Friday, November 2, 2012

Hallowe'en 2012

Last Saturday Leann ran in the Provo Zombie Chase.[1] She was joined by her friend, Jordan, and my sister, Ashley. To do so they had to sign a waiver saying that they understood that they would not be allowed to jump headfirst into any of the mud pits and that the water they would be running through had not been tested for chemicals or pathogens. Based on this I expected them to have to run through the swamp and brush around Utah lake trying to get away from 'zombies' who were chasing them. If the 'zombies' caught them they were either out of the race or they became 'zombies', too. No such luck. They just ran around a dirt track which had a few obstacles like a pile of gravel, a cargo net stretched across two shipping containers, etc. They didn't have to run through swamps or mud pits. Furthermore, the 'zombies' hissed and snarled at them, and sometimes lunged at them, but they didn't actually chase the runners. I was rather let down, but I guess it wasn't really my race anyway. But at one point they did get to shoot at some 'zombies' with paintball guns.

Later that day (and at the risk of developing brain lesions [2]) we took Lilli to our ward's trunk-or-treat—to support our ward leaders, not because we believe in trunk-or-treats. We dressed her up as a little scarecrow (without makeup because we didn't want to aggravate her eczema). Leann and her sister, Jennie, made the costume for Lilli (and a similar one for Jennie's baby, Lizzie).

Leann dressed up as a crossing guard and I dressed up as a sheriff. Our neighbors' little girl, Emma, thought it was hilarious to take away my toy gun and point it at me.

This week, leading up to Hallowe'en, BYU's David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies held a 'trunk-or-treat' (but with a traveler's trunk, not an automobile trunk) and gave away candy from around the world. We took Lilli, but since she's too little to eat any of it, I got to. There was
  • Бабаевский карамель кизил (Babayevsky [3] caramel dogwood [hard] candy) from Russia. It wasn't actually a caramel, it was a hard candy. It had an interesting flavor that I can't really compare to anything else (Leann said strawberry-apple-like but that's not what I got).
  • de la Rosa paleta jumbo rellena de goma de masticar, sabor artificial cereza (de la Rosa [4] jumbo pop with bubblegum filling, artificial cherry flavor) from México. It had a mild, almost insipid flavor and there wasn't very much bubblegum.
  • Dulces Vero paleta bomba negra (Dulces Vero [5] black bomb [cola-flavored] sucker) from México. I don't really care for the flavor of cola, so this sucker wasn't that great.
  • Tueni caramelo suave (Tueni [6] smooth caramel) from México. Despite the name it wasn't a caramel, it was a pineapple-flavored chewy candy. It looked like a Now and Later, which are always tough and feel like they're pulling out your teeth, but this was soft and pleasant to chew.
  • Joyva [7] sesame crunch [brittle] from New York (but inspired by the Middle East [8]). It was a little too hard and the sesame flavor was slightly overwhelming
  • ストロベリーグミ 春日井 (Kasugai [9] strawberry gummy) and マンゴーグミ 春日井 (Kasugai mango gummy) from Japan. They were softer than gummy candies from the U.S. (e.g. gummy worms, bears, etc.) and had a pleasant mild flavor
  • Sooduk [10] 김캔디 (Sooduk seaweed-flavored candy) from South Korea. It tasted like seaweed which means…it was kind of awful.
So, for the raw experience of trying something foreign, the Russian dogwood candy and the Korean seaweed candy made it worth it. But the Japanese gummies were my favorites.

When we went up to my parents' house for General Conference at the beginning of the month [11], we grabbed some pumpkins out of their garden for making jack-o'-lanterns. We also grabbed some gourds for decorating.

I carved a Hello Kitty for Lilli's jack-o'-lantern. Leann carved an owl sitting on a branch. I tried something a little more avant garde. Unfortunately a few hours later half of the 'spindles' snapped and the whole thing collapsed.


[1] See

[2] See my post Hallowe'en.

[3] Babayevsky is part of United Confectionary Manufacturers (see

[4] See (in Spanish). I like their Mazapanes better.

[5] See (in Spanish).

[6] Tueni is part of Canel's. See (in Spanish).

[7] See The company was founded in Manhattan by a Ukranian man who used Turkish recipes. How's that for fusion?

[8] When I worked in Paul Savage's lab, one of the Indian post-docs once brought a similar treat for lab meeting. So this wasn't a new experience for me. But unlike this one, the brittle he brought also had a thin layer of aluminum foil on the top that you're supposed to eat—not a nice feeling if you have mercury in your fillings.

[9] See (in Japanese).

[10] I couldn't find anything about this company on the internet. It must be secretly associated with Paik Heavy Industries…

[11] See my post Cleaning House III.

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