Our Halloween Before the Election (10/31/2020 by Joan Huang)

Three days before the unprecedentedly significant US Presidential Election make me particularly nervous and anxious, and I turn my apprehension into my computer to let my fingers “dance”.  Last Tuesday’s Los Angeles Dodger’s winning the World Series Championship after 32 years drought was like a shot in the arm; two weeks earlier, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship.  Mayor Garcetti made a statement: “There are a few things that comprise our DNA in L.A.: sand, sunshine, the Lakers and Dodger blue.” Garcetti further said: “To have two of them come through, to give us the joy we so badly need this year, is really exceptional.  The Dodgers are World Series champions once again!  This was a season unlike any other — and this is a team that will go down in history for its resilience, determination, talent, hard work, and resolve…And we were reminded of lessons to carry us through each day: hope springs eternal, and no challenge is insurmountable if we stand together as one team, one city, and one people.”

Indeed, the winnings of Lakers and Dodgers give the miserable 2020 a tremendous positive energies.  We need such victorious inspiration 💪💪💪!

Today is “Halloween”, and there are only 3 days left to the US presidential election that is paramountly important for the entire world.  Before the election, demons and monsters were dispatched, devils danced wildly, and rumors were flying to the sky. I am worried. I hope that the “black swan” incident four years ago will not happen. On the full moon tonight, I believe it’s an auspicious omen which will attack the “devil” with conscience.

Los Angeles “Halloween” self-driving tour)

Riding on the victories of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dodgers championship, in Chinese superstitious principle, TWO LEADS THREE.  I hope that we will have 3 major celebrations this year, I feel like crushing the “Gang of Four” in 1976 back in China. I am reminding myself: “Be patient!  Be patient! !   And be patient! ! !

It’s hard to believe that for more than 7 months, Bill, Gigi and I have been hunkered down at home.  During this quiet period, a peaceful life allows me to study and write: composing and writing blogs… Three seasons (spring, summer and autumn) have passed, now it comes the last day of October – Halloween.  Every year in the past, I would prepare candies to the neighborhood kids who dressed in fanciful costumes.  This year the local government has ordered the advocacy not to engage in “tricks and treats”. There are only the last three days to the US presidential election that influences the entire world. Before the election, demons and monsters were dispatched, demons danced wildly, and rumors were flying in the sky. Facing the bright full moon tonight, I’m praying that the “black swan” incident four years ago will not happen: attacking the “devils” with “good ghosts”, let’s have a good “ghost festival”.

I’m observing Halloween this year in order to get distracted by the upcoming election.  I’m nervous by watching the news.  This year’s Halloween happens to be on Saturday, and it is a perfect full moon.

The Chinese language newspaper “World Journal” gives following description:

“The full moon on October First is also known as the Harvest moon, which is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox; the full moon on the 31st peaks at 10:49 in the morning, and the full moon on Halloween this year will be more atmospheric.   According to ‘Farmers’ Almanac’, the last time I met a full moon on Halloween was in 2001, but only the Central and Pacific time zones are visible.  This year is the first time since 1944 that all time zones have seen the full Halloween moon. This means that people from all over the world can watch the Halloween blue moon together since World War II. The moon in this season is also called the ‘Hunter’s moon’, which is the first full moon after the harvest month. The name of the hunting month may be due to the preparation of hunting for winter in October.  Other names for the full moon in October include ‘Blood moon’, ‘Sanguine moon’, ‘travel moon’ and ‘Dying Grass moon’. “

The round and blue moon hangs really high up in the starry sky; today is also the daylight saving time ending day and I’m setting all clocks around the house back one hour.  There have been too many disasters in 2020: epidemic, wildfires, earthquakes and so on.   They are like ghosts and monsters, constantly attacking us.  On this Halloween, we need to cheer ourselves up, we need to fight ghosts with our determinations and believes.  I will make a perfect imaginative Halloween dinner to drive all phantoms and specters away.  

Halloween falls in autumn, and it is a festival to be in honor of autumn. There were piles of fat pumpkins with round pedicles and bright golden yellows all over the places near our home.  The supermarket also sells colorful and unorthodox shaped heirloom pumpkins, which are really natural art treasures. Movie figures, grotesque masks and weird costumes in stores attract children, and, of course, piles of colorful candies everywhere.  

One of the most indispensable elements of Halloween is to carve pumpkin lanterns, and then put candles to make pumpkin lanterns.  This year’s popular theme is: “Orange on the outside, Hollow on the inside, and should be thrown out in November.”

Although it is the last day of October, our Southern California summer has just passed. It’s still pretty warm in the mid 80s. The day was short and I realized that autumn had arrived. Only a month ago, we experienced “dooms-day” like feeling – scared by the Bobcat wildfire near us. Now the sky is clear, the birds are chirping, roses are blooming in a riot of color.   October is another peak of flowering season.  Walking with Gigi in every morning is my happiest moment, talking to my mother in the UK, listening to the news, looking for inspirations to conceive new works, and viewing the front garden of the neighborhood. Gigi is a very friendly dog. Through her, I have made a lot of my friendly neighbors. In addition to political campaign yard signs, the neighbors’ gardens also have entertaining Halloween decorations. Although the United States is currently in an extremely divided era, people still have the same fun, fear, and carnival about Halloween. They use Halloween to get rid of their depression, to inspire each other, and to celebrate this holiday in a safe and unique way!

This is our neighbor’s enthusiasm for “Halloween”, they created a kaleidoscopic landscape!

Wearing a mask, washing hands for 20 seconds, and keeping 6 feet in social distance have become my instinctive habit. The indoor social masquerade will not be held this year, so drinking a “devil” cocktail and listening to music are still a lot of fun!

Wow, this is a beautiful tango!

Every Halloween, at Disney Concert Hall always had organ concert. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 was a piece always in the program. Unfortunately, now that we’re still during a “curfew”, we can only be nostalgia:

I’ve decorated the dinner table for us two.

Halloween gives people wild and crazy imagination, I searched the dazzling information on the Internet, I decided that the menu for tonight:

1) Hot Dog Buns with “Finger Sausages”:

I found this photo in CNN, it caught my eyes immediately, Bill loves hot dogs.  It’s natural and needs some “carving work”.

2) Jicama Salad: Jicama is very popular vegetable in Southern California. It is crispy and crunchy and great to mix it with tri-colored sweet peppers, coriander, cucumber, orange, and lemon juice!

3) Red-hot Short Ribs of Beef

Cut the short ribs and add various condiments: onion, garlic, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, orange paprika, and chili sauce. Bake them in the oven for 2 and 1/2 hours. The fragrance fills the kitchen and is mouth-watering.

4) Sunny Sweet Potato Mash

The orange sweet potato is the color of “Halloween”.  Simply add butter, lemon juice, brown sugar and ginger powder and bake it in the oven for 45 minutes.  After baking, crush it. very delicious!

5) Sauteed Vegetable Combo

At present, my vegetable garden has zoocchini and green peppers, I stir-fried with olive oil and garlic.  They are delicious!

6) Orange Sorbet:

I’m lazy, just bought the “Halloween” colored orange sorbet from the supermarket and the ready made “Halloween Fudges and Brownies”.  They are golden and brown colored. 

All my friends said that this year’s US election is the most important one to the whole world.  Three days before the election, I feel very anxious, temporarily “unplug” the news is a good idea.  The whole year of 2020 is not easy, hopefully we will have a happy Thanksgiving and Christmas! 🙏🙏🙏

I am finishing my blog with Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.

Published by Joan Huang

I'm a freelance composer living in bucolic Altadena, the suburb of Los Angeles. Besides music making, I love cooking, drinking wines with friends, gardening, hiking and traveling.

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