Saturday, October 31, 2020

This is Covid Halloween

It was a big step to have a Halloween party. It would be the first since the world ended, so we were a bit nervous about it. We had it outside in Lydia's mom's backyard and even still we limited the guest list to keep things as safe as possible.

I rocked an excellent astronaut costume this year.

Lydia repurposed her praying mantis costume from last year into an alien. I thought it went pretty well.

I was a little bit freaked out because it was cold and so people were gathering around heat sources, but other than that I think we pulled off a decent party all things considered.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Meaty Meaty Pies

One of my favorite haunts in my early days in St. Louis, Silver Ballroom, posted something about how business wasn't going so well. Being the hungry hungry hero that I am, I put in an order of their delicious Australian meat pies to take home and bake.

We swung by the Silver Ballroom to pick up the provisions. They seemed super thankful to have something to do.

We strolled around a bit in Bevo after our pie transaction. I noticed new little detail on one of the doors of the Bevo Mill.

None other than a tiny little Bevo Fox enjoying a beer and a snack.

They even hand wrote directions on how to warm up the pies. Such service!

I'm an idiot and got over excited and cooked all five of them at once. We... did not need five meat pies at once.

It's sort of like if a cheeseburger fell asleep in a pot pie sleeping bag. I don't like to brag but I've had a few meat pies in Australia. It's whatever. I had a scallops and curry one in Tasmania which I think has been the most exotic so far.

I'm a big fan of this system where movie studies show sneak peeks of movies before they are released in order for the press to see them and review them ahead of time. Well I think as part of the ambience the studios want the theater full, so they give enterprising cheapskates like myself free passes as well. That system has understandably broken down, as there aren't really any new movies being released and even if there were I wouldn't be caught dead in a movie theater sitting next to a bunch of mouth breathers. Well since I'm already on the "free movie dirtbag" mailing lists I've come across a few online movie opportunities where you get to stream a movie ahead of time. This... is confusing to me because as I detailed earlier, I thought the whole point of the exercise was to make the movie seem popular by packing the house. So why let people watch it from home... An awesome twist is that some of these will pay you to watch as long as you fill out some survey stuff afterwards. Don't mind if I do! I think one paid $30 and another was a three movie series and it paid... $75 or $100. Why can this not be my full time job?

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Another Dead Governor

After our recent spooky dead governor outing at Faust Park, it's getting to the point where I know the exact whereabouts of every dead governor Missouri has ever known.

I was excited when I noticed that handsome parking garage behind Biden in this article in Forbes. It's in St. Louis! I was actually in attendance during this campaign stop which makes it even more fun.

I've noticed a lot of suicide hotline stuff at Missouri state parks. I wonder what the deal with that is.

Gov. Daniel Dunklin's Grave State Historic Site in Herculaneum, Jefferson County preserves the graves of Missouri's 5th governor and his family. Dunkin served from 1832-1836 and is considered the "Father of Missouri Public Schools".

The historic site was super tiny, just the grave site itself, and was squished between residential properties. So there wasn't much exercise to be had over there and that's half the point of our quest. So we did something rare and went back to a park we'd already been to just to have a hike. Last time we hit Mastodon State Historic Site I had a killer mustache that I have since laid to rest. So this was also sort of a memorial hike.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Zoo and a Fake Funeral

Saint Louis Zoo is open in a limited capacity and they are making you make a reservation beforehand in order to enforce their limits. We managed to snag one and head over.

Despite the advertised limits on how many virus-filled fatbodies could be at the zoo, there still seemed to be way too many of them in some areas. It freaked me out and I spent most of my brainspace just avoiding them rather than on enjoying the animals.

It must have been feeding time because the babirusa were running around in circles in front of the door to their enclosure.

We were just at Faust Park for a Halloween event but the place had more to give. This time we went farther back into the property and checked out the area around Thornhill, the home of Frederick Bates, Missouri's second governor.

One memorable station had a couple of guys making coffins in an old school fashion.

Gov. Bates was elected in 1824 and died in office in 1825. Spooky! There were some actors playing various members of the family who are buried near the house.

A lady was baking while giving a talk on funeral cookies. I really fell down a rabbit hole reading about this one here. The article theorizes that cavemen used to actually eat some of their dead loved ones before burying them. By the Middle Ages in Germany they had evolved a custom of eating "corpse cakes" that were a more symbolic way of "eating" the dead. The woman of the house would prepare dough and then sit in on the dead person's chest to rise. It would then absorb the dead person's good qualities and pass them on to mourners when they ate. In Ireland they would put a box of snuff on the body and mourners would take pinch. In Britain in the 17th and 18th century a homeless person would be paid to be a "sin eater", doing the same "have a nice little lunch on top of dead uncle Fred" routine but this time it was to suck the sin out and transfer it to the underclass living person. An article by Vice says that this sort of thing still happens today "in traditional Chinese funerals, sin eaters consume the iniquities of the dead which are transferred to dishes of dim sum by a religious authority." 

So... anyhoo the practice further evolved so that by Victorian times they were handing out little cookies with skulls, crosses, or coffins imprinted on them and wrapped in paper with prayers, poems, and baker advertisements on them.

This definitely illuminates all of that "body and blood of Jesus" nonsense, doesn't it?

They were giving tours of the house decorated as if someone had just died, but as I didn't want to just die of covid, I contented myself to take pictures through the windows.