EXCUSES (A Conversation Between Me and Me)

ME: Yo. Do I REALLY need more friends?

ALSO ME: Yes.

ME: Really?

ALSO ME: Yes!

ME: But, like...it's so much work. I'd have to put on pants...and have conversations...and do something with my hair. Have you SEEN how much hair I have? 

ALSO ME: Don't care. You need friends. You're like a sad, wilting house plant without them.

ME: But, I mean, I already have at least seven people I would consider close-if-not-best friends. That seems like enough, right?

ALSO ME: Best friends who you're afraid to call?

ME: Um, first of all, it's whom? And I'm not afraid to call them. It's all the talking once they pick up that scares me.

ALSO ME: You know, that "whom" thing might be why you don't have more friends. Now go talk to people. And quit correcting their grammar, ya goober.

ME: Okay, but what if they don't like me?

ALSO ME: Oh, you delicate flower. I think you'll survive, somehow.

ME: What if they just put up with me because they like spending time with Bill? He's a delight! Whereas I just sit there quietly observing people like a spooky cat. And sometimes my face makes weird expressions that I don't mean for it to have! How can I navigate new social situations if I don't even know what my face is doing?!

ALSO ME: Your face is fine. Well...it's good enough. I mean, it's not awful. That is, I'm sure there are worse faces. And other people are weird and awkward, too. Quit worrying.

ME: Quit worrying? Hi, yeah, have you met me?

ALSO ME: Your excuses are pitifully flimsy. Go talk to other humans. HUMANS. If you come home saying you made ten new friends and it turns out they're all neighborhood dogs again...

ME: That was ONE TIME.

ALSO ME: Once is too many times.

ME: Okay. All right. Look. Here's the thing. It takes 50 hours to go from acquaintance to friend. That means if I see someone an hour a week (which, let's be honest, is pretty generous), that's an entire year before the scientific community would consider them a friend. Then another 40 hours on top of that to become a close friend. AND 200 HOURS TOTAL FOR BEST FRIENDSHIP. 

ALSO ME: Better get started, then.

ME: I dunno. It still seems risky.

ALSO ME: How? From where I'm sitting, you only have something to gain.

ME: Well, switch seats with me, then, because it is scary. Sure, it'd be great to have local friends. I know some people, and I'd almost consider them friends, but something in me, deep in some dark, oddly muggy pit in my gut, keeps whispering that they don't actually want to be my friend. That I don't have anything to offer. That I shouldn't impose on them. That I'm not wanted and never will be.

ALSO ME: Oh, yeah. The gut pit voice. What a jerk. But you don't really believe that, do you?

ME: ...

ALSO ME: Oh, come on!

ME: Gut Pit Voice is very convincing! You don't know.

ALSO ME: Look, I hate to be blunt--

ME: You love to be blunt!

ALSO ME: --but you're not special. You don't get to be the one person in the universe who is exempt from the horrors of vulnerability. If you heard someone else saying all the things you're saying, what would you tell them?

ME: That they are very wise.

ALSO ME: ...I kinda walked into that one.

ME: I don't have enough interests yet. How will I connect with people? First I have to learn everything about music, books, obscure cinema, art, philosophy, sports, international cuisine, world events, and falconry. 

ALSO ME: Why falconr--you know what? I don't want to know. These are terrible excuses!

ME: Okay, well, how about the fact that there are no karaoke bars in the entire county? How am I supposed to spark a friendship if not over a moving rendition of "Tubthumping"? It is impossible. Plus, I need new clothes. All my shoes are literally falling apart and I still wear shirts I bought in eighth grade. And I need a haircut. Maybe if I get bangs, people will like me.

ALSO ME: Your clothes are fine, you should definitely NOT get bangs, and maybe you could buy your own karaoke machine. You've always wanted one. And you already have a smoke machine. 

ME: That's true.... Ooh, and I could make the attic into a ball pit! And maybe we could get a slip 'n' slide!

ALSO ME: Yes! Do it!

ME: AND A FALCON!

ALSO ME: Y--what? Hold up--

ME: Wait, but then how would I know whether people actually liked me or if they just wanted to slip and/or slide?

ALSO ME: Oh, good lord.

ME: Better not risk it.

ALSO ME: ...I...just...okay. You win. You can make dog friends. For now.

ME: Ha-HA! SUCCESS!

ALSO ME: ...Why are you like this.

How to Survive Your High School Reunion

My ten-year high school reunion is coming up. 

Just writing those words makes me want to throw up a little bit. 

It's not that I hated high school. I wasn't popular or anything, but nobody stuffed me in a locker, either. Nobody turned my backpack inside out or stole my clothes out of my gym locker or stuck magnets to my back. Still, that didn't stop me from spending the majority of my high school years like this:

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You know how sometimes you regress when you visit family or see your friends from childhood? What I regress to is a shy, anxious, uncomfortable weirdo who played slow jams way too loudly in my car and skipped class to spend foggy mornings at the beach by myself and sewed my own prom dress and cut my own hair and sometimes wrote poetry. I also used humor to avoid getting close to people, which was great for me when I was sixteen and constantly, secretly freaking out during every interaction with a human person. I mean, great in a self-destructive-defense-mechanism way. Not so much in the making-genuine-connections way. 

Honestly, though, probably everyone felt like an uncomfortable weirdo as a teenager, and now we just want to be ourselves. We're all of us older, hopefully wiser, presumably kinder. So is there really any reason to be afraid of former classmates now?

Yes. The answer is yes. Because every conversation will inevitably go the same way: "You seem familiar," I'll say, trying to play it cool, a queasy smile fastened to my face. "Did we have a class together?" And they'll be like, "Nope," even though um, yeah, bud, I sat behind you in French class for four years. You copied my homework every day. That is froid comme la glace, dude.

In any case, I'm not going to my reunion. But you might, at some point, go to yours, and I wouldn't want to leave you without a long (very long...maybe too long...) list of questionable advice for How to Survive (And Maybe Even Enjoy) Your High School Reunion:

  1. Go with a buddy. Michele walked into her reunion without Romy, and look how that went for them. It was only after they teamed up again that they were able to perform that magnificent routine to "Time After Time" and fly away in Sandy Frink's helicopter.

  2. If you're like me and not that many people knew you in high school, count all the different ways they will get around not knowing your name, e.g. How's it goin', buddy? or Hey, you! Fill out a Bingo card and see how long it takes to get five in a row.

  3. Dress the way you did in high school. For me, that means tank tops in every color of the rainbow and too-long jeans with the back hems all chewed up from walking on them, plus a bra that definitely does not fit me right. For you, it might mean head-to-toe Tillys and Avril Lavigne hair, or jean skirts and flowy maternity tops for days and days. Did you wear Uggs in 2008? DID YOU? Of course you did. Put them on at once and feel ashamed, you monster.

  4. If you really want people to recognize you, get the same haircut you had in your yearbook photo. Have braces put on temporarily, if applicable. Ditch your contacts for those old wire-frame glasses. Draw that funky S symbol on your wrist in Sharpie. Paint your nails with Wite-Out. Then fashion a white frame with a dingy blue background around yourself so that people can get the full effect and recognize you right away. "You haven't changed a bit!" they'll shriek. And you'll be like, That's the point, Deborah. "What a scream!" Deborah will say. What a scream, indeed. 

  5. Do a lap. See if there's anyone you actually want to talk to. Act like you have somewhere extremely important to be right now, but tell them to come find you later. This makes you seem mysterious. DO NOT ASK ANYONE WHAT THEY'VE BEEN UP TO SINCE YOU LAST SAW THEM. What a crappy question to answer thirty times in one night, especially if your answer is "Not much, you?"

  6. But because you will definitely be asked that question thirty times in one night, bring a stack of brochures featuring your Personal and Professional Highlights of the Past Decade. If you're anything like everyone else there, your brochure will list about three items: an international trip or two, your most interesting job so far, any advanced degrees you're still working on, and maybe a cool celebrity sighting. Plus maybe you got married. But only mention your spouse if they have an interesting job or also count as your celebrity sighting. Do not mention your kids. Seriously, we're all on Facebook. We know all we need to about your kids, Trevor.

  7. Or just make stuff up. That's always fun. And then you'll be that mysterious person everyone gossips about afterward, like, I heard she was legally dead for fourteen minutes and then found out that the doctor who revived her was her long-lost sister. Or, Well, she told me she's taken vows of poverty, chastity, AND silence. Had to write it all down on a cocktail napkin. Or, WELL I HEARD SHE HAS THREE THUMBS BUT THE THIRD ONE'S NOT WHERE YOU'D EXPECT. 

  8. Alternatively, just tell them the truth about your life. "I sometimes stay in my pajamas for weeks at a time," you'll say. "Last week," they'll reply, "my boss asked me to go to her house and pick up her dog's poop because she had guests coming. And I did it." High five over your mutual misery. Then move on to making fun of your former chem teacher, just like the old days.

  9. Should you find yourself with a lull in the conversation, try some of these interesting ice breaker questions:

    1. So which teacher did you have a crush on in high school?

    2. Do you feel like you missed out on any opportunities while you were here that would have changed the course of your entire life? Please be specific.

    3. What do you regret most about the way your life is right now?

    4. How do you suspect you will die?

    5. I am bored with you now. (Not actually a question, but useful if someone tricks you and starts talking about how CrossFit has changed their life.)

  10. Alternatively, spend some time with all the lonely, left-out plus-ones and make up outlandish stories about what their dates were like in high school.

  11. Find the person who came with a PURPOSE. There's always at least one, someone who's hoping for a second chance with their long-time crush, or someone who was wronged and is looking for vengeance. You'll recognize this person by the hyper-alert scan they make of the room every twenty seconds, waiting for their target to arrive. This is where the drama's at. That is the person to watch.

  12. I should have mentioned this earlier, but make sure you develop a Reunion Voice in advance. Something that conveys confidence and success, but is still blandly approachable. Mine falls somewhere between Suburban Mom at Book Club and Kristen Wiig as The Target Lady. Keep your eyes open wide and never blink. Blinking's for nerds, which you are not. Not anymore, Kyle. Not...any...more.  

  13. Take up smoking. Or, if you already smoke, keep smoking. It is impossible to have anything resembling a real conversation in the midst of an event like this, so if you actually want to talk to people, just tell them you need a smoke and ask if they want to come with. (This is a useful excuse for any situation you might wish to escape. Sometimes if I'm feeling anxious, I'll say I'm going outside to smoke and then just stand there doing nothing. It's weirdly comforting.) But be forewarned -- you are obligated to say things like, "God, I hated this place," and "Why did I come back here?" and stare off into the distance for a while. But then after that you can have like a normal conversation or whatever. 

  14. Okay, enough with the coping mechanisms. Time to TAKE CHARGE (the way you never did in high school, so that Becky R. was always the one in charge of your group projects in history and she made everyone else do all the work while putting herself in charge of the frickin' bibliography. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, BECKY? THE BIBLIOGRAPHY?!! YOU DIDN'T EVEN CITE YOUR SOURCES IN MLA FORMAT AND WE ALL GOT A B- BECAUSE OF IT! GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE). It all starts with a game. Just three or four people sitting around a table playing a game: Never Have I Ever, Truth or Dare, Would You Rather, Two Truths and a Lie (which I think is especially appropriate for a reunion), etc. Do not bring an actual game. That means no Risk, no Settlers of Catan -- not even Cards Against Humanity. Those games have their place, and that place is Not at a High School Reunion. (Seriously, I'd rather listen to What's-Her-Name's husband Chad try to sell me life insurance for an hour and a half. Harsh, maybe, but if you walk out of your reunion thinking, "You know, that was fun, but it would've been more fun if we had played a strategy-based board game," then this post is probably useless to you, anyway. But good on you for being who you are.)

  15. As things get rowdier, more people will leave their boring conversations and join you at The Fun Table. In fact, it might get so crowded that you have to expand to sitting on the floor, and what naturally happens whenever a bunch of people sit on the floor in a circle? 

  16. That's right. Duck, Duck, Goose. The flirtiest rainy-day classroom game. Aside from Heads Up, Seven Up. Obviously. 

  17. Down By the Banks can also be fun for circle time. Or Spin the Bottle, I guess (but if anyone shouts, "What happens at the reunion stays at the reunion!" the game is over).

  18. By this point, people should be loose enough to dance, and this is where it really starts to feel like high school again. You'll have couples making out in bathroom stalls, four different people crying for no reason, and you will discover who has learned to breakdance over the past decade, and who thinks they can still breakdance even though they haven't tried since they were eighteen. It will all seem strangely exciting, yet you will feel oddly detached. Maybe you're just growing up. Try not to think about it too much. This is no time to be introspective. You should have gotten that out of the way on your smoke break.

  19. If things get a little too crazy for you, go up on the roof with your closest high school friends (I'm assuming, of course, that you are somewhere with a roof and that you can access it [and also that you had friends]). Reminisce about the old days. Resolve to see each other more often. Maybe send handwritten letters. You might follow through; you might not. But it's nice to talk about, either way.

  20. Know when to leave. You don't want to be standing there all alone after everyone else has left. Not like prom night. Not again. Depending on your personality and how the night has gone, this may involve pulling an Irish Goodbye with a couple friends, or crowd-surfing to the exit and leading a parade of nostalgic twenty-somethings out of the venue and over to a karaoke bar where the night will continue. Whatever you decide, get out of there early. "Later, jabronis!" you will shout, as you squeal out of the parking lot. "See you in another ten years!"

Numismatrimony

"What does your husband do?" people ask me.

This is how it starts.

"He's a numismatist," I tell them, with a knowing smile that says, Don't worry. Nobody else knows what that means, either.

"A wot?" they say.

"He catalogs ancient Greek and Roman coins for an auction firm."

And suddenly, as if my words have put them under a spell, they could not be more fascinated. I have never met someone who didn't think Bill's job was sooo innn-teresting. No one's ever like, "A-HAAA, WHAT A NERD." (Except me, obviously. I can't let him get a swelled head. I don't think he realized how cool people would find his career, like he's a mix between Indiana Jones and Scrooge McDuck. If he ever figures it out, he'll drop me for sure!)

This happens all the time -- in airports, at the park, in the grocery store checkout line. Even this morning, while I was cringing through a gynecology exam, my doctor told me about the time she and her family took a trip to Jordan, and the people there were just digging things up out of the ground and selling them, so she bought some ancient coins. 

"They're probably not valuable," she said, "but maybe I should ask your husband about them!"

I didn't want to tell her that, more than likely, her coins were fakes. I really like my doctor, and I didn't want to disappoint her. Plus, she had me in a bit of an uncomfortable position, and I was irrationally worried that she'd take my clothes and run off. Not that those gowns aren't flattering (and so freeing!), but it's 38 degrees outside.

"If I give you his email," I said, "could we maybe get back to the exam? It's...well, it's a little cold in here."

Then, desperate to change the subject, I asked what she did for a living and she was like, "...This." So all in all, one of my top three gynecology exams ever.

The Spring of Our Content

Apparently, Pennsylvania has decided that this year, spring looks like this:

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People are pretty riled up about it 'round these parts, but I'm fine with it. To me, spring means walking barefoot on the cold, mossy concrete in Southern California, and even though the day may look like any other because California doesn't believe in seasons, there is a very specific quickening of the blood and a yielding softness to the air. So anything else is just like, what? Flowers? Mud? Mmkay. Sure. Whatever you say.

Although it's been snowing for two days straight, spring's arrival has aligned with my own renewed optimism: I'm proud of the work I've done over the past year; I'll be finished with another draft of my book by April and ready to send it into the world. My nephew will be born any day now, the first boy of his generation in the family (and his five aunts have no idea what to do with him. Do boys like hedgehogs? Should I get him a hedgehog?). And, after a year of particularly bad anxiety and weird health stuff, I am finally starting to see the way to claw out of this terrible hole I've been living in. You know. Like a woodchuck coming out of hibernation to stretch its little woodchuck limbs and do its little woodchuck things. 

 Like get a manicure, because  damn.  Got those hibernation hands.  (  via )

Like get a manicure, because damn. Got those hibernation hands.  (via)

Spring has been persistent this year. We've had countless thaws and frosts, chasing one after the other like squirrels playing tag. Last week, snowdrops peeked shyly out of shady corners of the yard, and the Stars of Bethlehem stood up tall and bold, ready to burst forth in flower. The snow has them all covered up now, but they'll be back soon enough. And that's how I feel this year: Storms will come, but they won't last. I feel good. Resilient. Ready.

So that's why today I put on makeup and shaved my legs for the first time this year. I pulled on a sundress and snow boots with no tights. Then I stood outside in snow up to my knees to welcome in the spring. For about six seconds. Screaming all the while.

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Call the Doctor

I have anxiety.

SURPRISE!

I keep telling myself that TODAY! is the DAY! that I will FINALLY! CALL! and MAKE AN APPOINTMENT with a THERAPIST! 

But today comes and goes, and I find myself still with zero appointments and all the anxiety. Not because I'm lazy, although there's that, too. It's because, as you may know, when you have anxiety, you don't just pick up the phone and make a call. To a person. It's a whole process. And it goes a little somethin' like this:

  1. Find the number of the person or business you wish to call.
  2. Check if you can text them instead of call.
  3. Plug the number into your phone.
  4. Rehearse what you're going to say.
  5. Stare at your phone for two full minutes. Do not press call.
  6. Hide the phone in the couch cushions.
  7. Make a sandwich.
  8. Refine what you're going to say. Rehearse until it feels natural. 
  9. Sit on the couch. Berate yourself, quietly or out loud, for not being able to do this. You can DO THIS. This is FINE and NOT AT ALL SCARY. JUST--DO IT.
  10. Fish your phone triumphantly out of the couch.
  11. Plug the number in again. 
  12. Press call.
  13. HANG UP. HANG UP IMMEDIATELY. YOU DIDN'T REHEARSE ONE LAST TIME, YOU FOOL
  14. Take a shower because man, you've been sweating SO MUCH.
  15. While in the shower, try to think of every possible response the person on the other end of the phone could have when they answer and after you reel off your rehearsed spiel, and then plan out how you will handle it (Hint: you will not handle it well).
  16. Realize you've been in the shower for three hours. Look at your hands. They're shaking and pruney. The water's gone cold. You didn't notice.
  17. Get out of the shower.
  18. Glance at your phone.
  19. Go take a nap. It's been a long day.
  20. Repeat this process for twelve consecutive days.
  21. Decide you don't need to see a doctor after all. How sick could you really be, anyway? Look at all these sandwiches you made! You're fine.

So there you go. Twenty-one easy steps and the problem is solved, all without those pesky medical bills.

However, the time has come. TOMORROW! is the DAY! when I am GOING to DO IT! 

And by it, I mean find a place where I can make an appointment online. 

Stay tuned for the harrowing tale of my Very Embarrassing Visit to the Doctor. I mean, it hasn't happened yet, so I don't KNOW it's going to be very embarrassing, but...I think we can assume.

Writing Contest

“The Youth’s Friend has accepted a little sketch I sent them a fortnight ago,” said Anne, trying hard to speak as if she were accustomed to having sketches accepted every mail, but not quite succeeding.

“Anne Shirley! How glorious! What was it? When is it to be published? Did they pay you for it?”

“Yes; they’ve sent a check for ten dollars, and the editor writes that he would like to see more of my work. Dear man, he shall. It was an old sketch I found in my box. I re-wrote it and sent it in—but I never really thought it could be accepted because it had no plot,” said Anne, recalling the bitter experience of Averil’s Atonement.

“What are you going to do with that ten dollars, Anne? Let’s all go up town and get drunk,” suggested Phil.

-Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery

O HEY! The Write Practice and Short Fiction Break have chosen my story, The Cidery, as the grand prize winner of their 2017 fall short story contest. HOORAY! 

I would like to say that the honor is prize enough for me. I would like to say that. But I cannot. Because writing, my friends, is not an art form that lends itself to making a living quickly or easily. If I wanted to make an entry-level salary from writing alone, I'd have to win 79 more contests like this one. So far, I have won...one. So even though I should be content to be recognized and satisfied with the validation that I'm not a talentless hack, I'm afraid that the allure of feeling a check in my greedy little paws again is stirring something inside me, some shameful lust for filthy lucre.

What am I going to do with my winnings? I could spend it practically. We need...lamps, and things. But I am not known for my practicality. Alternatively, I could buy:

  • 400 donuts
  • Seven and a half hours of karaoke
  • 24 copies of John Green's Turtles All the Way Downwhich comes out today (with enough left over to buy half a dozen Reading Donuts!)
  • A 15-foot trampoline with mesh Don't-Kill-Yourself-Enclosure (for some reason I thought trampolines cost so much more--what a lovely surprise!)
  • One hour of an Elvis impersonator's time
  • Enough balls to make the attic into a ball pit, thereby achieving The Dream
  • 1/36th of a trip to swim with narwhals
  • Two sets of these taxidermy bride and groom minks (since it's our two-year wedding anniversary today and I've been struggling to find the perfect gift for Bill)

But I think I know what I want to buy. It's a secret wish I've harbored for years, something very special and close to my heart which will bring me (and others, perhaps) joy for years to come.

 

 

 

...HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THIS BAD BOY WOULD COST?

  via

HALLOWEEN IS COMING

Halloween is my favorite holiday. AND IT'S ALMOST HERE. I would say it's the best holiday, but I don't want to upset all the misguided Christmas fanatics. Mostly I love dressing up, and the fact that it's spooky makes Halloween EVEN BETTER. Of course, we're dressing up for Christmas this year, too (more on that in a couple months), and eventually we'll probably have costumes and parties for even the most minor holiday (tune in next summer for our First Annual Dress as Your Favorite Founding Father Party. I'm already planning my Richard Henry Lee outfit).

Bill and I like to do couples costumes, but not typical ones, like salt and pepper. Last year we went as Rasputin and Bartok:

 We went trick-or-treating with our friends and their tiny son and their other parent friends and their kids. We were the only adults dressed up. We were not given any candy.

We went trick-or-treating with our friends and their tiny son and their other parent friends and their kids. We were the only adults dressed up. We were not given any candy.

Another year we were BoJack Horseman and Charlotte the deer:

 Again, we went out to a bar with some friends and the four of us were the only ones dressed up - although our one friend went as Notorious RBG, which makes up for everyone else being lame..

Again, we went out to a bar with some friends and the four of us were the only ones dressed up - although our one friend went as Notorious RBG, which makes up for everyone else being lame..

This year we've already gone through four different costume ideas:

  1. Man of Green Gables and HuckleCarrie Finn. This one has been on our costume shortlist for years, and I still want to do it at some point. Something about the idea of Bill in a skimpy wincey dress with a beard and copper-toed boots is just so precious to me. And sort of gross. Plus, I wanted an excuse to buy some overalls.
  2. Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album cover. But for some reason, since he's running for borough council, Bill doesn't fancy the idea of his neighbors seeing him with the clacky balls dangling between his legs. Personally, I think it might get him more votes, but...
  3. "America" by Simon and Garfunkel. I would be Kathy, Bill would be the Man in the Gabardine Suit, and pup would be the greyhound bus. I even bought a copy of the March 1968 issue of Life magazine (Bookends was released in April 1968. THIS IS HOW DEDICATED I AM TO COSTUME DETAILS). Barbarella's on the cover. Even though we decided against this costume, I'm still pretty pumped to have the Barbarella issue.
  4. Bill and the Conjunction Junction conductor from the Schoolhouse Rock videos. This is the one we're actually going with. Bill's been involved with Fair Districts PA, which is trying to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania, and he wants to wear the costume to one of their events. Plus...he IS just a Bill. I'm going to pull a row of tiny conjunction train cars with behind me, and we're going to fasten a sign on pup that says "D.C. or Bust." It's gonna be hella cute. And you know I don't use the word "hella" lightly.

Should I have waited until after Halloween so that I'd have pictures to accompany this post? Probably. I'M JUST TOO EXCITED. I JUMPED THE GUN. JUMPED RIGHT ON IT. Over it? Away from it? I don't actually know what that expression means.

Anyway.

Now that we have our costumes figured out (hopefully we don't change our minds again over the next month and a half...), I am tasked with decorating the house. From scratch. All we brought with us from our little apartment are an autumn wreath (which sort of got contaminated in the basement this spring) and a porcelain jack-o-lantern Bill calls Mr. Spooks. Since we have a lot going on and a whole bunch of expenses this year, I just want something simple: maybe black velvet bunting under the windows to make the house look like it's in mourning, a spooky wreath, some ravens on the boxwoods, and some black and white pumpkins. The spiders are obligingly crafting cobwebs everywhere they can, so we just haven't cleaned them up for three months. It's not laziness; it's passive decorating. Plus we always carve turnips, which is what they used to do in the Olden Dayes. They are SO MUCH CREEPIER than pumpkins, and now we have a tree out front to hang them from. Like the scariest ornaments you can imagine.

How do you decorate for Halloween? What are some ideas I can steal from you? What are your costume ideas? I want to be nice and say you can borrow any of ours, but...I love them too much to share. I am a costume idea miser. I'm going to make Bill be Man of Green Gables next year, and there's NOTHING HE CAN DO ABOUT IT. 

P.S. - Is it weird that this is turning into sort of a domestic blog? I started out thinking I'd post about writing, but I'm not good at writing about writing unless I'm frustrated by it, and I haven't been frustrated enough lately to generate enough material for a post. I'll work on that.

P.P.S. - I looked it up, and jumping the gun is about starting a race. That's kind of a let down. Especially compared to, say, jumping the shark.

P.P.P.S. - Bonus shot of that time Bill dressed up as Gene from Wet Hot American Summer:

 Magnificent.

Magnificent.