1)...So as this Samhain approaches, what is ending in you? What do you have inside that it is time to let go of? ..Something old must be gotten rid of to make room for something new to be able to come in. In thinking about yourself, is that something you see as a truth?
I don't know for sure. I'm not ready to give up on a couple of things -- feeling healthier, for example -- but I'm ready to move on with some others. It is time, for example, for a New Book. And it is time to get my last paper journal sifted for book notes and off my desk.
This is probably not the deep kind of thing one ideally means here, but it's what I've got.
2) Have you ever seen a ghost? What is the scariest ghost story you know?
I have not seen a ghost, and I don't know any scary ghost stories. I have written a ghost story, but it was more sweet than scary, and if I ever finish the other one that's hanging around my mental streets asking for loose change, it will not be scary because of the ghosts.
The closest thing I have to a ghost experience is that every 6 weeks or so, I dream I'm having brunch with my Gran. We talk over my life since we last had brunch. It's good. Sometimes my old dog and various other folks drop by. I don't believe this is some manifestation of my Gran hanging around the ether (hee, she said ether, said the former physics geek), but it's nice anyway. It is, most likely, a very pleasant thing for my sub-basement brain to do for me; much appreciated.
3) What is the best Halloween costume you ever wore?
My Gypsy costume was pretty cool, but the most emotional resonance has to have come from the year that I was Princess Leia. I think I was 4 -- certainly a preschooler, so 3 or 4. We coiled my little braids up like Princess Leia's, and I liked it so much that I kept wearing them that way off and on for years.
I was also deeply amused my junior year of college, when I wore the Wench Suit (Fest garb) to my classes. My advisor beamed at me: "Are you a princess?" Uh, sure, Dennis. A princess with lots o' cleavage. Definitely a princess. Hey, Dennis is sort of an uncle figure for me, and if he wanted to see me as a princess when I was dressed as a wench, that is absolutely fine.
4) Best memory?
I think every Upper Midwestern kid my age remembers the year of the blizzard. It was the first year I didn't trick-or-treat even a little (and wasn't planning to even before the blizzard). My best girl friend at the time, Kristy, was going to spend the night, and she ended up spending the weekend instead: her parents were just not comfortable with my folks driving her home in that weather. (My folks are Minnesotans and would have been fine, but they were also fine having her.)
I don't think that's the best one, though. There was the year it sleeted and Gina (my best girl friend of that time) was a punk, and my mom stuck us in the shower together (because we were that little) when we got back from trick-or-treating, and Gina had to shampoo her hair something like seven times to get the green spiky stuff out, and there was a ring in the bathtub. That was a good year, the thawing shower after the freezing rain.
No, that's still not best. My high school had a tradition called Sweet Treat Night, where the different clubs would decorate their advisor's room and hand out candy to the kids in the district, not on Halloween but near it. My senior year, I was president and one of the founders of Science Club, and we did up the room with...um. It was the geekiest thing ever, folks. (scottjames, back me up here.) I think you will have some idea of the theme if you hear that we determined that Jackie weighed the same as a duck: we had a witch-burning. An extremely Monty Python witch burning. With extra added Mad Scientist bits for fun. We ran shrieking through the halls in sockfeet and turned ourselves absolutely scarlet from laughing. I don't remember much about how the little kids reacted, except that Jackie had to come out to show one little girl that she was not, in fact, being burned alive. (We had intended it to be silly, unlike the future doctors' club, whatever it was called, who intended to be scary. Mostly we succeeded.) I think maybe the kids didn't care as long as they got their candy.
I think that might have been the best. I had some good times at college, including the time when Matt was Duct Tape Man and Andrew was either a Mafia thug or Itzhak Perlman, we were never sure which. But there was no shrieking.
5) Do you celebrate Halloween or not? Why or why not? If so, what are you doing this year?
I missed greatestofnates's Halloween party due to this stupid fatigue stuff, so that part is right out. I'll be handing out candy to the munchkins, though, and trying to keep the dog from going out of her skull about it. Probably not in a costume. Well...not a real costume. When Heathah was over last week, I wore my "I'm an extra from Tam Lin" costume, and today I am dressed up as My Mom, Age 25. So who knows what I will be dressed as tomorrow.
In other news, for those of you who won't be reading this on novel_gazing, my parents are moving to the Twin Cities in 2006. This will make some things easier and some things more difficult, especially as my grands are not moving up here, or at least have not decided to do so at this point. Dad's new job (with the same company) will allow him to continue to solve cool industrial/environmental chemistry problems, possibly even cooler ones. So we're not sure on the timing of that, and I'm sure I'll talk about it more later as various issues get figured out.