The Monday Catchup 10/26/20

Happy Halloweek y’all. Let’s get spooky.

This weekend I bought pumpkins for my household– a pumpkin specifically chosen to evoke the vibes of each of my friends. It was a fun and wildly illuminating exercise, walking through the piles and piles of pumpkins at my local farm. There were far too many types to choose from: we’re talking classic orange ones, yellow ones with prickly stems, squat gray ones, rotund tannish ones, stripey black and yellow ones, teeny tiny white ones, small white ones with long twirly stems, speckled orange and white ones, and even some sort of mysterious dark green ones. Frankly? An overwhelming selection. I ended up limiting myself to small ones, both for the sake of my budget and to save my indecisive brain from exploding under the pressure of too many choices.

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10 o’clock list: Ways to Transition Your October Pumpkins into November Pumpkins


Halloweekend is over and with it, October. One more day of October and then, just like that, it becomes November, the end piece of bread of months. Sure, Halloween hasn’t technically happened yet, but don’t pretend like you don’t know what’s coming. One night of orange ecstasy, and then you wake up and everything’s coming up beige. But your Halloween decorations still have some life in them–especially the pumpkins. There’s no reason to compost your round friends before their time, just because a holiday has ended. However, you have to adhere to the November dress codes, which means orange is out. Here are some ways to ready your decorate gourds for the months to come.

  1. Plant its seeds. We all know that your beautifully-carved jack o’lanterns didn’t survive Saturday night. With pumpkin smashers in full force, there’s no way that any gourd survived unscathed. But having a smashed pumpkin is no reason to give up on the seasonal decor dream. Find its scattered seeds and bury them deep in the earth. In the spring, when baby pumpkins start popping out of the ground like gophers, you’ll be patting yourself on the back.
  2. Baste it, get stuffing all up in there, then pop her in that oven. Don’t let your pumpkin rot away like some common street gourd. Put a little effort in for once in your life. Season her well then pop her in that beautiful NCA oven you won in the housing lottery. You won’t regret it.
  3. Put her in the Peirce atrium. She’ll be so lonely, all by herself outside your apartment while you go to class every day. She’s such a social girl–she deserves to run around and play with other pumpkins. You’ve been a good friend to her, but everyone needs more than just one friend. And you’ll still see her every day, wouldn’t you like that? On your way into the servery for your daily dose of HBTs, you can give her a little pat on the head. You know she’d like that.
  4. Leave her in your library locker, just to see what happens. November is all about embracing the work. Give your pump some tough love by making sure she’s studying day and night, just like you. If she starts to decompose, good! If you can’t take the heat, get out of the airless, pitch-black locker.
  5. Cover her in turkey feathers and teach her the art of subterfuge. To be on top, you have to learn to adapt to this crazy world we live in. Sure, your pumpkin had her fifteen minutes of fame. Now it’s time to start faking it until October rolls around again.

Kenyon Krafts: Pumpkin Carving

Okay, full disclosure: before yesterday, I had never carved a pumpkin. Nor am I particularly crafty, for that matter: In eighth grade, my only B was in art class, due to what my teacher described as “a profound lack of craftsmanship … and also that one time when you threw your sculpture across the room.” But, I have celebrated Halloween at least sixteen times in my life (I can’t really account for Halloweens one and two; those years are kind of a blur), so I’m at least qualified to say that I appreciate the fine art of pumpkin carving. This year, I figured I’d try it myself. Here’s what I did:

Step 1: Cut the top off.

This hole is about to be WAY too small.

Using a knife, preferably one with a serrated edge, cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin. Keep in mind that at some point in the very near future, you’re going to need to stick your arm into that hole, so make sure it’s big enough! The hole that I cut was just large enough that I was able to get in and scoop the pumpkin guts out, but just small enough that it was super difficult and uncomfortable. If the same thing happens to you, do not try expanding the hole to make it larger, because you’re going to need to put the top back on later.

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