween romanticizes me. As a kid, I don’t remember caring a whole lot about Halloween. I mean, sure I dressed up and trick-or-treated, and it was fun, but it came and went and that was it. Now, I find everything about the holiday enchanting. Black and orange are like the best color combination possible, right? Throw in some purple and holy crap why use any other color combos at all. Candles, ominous trees, fog, tombstones. Spooky is sexy.

(I love that commercial. This was from 2012. It’s a play-on of the Knott’s commercial for the regular park.)

At 14-years-old, a freshman at El Modena High School, I first went to Knott’s Scary Farm. That began an annual tradition of 12 consecutive trips to the fright farm. Until finally no one wanted to go with me. This year I’m going to Universal Halloween Horror Nights for the second time. Last year’s The Walking Dead tram ride blew my f’ing mind. AND IT’S BACK!


The week after Universal we’re taking the kids to Mickey’s Halloween Party. Two years ago we took Jax, then 3, and the infant twins. Jax was in heaven. And so was I. Fog oozes off the Rivers of America. Halloween music blasts from party spots. The villains are out, cruising around. And the haunted mansion is transformed into The Nightmare Before Christmas ride. I could sit outside the mansion, illuminated by candles and jack-o-lanterns, for hours. I feel warm and fuzzy gazing at the beauty.



I’ve seriously considered a cemetery scene for a tattoo. That’s how much I like the atmosphere. I’d get it along my rib cage. Which is really just blubber, and why I haven’t done it. It’d be like inking a water bed. Anyway, the image in my head, which I can’t describe, is black and white. A creepy willow tree. Crosses and unmarked tombstones, to be filled in later. But three marked tombstones – Presley, Jax and Addison. Fucking morbid, huh?

Baseball Postseason

Ever since I was 9, when I started Little League, fell in love with Wally Joyner and the Angels and memorized The Natural, I’ve been obsessed with baseball. To put it lightly. I’m a baseball fan first, an Angels fan second.


October 1 marks the beginning of postseason baseball. If the World Series goes a full seven games, it’ll end on the 31st. So pretty much, the entire month is postseason baseball. Every game matters. The intensity is ramped up. The pressure boils. My wife actually pays attention, it’s that captivating.

The New York Yankees aren’t in it this year. So that’s a bonus. I’ll be rooting for a first-round exit for the Boston Red Sox. And I’ll enjoy watching my friends and family live and die by each Dodgers game.

But all of it makes me miss Jax even more. I want to watch the Dodgers and Braves with the the lights out in our house, candles lit, fake jack-o-lantern glowing in the kitchen, my right arm wrapped around his shoulders and his head resting against my side. I want to watch his excitement after a collision at home plate or diving catch. I want him to be disappointed when I put him to bed in the 7th inning of a 4-3 game, only to tell him in detail how it ended the next day.

I want him to beg me to watch Scream. I want to watch him flip through the Halloween costume catalog as he flops between five different costume ideas. I want to carve a pumpkin with him. I want him to help execute my weekly plans to scare Gray. I really, really want to take him to Mickey’s Halloween Party again.


October would’ve been Jax’s favorite month, too. I just know it.

Buffalo Sucker, Ants and I Got Domesticated – How Was Your Weekend?

In case you don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I finally wrote again at Bugs & Cranks. You can find it here.


Papa John’s Pizza wants me dead. My wife worked this weekend, so I figured I’d be healthy and eat peanut butter and jelly with the kids. But then I got an email from those murderers offering a $10 large buffalo chicken pizza, and dinner was decided. It’s supposed to feature chicken poppers, ranch sauce, bacon, onions and spicy buffalo sauce. If there was any buffalo sauce on it, they were very conservative on my pie. It tasted mainly bleh. I’m a sucker for anything jalapeno or buffalo. And Papa John’s sucked me and my clogged arteries right in to disappointment.

Gray’s been on a Halloween kick (I wonder where he gets it). While flipping through Netflix to find some fun Halloween-related, kid friendly show, he noticed The Nightmare Before Christmas. So we watched that, which pushed Tangled to the side and kind of irked Ellie. She’s been asking to watch it for days, and I haven’t seen it yet.


Gray woke up calling me Oogie Boogie and my wife, who just walked in fronm her night at the hospital, a witch. He must have dreamt about Halloween Town all night.


Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I can see a resemblance.

While my wife slept the kids and I played some games up until lunch and then a nap.

I made last-minute plans to meet a friend for some drinks and talk about life. Life’s hard. Like, it’s a bajillion times harder than I ever expected when I was 24. Thank you mother-in-law for taking me up on my late offer to watch the kids so I could go be with a friend. We both appreciate it.


“We go Disneyland today?” Gray asked right after I opened the door to the twins’ room to get them up. The hell? Between Disneyland and Angel Stadium, one of them asks to go to either place six of seven days.

To get them out of the house and let my wife get at least a few hours of quiet, I thought a trip to the Disneyland Hotel would be fun. It’d satisfy their thirst for Mickey and Minnie for the oh so low price of $0.

We walked around the hotel, they got their fix and we grabbed some lunch. Then we made our way over to Downtown Disney and eventually I was stupid enough to go through the bag check and towards the front of the park to tease their little hearts out. 

Disneyland Hotel rose garden. Hey, I've been there for a wedding.

Disneyland Hotel rose garden. Hey, I’ve been there for a wedding.

In October we are going to Mickey’s Halloween Party, a special event that you need to buy a separate ticket for. They kick everyone else out of the park that doesn’t have a ticket, have trick-or-treat stations, the villains walking around the park and it’s just a huge Halloween party. It’s awwwwwwwwwesome. Tickets are about $60 and include free parking, so that in itself is a deal. And all the regular rides are open. Anyway, I wanted them to see the pumpkin decorations for Halloween time at Disneyland.

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My tease turned into this pathetic shot.

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Gray was telling me we needed to get in the line behind him. I suck.

The kids were exhausted and I alternated carrying them back to the car, which never happens. When we got inside the house, Ellie said “Look at the tiny lady bugs.” I looked closer. Ants. FREAKING. EVERYWHERE. I threw the kids in their room, gave them a snack and started spraying. The trail ran from our front door, through the front room and into our living room. We’d only been gone for three or four hours. My wife woke up, I got the kids into their cribs for nap and we spent the next hour spraying, wiping, cleaning the floors. Ants suck. 

Since my wife worked we went to our first evening service at Saddleback. It was a little scaled back than the morning service. Most noticeably, Gray and Ellie were the only 2-year-olds and they had to share a room with the infants. When we picked them up, they were both jumping around in a baby walkers. And they loved it.

At night I helped my wife in her baking quest and got all domestic. Her mom works at a hospital and apparently the entire staff are diabetics. She’s on her fourth round of baking goodies to help raise money for team Iron Jax and the CHOC Walk. I helped make the pretzels. Which pretty much meant slathering them with melted chocolate and sprinkling goodies on them unevenly.

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Today is the last day to request an Iron Jax t-shirt ($10). If interested, let me know what size you want. It features this image, created by my great friend Sam Carter.

Iron Jax

Iron Jax

How was your weekend?