Happy Halloween!

Michael Myers, the killers from the Scream movies, pumpkins, evil leprechauns, ghosts and goblins, curses and witchcraft, candy galore, mysterious fog and wild costumes round out what Halloween is mostly all about.

Mostly.

It’s a great time of year when our imaginations can run wild and we can be as scary or humorously creative as we want. Ultimately, it’s a celebration and a time of year when we love to be scared; getting our heart racing is a plus. Visiting costume stores/depots that are set-up for about a couple months is always entertaining because we discover what the top costumes will be in a particular year in popular culture. This year there will be current favorites like Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy, classics like a cat and a ghost, plus nostalgic returns like the dynamically dumb duo of Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas. But let’s be 100% sure not what neglect a cinematic treasure from the past that can be viewed and celebrated by people of all ages (especially Millennials). We can watch the scariest films we want, but somewhere in our playlist must be a movie that stars three witches, a talking cat and some salt.

When I say, “Hocus,” you say…

Happy Halloween!

The Goldbergs Melt with Us

Spoiler Alert: This post contains content featured in the October 29, 2014 episode of The Goldbergs

“Home is where the heart is”

This Hallmark-worthy sentiment seems to be the antithesis of how the Goldbergs feel about their home. Instead, it’s more like, “home is where each person has their individual space, preferences and buffer zone.” This includes Adam’s future home with his wife and four snuggle-loving boys as revealed by America’s favorite Smother Beverly. And yet, Adam is already not happy about having to move his action figures from the garage to the basement to make room for the woman ‘who made him, with her own body.’

This conversation all started with a tray of flammable shots mistakenly lit by retired party-animal Pops during his rockin’ Halloween soirée.

Trick or treat indeed…

It’s become a familiar and trying debate for all families who must confront where their retired parents and/or grandparents will reside in their later years. Some say they should move-in with their children and grandchildren (Beverly with the usual passion of a thousand suns), while others believe in moving them into a retirement community (Murray, Erica, Adam, Barry…and Pops?). This sparks an electrically-charged debate centered on personal preferences (ie – the thermostat), routines sans a hanging tie and imaginary scenarios involving future protocol for treating the current heads of the Goldberg household.

Well, Beverly, to be specific.

This conundrum can be as intense as mixing Coke with Pop Rocks. While it surprisingly doesn’t bring about instant death (major relief!), it can cause severe indigestion when combined with way, way too much Halloween candy, followed by a rap declaring your love for your high school crush. Just remember to spell her name crrecotly. Of course, Barry bravely stepped-up for this 1980-something challenge for the ages. With a backup beat from the JTP, it was nothing short of glorious…in a disaster kind of way.

While the issues of determining the validity of a retirement home for your grandfather or helping a sibling to spend time with a friend of your they had a crush on have yet to apply to me, instances of supporting family have countless times. We do it because we love our family, despite how crazy, outlandish and utterly ridiculous they are. It’s being there to listen, to drive over late at night to read my nephew a bedtime story or indulging in something you had absolutely no interest in, like going to a George Carlin concert with your excited younger brother. There may have been some Bushido Code, an ancient samurai tradition, involved with that concert. But the latter is a critical skill to have and to polish from time-to-time because it can reveal important truths, like when Pops told his daughter Beverly that he preferred to live in a retirement community as opposed to her house…even with the bachelor pad-constructed attic that Beverly put together with some light dusting and window additions. Or when Erica caves and convinces her best friend Lainey to spend some time with her idiotic brother Barry in the hospital. Remember the Coke and Pop Rocks + Halloween candy + a love rap in the middle of school? Yup, to many people’s surprise, that sequence of events was not the best idea. But that’s partly what life is all about, seeing how many awesome things (by our own definitions, of course) we can do and pushing our limits to the max.

Like the good people at Nike always say, “just do it.” And like the Goldbergs always say, “family takes care of family.”

Also, a safety tip from Beverly Goldberg for all those anxious trick-or-treaters tonight and when they should eat their candy: “Not until we take it to the hospital and have it x-rayed!”

Family also makes us crazy.

The Wizarding World of Rap

Magical Rhymes: Third Floor, Hogwarts.

When Harry Potter, Hermione and Ron weren’t casting spells and saving Hogwarts from a myriad of evil spirits and forces, they were students in the world’s most exclusive school for wizards and magic. And as pupils, they learned a variety of skills that guided them through the best and worst of times. Unfortunately, one of these pivotal class sessions never saw the light of day in any of the eight Harry Potter major motion pictures.

Fortunately, Jimmy Fallon has a way of getting actors to admit secret skills on The Tonight Show that results in pure awesomeness. It’s just the ABC’s…

— Gryffindor Boys’ Dormitory, Def Magic Jams, After Hours —

Connecting the Beginning, Middle and End

Every second (and view) counts.

Modern protocol dictates constant awareness, attention and curiosity. The film industry has not only become proficient at this practice, but fluent in this fluid art of social connectivity. The relentless pursuit of courting movie fans and their interest in a particular film is astonishing. Think about all the teaser trailers we see for the most-hyped movies of the year, months and even potentially years in advance (ie – a rumored Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice teaser this November or December). This phenomenon brings to mind the immersive power of movies and storytelling in general. Books, like the Harry Potter series, were literally a craze with people anxiously awaiting the next adventure from all around the world. And yes, music also fits into this marvel in popular culture. Most importantly is the fact that people are eternally drawn to inspiring tales. This is a fantastic truth.

People love stories.  People love stories that are original, engaging, exciting, inventive and that, most importantly, crafted with a purpose. With the creation of 24-hour news and television came non-stop opinions and comments on anything and everything, from seemingly anybody and everybody. But perhaps the media and our leaders could/should take an invaluable lesson from Hollywood and understand the we yearn for movies, books and music with ideas and messages that stretch our imaginations, relate to our inner most beliefs and that push our limits of what we believe is possible.

Apple is a shining example of this in the corporate world, as evidenced by the millions of people who now hold their iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus in their hands after months of teasing and anticipation. And occasionally, a phone call is even made on these devices. Ultimately, the most successful men and women for the foreseeable future will capitalize on this reality and use this awareness to positively change the world, however large or small, by mastering this connective and trustworthy dynamic.

Just need that grand, inventive story to tell.

At least we know that, if it’s good, people will listen…

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