An Odd Greeting

Nov 01 2005

After all my preparation for my parents’ visit last night, I got a phone call yesterday morning. It was my Mom, telling me that one of the dogs woke up very sick and was…let’s just say, making messes all over the house. There was no way they could come. ARG!

That threatened to spiral me into a depression that would have put me in a funk all night. I had food, and plans, and everything.

But, no. After half an hour or so, I decided that I would not let myself spiral into a funk. Instead of focusing on what might have been, I focused on what I had: a movie to watch, a book to read, trick-or-treaters to greet, and plenty of good food. Can’t ask for more than that, really.

[Bread]
A fresh loaf of bread for dinner

[My Halloween Dinner]
My Halloween dinner, a ham and cheese sandwich with caramel popcorn

So, it was a good night. I got thirty trick-or-treaters, though two were giggling high schooler girls, and one was the woman who used to live here. Which was odd in itself. I opened the door, and there was a woman, who announced, “I’m here to tell you to leave!”

“…What?” I replied.

“Now that I’m here, you have to move out!”

“…Huh?”

Then she explained that she used to live here, and I said (quote), “Ohhhhhhhhhhh,” and she looked at my bowl and exclaimed, “OOOH! Full-sized candy bars! Can I have one?” I said sure, so she took one, and her son took one, and she left.

Oh-kay.

The movie was Nosferatu. Compared to Halloween, which just gets better each time I watch it, Nosferatu gets more boring. It’s a good film, and certainly a classic, and it does some amazing things—the shot of Dracula rising out of his coffin is still genuinely horrifying—but the shots last a bit too long, the acting (Max Shreck excepted) is embarrassingly over-the-top, and…well, frankly, we’ve seen all this before. Yeah, that’s because everybody’s copied the plot of Nosferatu. But that doesn’t keep it from being boring, and I think it’s revealing that other horror movies (like, um, Halloween) don’t suffer the same problem despite sharing that limitation.

Anyvay. The book was October Dreams, a beautiful anthology of horror and thriller stories and remembrances, all focused on Halloween. (I use the term “thriller” as opposed to “horror” because a lot of these bits aren’t meant to horrify as much as to spook and thrill). Great reading, and I’ve made it a habit to read it every October. Some of the stories don’t hold up to frequent re-readings, but many of them continue to pack the same punch they had when I first read them several years ago.

In other news, I’ve been reading a lot about energy and productivity and time and focus, and I plan to write quite a bit about them in the near future. As such, this blog might become a bit more screedy than usual; I’m going to try my hand at provocation. I’m very much not a pushy person, but I’m feeling and thinking some things that I want to challenge the world about.

I’ll start you thinking with a quote from Tom Peters:

What do you want to be?

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