Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallow-versary

I love Halloween. It's my favorite holiday. I could skip some of the more daggy holidays, like
Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day and celebrate Halloween a couple more times a year.

Hun and I started dating around Valentine's Day. We were at a party at a mutual friend's, and the party headed to the Mercury Cafe in LoDo to see a band perform. I was working it pretty hard to get Hun to moderately acknowledge my existence, as another guy--not nearly as cute and mysterious as Hun--kept on dropping liberal hints that he dug me. I was trying as hard as possible to avoid the not-as-cute guy for complex political reasons, hoping his attempts at flirtation were just in my head and halfway succeeding at my self-delusion.

At the end of the evening, Hun asked me if I had any plans for Valentine's Day. I told him I had none and went on a tirade about the suckiness of V-Day and the corporate exploitation of the masses. I told Hun I much rather celebrate Halloween. So much for putting the nail in that coffin--pun intended.

My friend who hosted the party then extorted me into hitting on Hun the next day (V-Day), saying he seemed to like me. I said I didn't think so, and he was too young for me anyway--like three years younger than me. She kept on picking at me to do something, for Christ's sake, for the rest of single humanity that didn't have an opportunity. I harumphed and acquiesced to her demands--but on my terms. I sent Hun a Halloween e-card, with two gross-out eyes rolling around a monster's hand, singing I Only Have Eyes for You.

Most guys would have freaked out about some strange chick sending a creepy card and petition for a restraining order. Hun didn't. He laughed, called me up, and asked me to watch Halloween with him for our date. I brought over a pizza and the movie and we sat and talked through the entire John Carpenter masterpiece.

When Hun and I were talking about getting hitched, our original plan was to get married today instead of July. (It's a good thing we changed our mind, since we got a nice vacation out of the deal and got to see friends and family with us instead of standing in front of a judge. It's also a good thing because I have some anal-Exorcist thing going on today.)

We celebrated our 1-year dating anniversary by going to the Stanley Hotel of Shining fame as well. We got the most out of our stay, Hun being the industrious sort he is. We ran around the hotel after dinner that night, taking pictures of anything looking remotely spooky. Hun got a shot of some guy in a white baseball cap with mojo camera equipment without a flash. It looked quite ghostly and he was prodigiously proud. We encountered a gaggle of young women who were also running around with their own cameras, freaking each other out as well. Hun was hungry to show his "ghost" photo to see how they would react. Another guy was nearby, attempting to attract some kind of positive attention from them. He was saying he was a ghost hunter--the ladies were not impressed, and were pleading for Hun to save the day.

"Don't show the picture," I whispered. "They'll flip a gasket."

He didn't, and the girls and the ghost hunter went their merry way.

The next morning, we went on a ghost tour the Stanley offered. We thought it would be free as a guest. We guessed wrong. It was a good tour, talking about all the history of the place, and the tour guide even mentioned that the Ghost Hunters from the TV show were running around with mojo camera equipment, tracking down the supernatural bumps and creaks. Hun and I looked at each other, thinking about that damn "ghost" picture of the guy with the mojo camera and the baseball cap and the "ghost hunter" hitting on the ladies the night before. They were the Ghost Hunters. We brushed against minor celebrity and didn't even shudder at the sudden chill in the air.

Hun also saw the opportunity for hauntingly glowing irony. "Don't show the picture," I warned him again. "Don't do it!" That image of the cameraman walking down the staircase in blurry and spectral spookiness was burning a hole in his camera. He had to show someone. I hid behind a plant while he was showing his handiwork to the tour guide.

Needless to say, the tour guide was impressed and we didn't pay a dime.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Local Hauntings

Those who know me well know how much I dearly love the fall and Halloween. Last weekend, I went to a roadside cemetery near my home. I see these small cemeteries frequently on my travels through Upstate New York--on the way to work, apple picking, and Sam's Club.

It isn't kept up well. (The latest resident died in the 1980s.) All the same, the noble dilapidation of the thick grass and overgrown vines ads a sense of peace, as if the cemetery is being reclaimed by nature.

Some people do care for those buried here, even if they died over 100 years ago. I saw a few small flags adorning the graves of Civil War veterans and a few silk flowers near some of the newer graves. While walking through the stones, I didn't really considered death as much as the lives of the residents laying underneath. Who did they love? What were their passions? Who morned their passing?

I returned to our abode and looked up the cemetery online. I searched for about an hour, but came back with no mention. I'm sure there is information out there, but I wasn't searching in the right place.

Perhaps it's for the best. The place itself seems to enjoy its anonymity--remaining undisturbed for squirrels to secret their winter storage, vines to twine and leaves to fall to the ground.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Midnight Confessions

I can't believe I spent all day reading fan fiction.

I just finished An Assembly Such as This, the first in a--believe it or not--trilogy based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Talk about a marketing strategy.

All the while, I have Moby Dick, Katherine Graham's A Personal History, and A Passage to India gathering dust on my bookshelf. They sit patiently, waiting for me to crack open their pages. Some books on hold creased pages that mark their abandonment--my eyes never gracing their end matter.

I also have a collection of dogeared romance novels and sci fi next to my bed and Martha Stewart's Living magazines stashed in the bathroom.

You won't tell anyone . . . will you?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ode to my Mother and Father

I have a confession . . . I'm an introvert.

I know, it's shocking.

How can someone, who's idea of a good evening is drinking a good glass of Kentucky bourbon and watching bad horror and sci-fi flicks and blogging to all five readers, consider herself an introvert?

My mother definitely didn't raise me that way. My mother can connect with people as easily as breathing. All she has to do is sit on a park bench and random strangers sit next to her and sing their lives to her.

My folks visited me and Hun last week and New Yorkers fell in love with my mother. At the end of a dinner in an Italian restaurant in Albany, she made bosom friends with the waiter and finding out all the best eateries in The City. All she has to do is ask the score of the Rockies game. (My father giggled and pointed with me when we were abandoned at our table by my mother to find out the score. Hun joined her later, and bent the ear of the waiter as well.)

It was practically a repeat performance the following evening at Avenue A with neighboring diners looking over our dishes and vice-versa. My mother's attitude: it doesn't hurt to ask or comment, and you get to hear really interesting things that you wouldn't have heard about before.

The City couldn't be more friendly in the Fall. Two women approached us unsolicited about the hidden beauties of Brooklyn as we exited the subway station. They told us the local history. How a neighbor painted signs directing visitors to the footpath to the Brooklyn Bridge before The City replaced them out of embarrassment. How a couple of blocks down was a breathtaking view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty (we checked it out--it was). How Prizzi's Honor was shot in the neighborhood and we could see the house if we walked a little farther down the promenade, and a couple of great places to eat besides . . .

Our waitress at breakfast discussed the best in the City was the Polish section of town, where people were friendly and all the Polish immigrants lived. She practically hugged Hun (who's half Polish) and my mother on the way out the door.

Is it the Fall, or is it my mother? My money is on the latter. The woman is charming, she can tickle a conversation out of almost anyone. People trust her and tell her secrets, seek solace, and share jokes.

My dad comments on my mom's charisma, but Hun follows every word my father says and they talk heatedly about physics and research projects. My dad watches people and shares his observations: foreign tourist's awe at seeing The City and compares it to their trip to Europe, a grandmother teaching her granddaughter to rollerblade. He is more quiet, but just as much of the party as my boisterous mother.

When growing up, my friends seemed to gravitate to my mother and father as second parents, a home away from home. They felt safe and assured. Sometimes I got jealous I wasn't the main reason why my friends spent sleepovers at my house. I didn't have cool video games or toys--all I had to entice them over was the warmth of my parents. Now I realize--especially with my job--how blessed I was.

I know this post sounds a bit glurgey, but I can't help it. My parents were awesome--they still are.

I love you, Mom and Dad.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Situation

From a narrow twisted alley on a planet much like our own . . .

. . . comes the Glenn Slingerland Situation, a local television show that airs every Sunday
There's a local television show that airs every Sunday night at 11:00 pm. The show features women dressed in black, passing kiwis to each other in various unexotic locales. All the while, light jazz is playing in the background.

It's random, it's weird, it's a hoot.

Check it out.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Zen of Jack Bauer

I have a little confession . . .

Hun and I are addicted to 24. We buy all the DVDs of the past seasons. It's great escapism on the surface. But if you look closely enough, you can see a deeper philosophy we can all aspire to--the Zen of Jack Bauer . . .

Jack Bauer Teaching #1: Whenever asking a question, you are more likely to get honest answers by maintaining strong eye contact--through the scope of your your firearm.

Jack Bauer Teaching #2: In many societies, a task is assigned to a youth as a sacred right to adulthood. At CTU, it's getting tortured or killing a terrorist. That's how you get your balls to drop.

Jack Bauer Teaching #3: High-ranking members of the U.S. Presidential Cabinet have executive powers. For instance, Secretary of Defense James Heller need not aim his gun when he shoots. The bullets track the terrorists and pierce their cold, evil hearts.

Jack Bauer Teaching #4: Only allow yourself to be captured if there is no hope of escape, and if terrorists plan on torturing you until you die. That way, when you are resuscitated from the brink of death, you will have them right where you want them--crying like babies and spilling their guts (both literally and figuratively).

Jack Bauer Teaching #5: Like Buddhist monks being forbidden to touch women, Jack Bauer must not maintain eye contact while speaking to women. Bauer's masculinity is such a powerful force, he can impregnate them with a probing glance.

Jack Bauer Teaching #6: Throughout the ages, each epic hero has his sacred prayer he repeats to summon his strength from his Divine Mother. Jack Bauer's is "Damn it!" and "Son of a bitch!". Any time he repeats his sacred oath, y'all better clear out 'cause a big ol' can of whoop-ass is headed your way. As an aside: Jack Bauer has no mortal mother. He clawed his way out of the depths of the Earth.

Jack Bauer Teaching #7: Age teaches wisdom and a sense of duty. When Jack Bauer was a youth, he was the head of a vampiric motorcycle gang and feasted on the blood of his enemies. Now, he is the head of a gang of anti-terrorists and feasts on the blood of the enemies of the United States.

This is an incomplete list of teachings. Perhaps you can share some of the lessons learned through Zen Master Jack Bauer.