Issue #196 – “Boooooominations” – October 31st, 2011

-I was supposed to be in Playa del Carmen this past weekend for my buddy Shermdog’s wedding, but he was forced to postpone it due to Hurricane Rina. These things happen I guess. I mean, Shermdog is from Staten Island and his fiancee is from Oklahoma so having their wedding in Mexico in the middle of hurricane season was an obvious choice. Poor decision-making aside though, this was to be the first time I ever spent Halloween weekend out of the country. In Mexico, they celebrate the Day of the Dead, which is an actual, sacred holiday. Halloween, on the other hand, is just a Hallmark-supported fabrication meant to sell chocolate and force grown men to dress up (you know, like Valentine’s Day). But it is October 31st after all, so I think it’s only right that today I share my boooooominations.

-I could never be a vampire; I can’t stand the sight of blood. Remember when you were little and your parents would crush up your medicine and feed it to you with applesauce or something to make it taste better? That’s the only way I could eat if I was a vampire. A little blood mixed with tomato soup. Maybe even some grilled cheese on the side to dunk.

-From the time you go off to college until the time you buy a house, you can’t have a pumpkin outside your front door on Halloween. For one, you’re probably living in an apartment, and leaving a pumpkin on the carpet in the hallway is weird and gross. More importantly, though, during that stage of life everyone you know is either wasted, immature, or both. So within an hour your jack-o’-lantern is either gonna be smashed, stolen, or both.

-You know you’ve chosen a poor costume when you have to write out and wear a sign that explains what you’re supposed to be.

-I was watching television with a friend and some horror flick came on. She turned away, saying that she hates zombie movies. Meanwhile, she wears a crucifix necklace. Pardon my atheism for a moment, but don’t you believe that Christ rose from the dead? So you can’t stand the sight of zombies but you’re okay wearing one around your neck?

-Ghosts seem very preoccupied with haunting people and houses. I don’t know what the paranormal regulations are, but I would definitely not stick around the place I died or waste time spooking whoever killed me. That’s just petty. It seems like ghosts would spend more time, I don’t know, spying on women in the shower. That would explain all the moaning…

-After me and my sister went trick-or-treating when we were kids, my mom and dad would sort through all of our candy and separate the sealed stuff that we could eat (like Snickers) from the unsealed stuff that they’d throw away (like sucking candies in twisted wrappers). It all seemed very arbitrary and probably wasn’t going to prevent anything bad from happening. So basically my parents were like the Halloween TSA.

-In 1984, I started having terrible nightmares. I was four years old and my parents began waking up in the morning to find me curled up at the foot of their bed, too scared to sleep alone. This went on for months. Finally, I revealed what was terrifying me: “Thriller.” I thought that the Michel Jackson zombie from the music video was under my bed. It took a while, but my parents eventually convinced me to stop hysterically crying, sucking my thumb, and sleeping on their floor. In that way, I guess, Michael Jackson and Jesus are similar: both died under mysterious circumstances, both are celebrated posthumously, and both cause otherwise sane individuals to act completely illogically.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Why don’t the clocks on washing machines keep on counting after the laundry is done? That way you’d know how long someone else’s clean clothes have been sitting there and whether or not to toss them on the floor so that you can use the machine.

-My digital bathroom scale can record the results of five previous times I’ve weighed myself. The benefit is that averaging your weight over several days really provides a more accurate result – a benefit I destroy completely by only hitting Save on “light” days.

-My buddy claimed that the word “spendthrift” means cheap or thrifty. I bet him that it actually means the opposite. We Googled it and of course I was right: “spendthrift” means someone who spends money extravagantly. He refused to pay up. Ironic bastard.

-The bar on the lat pulldown machine in my gym hangs exactly at my eye level. It’s only a matter of time before I walk right into it and give myself a black eye. I’d say the odds of that happening are greater than me ever doing any actual lat pulldowns.

-I can’t believe that some people who drive convertibles park and leave their cars with the top down. I can barely control my urge to jump in and rummage through the glove compartment and honk the horn. Or at the very least, pray for rain.

-Most wedding invitations or Save the Dates I receive these days also include a URL for the couple’s official web site, instructing me to go there for all the “latest information.” Shermdog’s wedding web site was the perfect place to update us on the rapidly changing circumstances regarding the hurricane. And update us he did. The day before I was to fly to Mexico, the rehearsal dinner was listed on his web site as “TBD.” This was a substantially more informative update than its original status: “TBA.”

-Some cabs in LA are now equipped with an app that lets you pay the fare directly from your iPhone. My friend showed me how it worked the other day. I was thrilled – both that technology has come so far and that I’d tricked him into paying my cab fare. Serves him right for stiffing me on that bet on the meaning of spendthrift.

-This is gonna sound unbelievable, but I just saw the movie “The Godfather” for the first time. I know, I know, it’s an all-time classic, but I never got around to watching it until last week. I suppose it’s a testament to my generation that I thought it was too long and not violent enough. I’ll read about Parts II and III on Wikipedia.

-And, finally, I’m not much of a costume person, so when I am in town for Halloween and do need to dress up for a party, I usually just wear my high school soccer jersey. The only accoutrement I’ve added to my original uniform is a black and white “Captain” armband. For the record, I was not captain of that particular team, but at the end of the day, Halloween is all about pretending to be something you’re not. And for me that means a former high school sports hero currently weighing in at five pounds lighter than his scale attests. Fuck me.