Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Happy Halloween! I'm not doing much of anything this year. I have candy, just in case, but I've never had a trick-or-treater in all the time I've lived in this house, even in the years when I actually remembered to turn my porch light on. Trick-or-treating seems to have gone out of fashion, which is a shame. There's all this paranoia about safety, but I just checked at snopes.com, and my impression that there hadn't really been a case of true poisoning or tampering with Halloween candy was correct. The case that people remember of the cyanide in pixie stix was actually a targeted murder -- the father deliberately killed his son to cash in on an insurance policy and tried to make it look like the kid picked up poisoned candy while trick-or-treating. There have been a few cases of pins and razor blades in apples, but most of those turned out to be pranks or hoaxes, either actually done by the kid who reported it or targeted specifically at another kid (most often a younger sibling). So, basically, a tradition is dying out because of unfounded fears from urban legends. I guess there might also be some worries about pedophiles, but that's why you go with your kids or why kids should go in groups. I was lucky, growing up on military bases, because there wasn't that kind of fear of your neighbors. You knew them, and even if you didn't, you knew where they worked and who their boss was.

I ran all my errands today and have finally just about cleared off my epic to-do list. I had to go to Fry's -- the big computer (including parts to build your own), electronics, DVD and office supply store, basically nerd heaven -- to get some office supplies, and a lot of the staff and even some patrons were in costume. But even the realistic looking devil working customer service (strangely appropriate) didn't wig me out as much as all the people walking around with their little Bluetooth cell phone headsets/Borg implants. There's something about those that unnerves me a bit, like that's the first step toward turning us all into cyborgs. Last week's Dr. Who episode didn't help much in that department.

I found out that I got chosen to do a reading at the World Fantasy Convention. I'll be moderating the group reading at 3:30 on Friday, so come by if you're there. I'm starting to get things together for that trip. It's a road trip, so I don't have to worry about packing light. I can bring everything in my closet if I want to. I'm most excited about being able to bring boots. Boots can be a pain to travel with by air. They fill up the suitcase, and if I wear them, they're annoying to take off and put back on while going through security. But for this trip, I can bring several different pairs! Whatever will fit in my car! I'm staying at one of those extended-stay mini suite kind of hotels, so I'll have a kitchen in my room. That means I can have breakfast in my room before facing the world, and at the end of the day I can go back to my room for dinner and unwinding, if I want to. I baked some scones this afternoon to bring for breakfast food. Now I just need to stock up on road trip snacks.

My Halloween celebration is going to involve watching the return of House, and maybe baking some brownies (more road trip snacks). I'm such a party girl. No costume. I'm wearing a vintage (from my school days) University of Texas sweatshirt. Hey, it's orange, so it sort of works.

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