In which I am content

unnamedI admit it: I’m feeling slightly guilty right now about the fact that I’m not going to work again this week.  The note from my doctor specifically said that I was not to return to school before November 2nd, and the main reason was that we wanted to check on the new medication.  Well, so far, the new medication’s been fine, although I can come up with at least one example in the last couple of weeks where I was fine one day and emphatically Not Fine for several days after that.  Point is, I’m following orders.

I’d be off today anyway, though, because for the first time we have a fall break, and today is the last day of that fall break.  As it turns out, the preschoolers at Hogwarts (have I mentioned this?  From now on, my kid’s school is Hogwarts) had a field trip today, and they went to a farm in southern Michigan– here, specifically.  They put out a general call for chaperones last week and since I didn’t really have anything else I needed to be doing today (again, I’d have been off of work anyway) I decided to tag along.  And… well, it was a hell of a lot of fun, actually.  There’s perfect October weather outside.  We went on a hayride and explored the farm and picked and ate apples and grapes right off the tree (or vine, as the case happened to be) and the boy got a pumpkin to bring home with him.  There are now four pumpkins in the house; I probably ought to get thinking about what I’m going to do when I carve mine, because I wanna do something fun and creative and having an idea of some sort would probably help with that goal.


Speaking of perfect October weather, I was lucky enough last night to get a gorgeous one-day-before-full moon and a completely cloudless sky, so I hauled out the telescope.  I need to get an attachment to make taking pictures easier, but I did manage this one:

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Searching for Malumba is out tomorrow!  I’ve officially hit my goal for pre-orders, but if you want to make me even happier, it’s available in print and digitally here.  Expect more about that tonight.  🙂

#Halloween costume test, stage one

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Here’s my plan for Halloween this year:  my son is insanely excited about the holiday, so I’m dressing up too, for the first time since, I think, 1999.  Halloween used to be my favorite holiday.  It has not been, for many years, but the boy’s enthusiasm has been infectious and there seems to finally be a backlash happening against the onslaught of obnoxious “sexy XXX” costumes that have been plaguing the holiday for the last too many years.

The idea is this:  Walk around with the boy and my wife a bit, and then stay outside my own house to pass out candy.  We have two large and excitable dogs, so past practice has been to keep the candy outside so that we don’t have lots of doorbell-ringing and door-opening and there’s no chance of one of the animals getting past us and getting someone hurt.  We generally have a bowl full of the traditional stuff and I buy a dozen or so actual candy bars for kids with exceptionally good costumes.

Things I still need:  black sweat pants (I’m sure I have a pair, I just need to find them), black shoes (don’t even need to find those), zipties.  You can’t see it, but the second set of chains-n-hooks is being worn as a belt– I’m going to ziptie them together so that I don’t have to try and tie plastic chains.  The first set is actually threaded through the sleeves of the outer robe so that they dangle by my hands, which I think is a pretty neat trick.

Unfortunately, I probably need a new mask, too.  While I like the idea of the mirror mask, and it’s suitably creepy, I’m actually still kind of having a panic attack from trying to breathe in the thing and while I’m planning to wear contact lenses while I’ve got it on, visibility is still a real problem.  Plus, if you look closely at the picture, you can still see big chunks of my neck and what I’ll try to pretend aren’t extra chins, and that’s not the look I’m going for.  I found a decent old man mask at Target that was basically mask for the upper half of the face and a lot of beard for the lower half, and I feel like that ought to do the job just as well, or I could always go with some sort of monster look.  There’s no way I make it two hours in the mirrored one, cool as it looks.

In which it sucks how much this sucks

Screen shot 2010-10-13 at 11.16.32 AMFirst things first:  sent the summer teacher grant application off today, meaning that I’ve applied for nearly fifty thousand dollars’ worth of grants in 2013, which seems kind of ridiculous.  Now we get to move into my favorite thing: waiting to find out if people will be giving me money.  Cross your fingers for me, ‘k?

I’m in my office right now, hiding from Trick-or-Treaters because they’re too much of a pain in my ass to deal with.

I hate Halloween.  There, I said it.

This hasn’t always been true– in fact, for most of my life Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays if not my actual favorite holiday.  It was great when I was a kid, and there have been scattered moments of greatness in my adult Halloweens as well– dressing as Darth Maul right around when Episode One came out was certainly a highlight.  But I am officially too old and too crotchety to enjoy this shit anymore– working in a middle school, for one thing, has ruined Halloween for me, because it turns my kids into such huge pains in the ass– and on top of that the cultural shift where “slutty _____” has become the default costume for every girl over ten years old everywhere has turned me into a goddamn puritan.

Not everything has to be about fucking.  Halloween isn’t supposed to be about fucking.  There should not be any such thing as a “sexy cat costume.”  Cats aren’t sexy!  No one thinks cats are sexy, and if we find someone who breaks the rules and does we lock them the fuck up and feel good about ourselves for it!

(Which… huh.  I don’t appear to know how to link to Google Images sites anymore; Safari just puts the damn search term in the address bar.  Ah, there we go, it works in Chrome:  None of these women look like goddamn cats.  This is what Mardi Gras is supposed to be for, goddammit, not Halloween.  You wanna have a holiday called Dress Like A Stripper Day?  I’m in, and I’m willing to insist that guys dress like Chippendales for it too.  That’s not a cat.  It’s a stripper with stupid ears.)

Also, and this is more of a personal thing, we have two huge dogs and neither of them are terribly great about strangers, meaning that we have to do whatever we can to keep the doorbell from being rung all night.  We currently have our candy in a bowl on a picnic table in the driveway to keep the kids away from the dogs.  Many of the children, unsurprisingly, are not bright enough to notice it– some of them will literally walk around it on their way to the front door, which I’ve done my damnedest to make look uninviting  And it’s raining, which means that even if they were wearing cool costumes, and most of them aren’t, they’re covered up in raincoats and umbrellas and hoodies and shit.  Sacrifice for your art, goddammit.  Get some bloody waterproof makeup and show off the damn costume.  Assuming you’re actually dressed as something, that is.

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloud(Huge ruckus outside; I prepare to actually literally go tell some teenage kids to get off my damn lawn.)

(Ruckus ends abruptly as it started; I think the neighbor’s Rottweiler tried to eat someone. Good.)

Note the following:  I will drop at least some of my objections to Halloween as soon as local jurisdictions acquire some goddamn sense, drop this October 31 nonsense (not one person in a hundred can explain why Halloween is October 31) and bloody move the holiday to the last Friday in October.  Halloween during the week is idiotic for a wide variety of reasons, not least among which is going to be the spike in suspensions at schools across the country tomorrow.

Bah.  Humbug.