I know, I know, I couldn't think of anything more clever or interesting. WHATEVER.
Halloween was only mildly spoopy (that is, less than spooky) this year and kind of a let-down, tbh. It seems like several people we know felt the same way.
So this post is mostly cake.
Look how cute they all are! I.. I couldn't resist.
That all white one on the left is particularly exciting.
Mont Blanc- style Hokkaido pumpkin pudding
I had already made myself pretty sick eating a different Halloween treat (don't remember which one) the day before this, so I was like, fuck it, pull-apart pumpkin bread, full steam ahead!
It was worth it.
There's a popular bakery near here called Andersen, and I always avoided it - with difficulty, because of the delicious chocolatey and buttery smells that emanate from it - assuming of course that it was too expensive and cakey, but it turns out they have all kinds of macarons, puddings, and jellies, too. We stopped and picked out this pair of fruit-topped flan together, and including the creepy Cheshire cat cups they were only like 3 bucks apiece. Whaaat.
Spoiler alert: this coffee tasted nothing like pumpkin pudding.
I've gone a little overboard with dairy being back on the menu and choices suddenly existing again; I'm going back to almond milk this week ;>_>
Okay, this is why the all-white pumpkin cream cake was so exciting.
There was a little plastic bulby thing stuck in the top there, like the kind you can keep plants watered with, but full of chocolate, and at first I was like, wtf, but then I read the package.
You draw with it. -heavy breathing-
Persimmons at my tiny local supermarket, tryin' to look cool and shit
SURPRISE more pumpkin pudding!
Seriously though, I had my fun with the milky coffee drinks. I don't even like milk very much anymore and feel guilty about having it. As long as soy doesn't start making me sick again there are tons of options here; dairy-free is Japan's natural state, so it's a lot easier than avoiding seafood.
Also the seasonal diorama in Tokyo Teleport station that changes every month or two.
Here's the Halloweeny basket I put together for the Ghibli movie and puzzle marathon we had at NiQui's! We decided to do it after going to the Ghibli Expo together and it was basically everything we thought it would be.
Much wine was consumed, yes, 5 bottles I think, and also two packages of tater tots lol.
As promised, I also revived art mail briefly for Ale's birthday, which is Halloween. I wanted to do something spooky on one of the blank postcards I kept from the Frida Kahlo photo exhibition we went to at the Heard Museum, so I just went ahead and started doodling and ended up with a demonic swampy mermaid.
On a hedgehog card I also did a Halloweeny doodle of a bat, sort of covering both bases.
Why yes, those are pumpkin pudding-flavoured Kit Kats.
Everything was coming up pumpkin pudding this year, not sure why.
I hope she doesn't mind me posting this, but my mom had a few small surprises for her, too, and it seemed especially nice considering that things haven't been that great lately. She's been hanging out with and checking up on my mom, because she's an awesome friend.
I also sent her Girl, Interrupted and The Goldfinch since I have a bit of money again.
Now, finally, we come to the weekend itself. It's always pretty shit when Halloween falls on a Monday I guess, but this year was just a lot less exciting than last. I also happened to be between antidepressants and it wasn't a nice transition, so that didn't help. The previous one made me gain weight so I hated how I looked and couldn't wear the more futuristic and android-y bustier I'd wanted to. The stores in our neighbourhood also disappointed with their lack of such basic items as cheap coloured body and face paint and artificial sunflowers, so our last-minute idea to turn Hannes into Vincent van Gogh is now next year's idea; he just went as Ron Weasley again.
Even though I complained that it was expensive and that the food portion would be wasted on me, Hannes decided a little while ago that we should go with Pete, Naomi, and a few of their other friends (who we'd met before, at hanami, Pete's birthday, and a boozy brunch) on this Halloween-themed booze cruise around Yokohama. Then our plans are sorted, he said, and we don't have to try to decide what to do. And after Roppongi Hills last year, we had neither the heart nor the gumption for Shibuya, which I always avoid even on normal days, and was like, okay, good enough. It's the same feeling a lot of people had about Hillary, I think: "Oh, this is the plan I guess".
So we message the group letting them know when we'll be at the rendezvous point in Yamashita Park, but when we get there, it's raining, it's a ghost town, and we've forgotten our phone. I look around and wait by the only port we know, from when we first visited Yokohama last summer, while Hannes walks up and down the length of the park. He insists at one point that I try asking at the McDonald's across the street about wifi, and gets annoyed when I laugh, so I go in, the women at the counter look at me like I'm making a very strange request indeed, and then they pull out a large binder-enrobed manual and show me the three full pages of instructions for accessing the wifi. Using your iPhone, it says, open Safari... and obviously you already need to have an Internet connection to access the wifi.
Running out of time and not quite ready to give up and go all the way back home, I approach the woman at the port to ask, even though nothing around indicates that there is any kind of Halloween-themed anything or any cruise leaving at the time we're looking for. She and her coworker kindly check online for me and inform me that it's, I don't know, a mile or two down, visible from where we are, but outside the park and over a bridge and a completely separate thing. I thank her and we set off.
Osanbashi pier is pretty futuristic and cool, and it's a bit of a jaunt to get to the actual passenger terminal, but we make it. Aaaand we don't see anyone. When we ask the woman at the desk and explain that our friend made the reservations, she finds them, but says that no one has checked in yet.
Several minutes of arguing later, they all come in, and we get our tickets and get in line and finally go on the damn cruise. It's pretty cold and still raining, but it turns out the Halloween bit is deep down in the ship, below the other, much nicer dinner cruise levels. Jaunty old-fashioned music is playing as we board and descend the stairs, reminding me of The Overlook Hotel from The Shining and making me think that we're going to get murdered or capsize and be trapped in the ship, haunting it forever.
Everyone attacked and massacred the buffet-style meal when it was put out, having clearly waited for a while to eat. Our Harley Quinn was seasick the whole time as a result, and she and her Joker skipped Shibuya afterward just like we did.
This steamed pumpkin dumplings were part of a game;
a couple of people had a nut or something in theirs and got prizes.
Black Panther was the unequivocal winner of the costume portion of the evening.
Also the dancing portion.
Can't argue with that view though, right?
All in all it was pretty nice, though Hannes also put a pretty fine point on it when he said that "it wasn't so expensive, but it was very expensive for how cheap it looked and felt".
And, finally, a cute idyllic diner we passed on the way back to the station, just glowing in the blackness like a digital painting. The train ride home involved good conversation and was maybe my favourite part of the night, actually.
Sunday we just chilled at home, with sangria and apple cider and candles burning, watching Rick and Morty. It killed us when Netflix got only the first season, and killed us again when we plowed right through the second as soon as they got that. It's, like, amazing. You were totally right Patrick, we should have listened sooner.
Remember that Halloween goodie bag my mom sent? It had cute cards, soft fuzzy black cat socks that I'm wearing right now, some candy, and a beautiful bat hair ornament in it. Thanks mom! :B
Under it is a beautiful little notebook I got for myself at 神保町いちのいち, which is part alchemist's lab and part unique high-end gift shop and possibly my new favourite store.