grab some fruit and light it on fire! go on! it’s ok!

I was working in the lab late one night…

Well Precious Readers, it’s October.  Well, it has been for several days now, but bear with me.  With just this last week alone consuming 20 out of 40 hours of “strategy” meetings, I’ve become a zombie.

I’m beginning to understand why zombies crave brains, because right now mine is fried.

October holds my all-time favorite holiday: All Hallow’s Eve, aka:


Note the excitement here? <wink, wink.>  <nudge, nudge.>

Halloween is by far the best holiday ever. There’s all the camaraderie without the 100% expectation of drunkenness that New Year’s Eve or Fourth of July holds.

Ok, Halloween is a party holiday. It just doesn’t expect the full 100% of it to be filled with drunkenness. Maybe more along the lines of 75%.

The reason this holiday is so special to me is due to a list of several reasons. Mind if I share?

It’s a less stressful holiday to get together with loved ones.  Halloween is a chance for everyone to eat some regular food that doesn’t contain strange gelatinous fruit suspended in bread, and a chance to listen to the music you typically listen to all the other days of the year.  As for food, because it’s a casual holiday, there’s no burden on your shoulders to purchase a better gift for your parents to prove you’re the good child versus your sibling, or to prove who can roast the better (and bigger) turkey causing a 3-day cook-off in your respective kitchens.

I don’t know about you, but I find Thanksgiving and Christmas to be the type of “family get-together” leaving me reaching for a roll of antacids.  Or wine.  Yeah, scratch the antacids, just pass the bottle.

It’s fun for the whole family. For those on a straight-and-narrow or who have little ones, this holiday is full of child-friendly events! You get to spend time with your children, letting them wear their favorite Spiderman/fairy princess costume without getting strange looks throughout the grocery store.  Also there are corn mazes, or for the not-so-faint-of-heart, haunted corn mazes.  There are great kid-friendly films like Hocus Pocus (one of my fave’s. I love Bette Midler), or It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Mutilating fruit is a good thing. Not a good cook?  Who cares? You’re going to be hollowing out that ol’ pumpkin anyway. Unless you’re able to slice off your finger, carving pumpkins is a fun way to pass the time. Also, you get to set it on fire!  Ok, not really, but glow sticks are a great alternative to open flames within the empty cavern that is your Jack-o-Lantern.

You get to know your neighbors.  Halloween is the one night out of the year where you actually see your neighbor’s face (or at least part of them if they’re wearing a mask) instead of hunching over, covering your face with one hand while giving a somewhat-wave with the other and mumbling a greeting as you hurry past.  In fact, not only do you get to march up their steps with confidence as your cape flutters in the autumn wind, but they have to give you candy. I really do think it might be a law.

Speaking of candy… Now my husband, Pilot is forcing me to write about this.  Personally, I’m not much of a candy person. However, Pilot is a candy fiend and would consume only sugar if the human body could possibly do so without slowly killing itself from the inside. This is a holiday of FREE CANDY. If you’re able to, you could easily cover ground and make pillowcase-bank on the amount of free sucrose flying through the air.

You get to be scared shitless, and it’s OK to scream like a little girl.  This is a holiday that encourages you to let your freaked-out flag fly!  (Again) haunted houses, corn mazes, etc. Scary movies, monsters, chills and thrills galore! I’m personally not so much into the “gore” focus of the holiday. I prefer the more classic monsters such as Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, mummies, other vampires, werewolves, etc. I remember reading Frankenstein and Dracula before I was 12.

And yes, I do realize how odd that sounds.  What is an under 12-year-old doing reading material like that?  If it makes you feel a little bit better, I was really into The Babysitter’s Club series, too. There. Better?

You get to dress up in a costume and no one thinks it’s weird.  Calling someone a witch to their face is a nice thing and socially acceptable. On any other day, showing up to the office with cat ears and a tail on tends to raise some eyebrows. Costumes allow you to show another side of yourself.  For instance, last year, Pilot went as Lt. Dangle from Reno 911!  (Yes, if you haven’t noticed already, we have a slightly warped sense of humor.)

I’ll tell you what ladies, it takes a confident man to pull off that costume, and Pilot is almost a dead ringer for Lt. Dangle when he slips on those aviators and law-enforcement-panther shorts.  By the way, he fills out those shorts quite nicely.

For singles, they can play up their naughty side and feel comfortable reaching outside of their comfort zone for the night.

Or, reaching into someone else’s, should you feel as bold to do so. (With consent, of course.)

If you hold a preference to corny humor, those of you in the land of coupledom could dress up as ketchup and mustard.  Others can showcase their artistic skills.

My, that is a lovely butcher’s knife protruding from your skull. Did you ooze on the blood yourself?

The biggest reason I love this holiday is probably due to the fact my family didn’t celebrate it much, if at all.  My dad was an “early to bed, early to rise” person. And no, we’re not talking about a nine at night bedtime. My dad went to bed at 7:00pm and woke up at 2:00am every day of his life from about 1966 to the end of his days.  I would be on door duty (sans any type of costume) while my mom prepared for the next work day.

Now, I celebrate this day with fervor and excitement!!!

Note the three exclamation points? That’s how excited I am!  (!!!)

And as an adult, I can stay up even later, let Pilot get his fill of candy (again, antacids, anyone?) and be a kid for an evening. Oh, and chocolate and wine.  Did I forget to mention chocolate and wine?

So how about you, Precious Readers?  What do you like about Halloween?  What has been your favorite costume so far? What has been your most successful, or biggest failure of a costume?  What’s your favorite candy?  What was the worst treat you received when arriving at someone’s door? Did someone ever choose “trick” instead of “treat” when asked? I want to hear from YOU!

he may not wear red underwear, but i’m ok with that

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh, wait… Yeah, it IS a plane. Never mind. <Shrug.>

Although it may technically be Sept. 15th at 1:00am, I’m still living in the past 24-hours of it being Sept. 14th. Sept. 14th marks one of the greatest days in history.  It’s Pilot’s birthday.

There are many reasons why I love Pilot, but this post would never be finished. So, instead, I thought I would write about why Pilot excels far beyond Superman.

1. He’s a sexy nerd.  Clark Kent was a mild-mannered English nerd. Writing for The Daily Planet, Mr. Superman himself was the geeky guy of the office, just short of Jimmy the photographer.  You may think that the reason I call my husband, Pilot is because his job is being a pilot. Well you’d be wrong.  Pilot is actually a special-education teacher. To this day, he amazes me his ability to connect with students who experience an exceptionally difficult time with learning, or developing the skills needed to improve. His love for science and math knows no bounds, to which I thank God for because I can’t succeed in science and math to save my life (although he and I did very well in an astronomy class together.

Me: What a great night! Ellensburg’s skies are so clear!

Pilot: Yeah! Here, let’s go to this field and setup. I’ll pour the hot chocolate.

Passerby 1: Hey! Is that a bong? It’s huge!

Me: <indignant, setting hands on hips and frowning.> No, it is not a bong. It’s a telescope. See? <points to eyepiece.>

Passerby 2: Sweet! Party time! <calls to friends in distance.> Hey! Check this chick out! She has the biggest bong I’ve ever seen!

Me: It is NOT a bong! It is a highly functional TELESCOPE! Look! You can see Venus and Mars, right there!

Passerby 1: Cool! It’s multi-functional!

Me: <shakes fist, screeching at Passersby 1 & 2.> Listen, cretins! Just because you’ve lost some brain cells does not mean you need to corrupt mine with your incessant insistence that my telescope is a device for drug use!

Passerby 2: Way to party little lady <pats the top of my head.>

Me: Argh!

Pilot: Sweetie, I think it’s time we move to a different field.

Just as Superman disguises himself to be a simple and plain man, but is all super-hunky man of steel in reality, my Pilot is a seemingly boy-next-door guy, but is superhero to children and helping them have a fighting chance in this world.  Plus, listening to him explain space’s gravitational patterns for each planet with his toothy-white grin is sexy as hell.  And besides, I’m the (maybe not-so-mild-mannered) English nerd in this relationship.

2. Ok, so he does fly a little bit. Like Superman, my Pilot is also, well a pilot. Before Washington changed its laws of age limitations for obtaining a pilot’s license, he took his first flying lesson at the tender age of 13. He literally flew a plane before ever driving a car. The way he’s better than Superman, is that for me to go flying with him, I don’t have to worry about someone looking up m nightie and freezing my crumpets off from the high altitude because I’m contained inside an ACTUAL airplane.

Me: <holds down ‘push-to-talk’ button> Wow! I’m flying an airplane… And I’m scared shitless right now. You can take the steering back now!

Pilot: <laughs.> You only had it for two seconds.

Me: <holds down ‘push-to-talk’ button and glares at Pilot.> Two seconds too long… Ooh! Nice yoke-work, Bacher! Why don’t you use those hands somewhere else?

Pilot: Sweetie, you need to stop pressing the ‘push-to-talk’ button because you just announced that to all local flying aircraft and the Tower.

Tower: Cessna 5210-AML, you’re clear to land… If your hands aren’t too busy.

Random pilot sharing airspace with us: <chuckles.>Yes, please keep your hands to yourself, Sweetie.

Me: <holds ‘push-to-talk’ button> Umm… I think they heard me.

Pilot: You’re still holding the ‘push-to-talk’ button, Sweetie.

Me: <still holding ‘push-to-talk’ button.> Oh. Sorry.

3. He has superpowers. No not actual, born an alien or dipped in toxic waste superpowers. But with one look he can provide a multitude of things: reassurance, giggle-inducing hysteria, empathy, one of the few people who can make me shut up once in a while if I’ve said something [insert favorite word here, such as weird, odd, annoying, ridiculous, etc.], and the occasional heat-induced glance that magically makes my clothes disappear. (Hey, don’t judge. I’m married and Superman had x-ray vision.  You really don’t think that Superman didn’t use it to his advantage just once?)

4. He’s talented. As Clark Kent was a journalist and fairly decent reporter, my Pilot is also extremely gifted.  Separate from his teaching and flying gigs, my Pilot is also an aviation photographer. Even better, he’s a good one!  Pilot has been published in a few magazines over the last couple of years, and also has written several blurbs on the aircraft subject in question.  He has a successful Facebook page and YouTube account where he also posts videos of his work, narrating and adding factoids to the videos for viewers to enjoy.

5. Lastly, but not at all in the least, he’s romantic. Superman had ladies drooling for decades, most of all a Ms. Lois Lane. And in this case, this little writer wised-up and realized that a kind, quiet and talented man was interested in me and I jumped at the chance at love, never regretting a day since. Thankfully, Pilot has made this relationship really easy on me by being just completely wonderful and supportive, even if I post stuff like this on the all-knowing interwebs. Even if the first Valentine’s Day card I ever received from him was signed, “I don’t care what they say. I think you’re pretty nice,” causing a temporary 2-hour argument between us.

Happy Birthday, Pilot! And I don’t care what they say, I think you’re pretty nice, too.

<blows kiss.>

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 14: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!

Dear Diary,

Today I met the most impossible of all human beings! There I was, walking through the bookstore trying to keep my nonchalant, “Yes, of course I’m in the self-help section-there’s-nothing-wrong-with-that-it’s-a-perfectly-normal-thing-to-do” face. So what if I’m pushing into my latter-thirties and newly single? If someone wanted to excel in their profession, they would study for it. If someone was to perform a self tune-up of their car, they would buy a guide. So why not buy a book to help accelerate changing my single status?

While wandering the bookstore, trying to find a decently large covered book to disguise my purchase with, I bumped into a man at the mysteries/thrillers section.

“Oh! Excuse me,” I said slightly blushing at the blatant lack of focus on where I was going.

“Not at all, pardon me,” he replied. I took in the light hair and blue eyes framed by some very nice looking professor’s glasses. He was tall, wearing a slim fitting navy blue sweater and jeans. Hellooo Dr. Jones!

His head tilted slightly as he tried to glance at the title of my self-help-for-singles book, Single? So What? guide which had decided to hide itself behind my back.

“You know, if you want a really good read, you should try I’m Single and I Know It, instead.”

I blushed at the recommendation.  “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said tucking a strand of my plain brown hair behind my ears. “I’m looking for a thrill- I mean, looking for thrillers. Oh look, there’s a great one!” I say as I pluck a random book from the shelf to the right of me.

He tilts his head to the side. “Hmm… So you’re into swashbuckling pirates who stealthily rip the bodices off of young maidens, huh? I would’ve pegged you more knights-in-shining-armor kind of woman.” I raise my eyebrows at the book I had just selected.

Sure enough, there was a shirtless pirate and a young wench who apparently had no problem or apparent discomfort from having her breasts shoved up to her chin, while the pirate’s swarthy hands were undoing the ties to the back of her very cumbersome looking satin corset. Quickly glancing up to the empty space that held the damning evidence of my random selection, I realized the shelf on my right had been historical romance instead of mystery/thriller. Shit and double shit!

“You know, all you need is a glass of wine and you’re probably set for the night,” he said winking of me.

Eyes narrowing, “Why of all the nerve! I-” I pause to straighten my back at this very nosy and appalling man.  I closed my eyes for a moment taking a deep, calming breath.

“Once again, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I am merely grabbing some reading material as a gag birthday gift for my friend, Lizzy, if you must know.” No need for him to find out that Lizzy is actually my dog named after my favorite romantic heroine, Elizabeth Bennett.

“Of course, my mistake,” he said, having the nerve to smile at me.

“Well, thank you. Now, if you don’t mind. I need to have these presents gift wrapped. I’m very busy and important, and must be going now. Ta!” Turning on my heel, I pause at the sound of his voice.

“Fantastic! I was busy getting this for my brother. We’ll go to gift wrapping together!” He said grinning at me.  Of all the rotten luck. Two years without a man and now I can’t get away from this one!

Together, we both walk to the gift-wrapping center’s counter and hand our items over to the customer service rep.

“Sorry about your friend. Is she going through a tough breakup right now?”

“Huh?” I blink at him.  “Oh! Yes!  Um… Right… Well, she’s recently gone through a divorce, which she’s very happy about, and is throwing herself a divorce shower,” I quickly spat out.  We both take our nicely wrapped presents, his book in pretty forest green with a gold ribbon, mine in a patterned wrapping paper covered in random letters of the alphabet and red ribbon.

“A divorce shower?” he says amused at my frustration.  “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before.  What exactly does one do at a divorce shower?”  Oh come on! Can’t I just live this humiliation in peace? It’s bad enough I resorted to self-help guides, but does it really need to have a commentary squad like Mystery Science Theater 3000?

“Well it’s- um…” I sigh and throw my hands up in the air, waiving my ‘gift’ in the air. “Oh, hell. We both know the book is for me.  Look, it’s been a little nerve-wracking catching my bloody husband in my bed with my sister and I haven’t had sex in two years, all right?”

The man’s eyes widened as he stared at me.  A woman who had been waiting in line for the gift-wrapping services looked extremely uncomfortable.  “Um… I think I forgot to comb my cat…” she said as she inched away from us slowly, and then bursting into a slight sprint towards the main door.

I felt my face burning as red as a hooker in church.  Also waiting for him to run away from the crazy-cat-lady vibe I was giving off; to my surprise he actually was pretty nice about the whole freak-out scene.

“Wow. That must have been awful. Are you ok?” he spoke softly, his eyebrows slightly furrowed, deep in thought. All they did was focus on his glasses which were straightforward black frame, emphasizing the blue-ness of his eyes.

Another deep sigh escaped my lips. “Yeah, I’m good. Sorry about that. I had just moved here for him because he was offered a job at Boeing. We were living with my sister until we could find our own place.  Then… Well, you know…” my voice drifted off as I felt tears prickling at the back of my eyes.

“I’m really sorry.  Was just teasing before, but if I’d known…” he gave a slight shrug and palms up gesture of apology.

“It’s all right. Sorry for going all berserker on you,” I smile slightly.

He stifled a snicker, “Berserker? You’ve seen Clerks?”

“Of course, hasn’t everyone? I mean, Kevin Smith may be raunchy, a little out of my comfort zone sometimes, but nonetheless is an insightful writer and commentator of life in our generation,” I state matter-of-factly.

The man stares at me again, this time in wonderment. “Wow, I think I may have fallen in love with you a little bit. Most women can’t look past goofy comedy movies like that.”

“Oh… Well, that’s just, really nice,” I say flustered at this man’s response.

“I’m Elliot. Elliot Helmsworth,” he says sticking his hand out to me.  Grasping his palm, I reply, “Claire. Claire Whitmore.”