The Ghost of Halloween Past

It was a dark time.

A time of…darkness.

And…not much brightness.

(This is known as “setting the mood.” It’s a literary term. Look it up.)

It was a time of garment-rending and booze-drinking.

Which, most of time, is a damned fun evening.

But not so here. Tragedy. Like when the feeling’s gone and you can’t go on.

So let me take you back.

It was five years ago. A beautiful fall fall.

And the beautiful fall fallness was shattered by…by…her.

A villain of George R. R. Martin proportions.

The Pumpkin Tramp.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Pumpkin Tramp, well, who the hell are you and how did you get here?

Ok..ok…for those of you unfamiliar with The Pumpkin Tramp, let’s just say that she’s Maleficent, Smaug, Voldemort and Candice Olsen all rolled into one Lori-Tormenting Hell-Neighbor.

You may be wondering, if you’re not familiar with history, what she did to earn these invectives?

Did she steal from me?

Did she shave obscenities into one of the cats?

Did she turn the ’96 Camry into a carbeque?

No, my friends, none of those things. It was worse. Much, much worse.

The bitch out-decorated me.

She destroyed my mental stability by annually installing a Halloween tableau of such charm that I couldn’t sleep, and that caused me to devolve into a plot-wielding, vandalism-imagining shade of my former self.

She put pumpkins on her roof.



And as you can see here in the historical record, she was able to do this by virtue of her flat, perfect for pumpkin displaying roofline.

house 2

I, in contrast, had a house with a pitched roofline and my home-value-obsessed, wife-hating husband would not let me engineer a solution because, as he put it, “Drilling holes into the roof to hold pumpkins is irrational.”

Leaving me no choice but to seethe and plot revenge.

Ultimately, I refrained from putting any of those plans into action because we had a pretty active neighborhood watch program and I don’t look good in orange jumpsuits.

So I bided.

And bided.

And then, three short years later, was the proud owner of a house with a FLAT ROOFLINE.

This was a major consideration not really a factor when purchasing the house.

So one day last month, while on a drive, I said to Himself, “Hypothetically speaking…If one wanted, hypothetically, to mount a line of pumpkins onto a hypothetical roof…How would one hypothetically do that?”

“Hypothetically?” He asked.

“Totally,” I replied.

And it appears that Himself maybe really does love me as much as he says he does because he figured out a way to install the 13 Roof-Dwelling pumpkins on to a decidedly non-hypothetical roof.

And so now, after playing the long long long game, I have my revenge.

Would you like to see?




Is that not the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?

It’s so so so much better than the Pumpkin Tramp’s.

Can you tell why?


So now I can definitively say, despite being the only one playing the game…


Happy Halloween, my pretties.

Three Photos

As promised:

From left to right we have: Draco, Harry, Rosmerta (seated), Harry Potter Movie Watcher, Hermione, Tonks, and Dumbledore/Chinese Santa Claus.

Hiding in the back is one of our students, and I think she might have been McGonagall. But I wasn’t sure, plus there was the hiding and so she does not have cast billing.

From last night at Backyard Neighbor’s Party:

In defense of my hair, I reference the Star Trek Philosophy of the Alien Forehead. It’s the only explanation.

And finally: Why Nimbus is the Right Cat for the Job.


Today, a History Lesson.

The subject: Yours Truly and Halloween.

There will not be a test.


I really do love Halloween. I never go quite as crazy as I want to, because there’s only so much I can justify spending and only so many hours in a day (I know, I know…I’m working on it!)

Here I am at the age of…I must have been five, because I know what house we’re in. I am, obviously, a fairy princess.

And didn’t my mom have great legs?

The year after this, I was Miss America.

Clearly my tiara and scepter obsession has a long and glorious history.

In second grade I was a ghost. This high-tech costume was a white sheet with eye-holes. My mom ringed the eye-holes with black pen so they’d stand out, which ran when I cried because none of my friends recognized me under the sheet. Clearly my ability to be irrational also has a long and glorious history.

In fifth grade I was a ghoul, which was a shredded white sheet paired with the mask I made in class. My little brother sported an awesome Luke Skywalker outfit, which was tan pants, duct-tape boots, and a kimono-ish jacket made out of a white sheet. (I’m wondering now about this seemingly never-ending supply of white sheets with which to make costumes. I don’t have a single white sheet, yet my mother kept us in Halloween outfits for years. I’d say something like “bedrooms were more boring in the 70’s” but by all I’ve read that simply isn’t true.)

High-school was hit and miss. I know I was too cool for costumes a couple times, and once when I dressed up to take my best friend’s little brothers and sisters trick-or-treating (just cause we thought dressing up would be fun) people yelled at us for trying to scam treats.

Way to abuse your authority, 80’s adults with candy.

One of my most glorious costumes was a couple’s costume with Husband 1.0.

We are a Druid Priest and Sacrificial Virgin.

The virginity thing is all symbolic – I didn’t have a chastity belt (which if you know me makes way too much sense and PS, shut the hell up), so that link of chain around my waist is held closed with a padlock.

And yes, I know Druids didn’t sacrifice people. It just worked for the costume. And we came in second place at the club we went to.

Some years later, while pregnant, I snagged the red costume and dressed up as:

Umm…yeah, I don’t really know either. I was large. This fit. I made it scary. Halloween done. Husband 1.0 (in the background) was The Doctor.

A couple years later, my department at work came as a band of gypsies.

I am the less cute one with the beard. I am also the only one not in a dress. We won the contest that year.

Two years later, we were the characters from The Wizard of Oz.

Damnit. The picture cuts off my ruby slippers. We won this year too.

The following year we won as the cast from Peter Pan, and then we were disqualified from winning any more. I was Peter Pan, my lead physical therapist was Tinkerbell. With a beard.

Mixed in the following years was a pirate, a belly-dancer and a Star Fleet Officer. Then a few years ago my department did “The Royal Court.”

That’s me in the green.

And yes, that is a re-purposed Peter Pan costume.

A couple years ago, with nothing planned and a party to go to, I did a quick face-paint and donned devil horns.

No one noticed.

This year, my department is staging Harry Potter, and somehow between now (8 am) and when I leave the house (11 am) I need to figure out Dumbledore.

A magic wand would come in SO handy right now.

And then tomorrow for a party, Himself and I are doing the Star Trek thing.

Because I actually own two Star Trek costumes.

Cause I am a geek.

I am also a nerd.

And I love Halloween.

Just call me Sybil.

That’s brilliant, isn’t it? I can barely get people to remember that I’m not called Martha. So that’s just what we need. More names.

I, dear readers, am a study in contrasts.

You could say I’m deep…conflicted. Torn between extremes and wrestling with the big questions.

You’d be wrong, of course, but go ahead and say those things. I like when people think I’m smart. And deep.

I could be deep. I have depths!

Serious, unplumbed depths! Deep, deep depths!

Yeah, right.

Anyone who is cheered up by a Snicker’s bar is about as deep as a shot glass.


See what I mean?

Anyway, for yours truly, “study in contrasts” is a nice way of saying “wishy-washy.” Or if I’m feeling particularly uncharitable, “confused.”

So, in an effort to keep up in the great Pumpkin War of 2010, I – you may recall – broke out the Halloween decor.

I am so not to be trifled with.

However, I seem to be suffering some sort of Halloween split personality disorder.

For instance, you may remember this, which sits on the hutch:

Menacing. Eeeeevil.

But then I have this on the front step:

Charming. Cozy.

Ok, well we can’t have any of that. I want my guests to be freaked out. So I have these:


In which case maybe I shouldn’t have this hanging on the front door:

And if I’m really tying to create an ambience of  unease and give people chills with this:

Then maybe I should knock off buying stuff like this:

Do you see where I’m going here?

Or, more accurately, do you see how I’m failing to get ANYWHERE here?

I can’t decide if I want cute and charming or horrid and freaky. And so I end up with both which ultimately causes an emotional state known in the health care industry as, “Huh?”

As a former performance artist, I can tell you that “huh?” is about the WORST reaction you can get from a viewing audience.

I don’t know what to do about this.

But I can tell you whose fault it is.

The tramp with the pumpkins on her roof.