Thursday, November 2, 2017

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

What’s on deck, Hopper?

Well, I try to post something every other day or so, but usually I’m not successful. It’s mostly due to busy-ness sapping energy. Not physical energy, but mental energy. Not proud of it, but since this blog generates no income whatsoever to me, I have to focus my batteries on things that do. The day job, the upcoming seasonal night job, and the little ones, which I watch because the wife does the NYC / travel thing on her path to vice-presidency in her company.

The big thing, of course, was Halloween. I did not dress up, though a bunch of people at my work did. The 65-year-old guy in the office across the hall from mine dressed as Skeletor. I got to work early so I could enjoy an extended lunch hour watching Patch at her grammar school parade. The second-to-last parade, as she’s a third through fourth grade already. Then I got out early to pick up some pizzas, wolf them down with the girls and their friends at our house, and then do four hours of trick or treating in two separate towns!

Truth be told, I only helped chaperone for the first three hours. The bloody stumps previously called my feet sidelined me for the rest of the night, so the wife volunteered for the final run in the near-darkness of the eight o’clock hour. I soaked my carcass in a hot bath and finished the insanely odd duck A Voyage to Arcturus. A delicious and extended review of the 1920 cult novel is anticipated sometime this weekend.

Yesterday I spent 90 minutes at the town high school for their Open House. Little One will be, yes, hard to fathom, a high school student in ten months. Where did that little thing whose diaper I changed a few hundred times, who looked up to me from three feet away, holding her hand upwards, as we walked into the grocery store, who sat on the couch eating apple sauce and raisins, watching cartoons with me before afternoon kindergarten, where did she go? Oh well, that’s all for another post, if I have the fortitude …

Anyway, we’re in good hands with my town’s school and the people who run it. It’s a very good school system and she’ll have a great chance to get into the college of her choice, if that’s her path. Half the night was devoted to an overnight trip the 8th-grade class is taking to Washington DC in May. About the only disconcerting thing I spotted was during the high school principal’s slideshow. On a list of all the clubs offered was the inevitable LBGQT-alphabet nonsense. It was depressing; I guess I can’t shield Little One from the noise out there anymore. (Not that she really needs me to.)

Today I left work early to get Patch to girl scouts, pick up Little One after theater club (she paints sets), hit the sports store to get Patch sized for basketball uniforms, get us all a bite to eat, then drive Patch to basketball practice followed by travel soccer practice. Man, it gets exhausting.

Also failed an incredibly difficult tax test a few night’s back. The IRS requires us return preparers to complete 18 hours of training every year before November 30 – 13 hours federal tax topics, 3 hours tax update, and 2 hours ethics. Training can be in a class, with a virtual instructor, or online. I prefer the online ones, because I can stop them whenever I want and I can pause them to take notes. This class in question was my second-to-last, and was probably more advanced for me in my current spot in the food chain. I was shocked to fail with a 63. So the next day I printed out my notes, studied for 45 minutes with Bach’s Goldberg Variations in the ear buds, and retook the test. I aced it, I am proud to say. (Little One, if you’re reading this, trade in the Ed Sheeran for Bach when you study – trust me and an army of neuroscientists – it works!)

So, as an answer to the title question, I dunno. Other than that extended book review of the Lindsay book, I’m not sure what’ll be upcoming here.

But I’ll think of something …

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Some Halloween pics –

Little One, age 13, as a black cat

Patch, age 9, as an old grandma

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Some personal weirdities reposted from 2010 –

Did I ever see a ghost?

No. But I had a friend who had a friend who lived with a friendly one.

Did I ever see anything inexplicable?

Well, I saw some 
strange lights in the sky when I was twelve years old. Once I saw Bigfoot walk past my window and completely froze up, overdosing on adrenaline. But seconds later I realized it was only my mother taking out the trash.

Did I ever hear anything unexplainable?

Another time, laying in the dark of my room, pretending to be asleep, I heard one of my 
dresser drawers being pulled out. A few times there were frightening night-time bangings on the window of the small bedroom me and my brother shared. But that turned out to only be my father sadistically pretending to be Santa checking up on us.

Any recurring weirdities?

Yes. I usually wake up within a few minutes of 3:15 am every night. Remember The Amityville Horror? George Lutz would always wake up at that time in the morning to go outside to check the boathouse. There’s tradition (or urban myth) that 3 am is the devil’s hour, being completely opposite of the time of the day Christ was crucified, redeeming us all. How that quarter-past-the-hour came to be, I don’t know. But I’ll usually wake up between 3:10 and 3:20 every night. Must have something to do with those 90-minute REM cycles.

Did I ever feel anything otherworldly?

Yes. This one’s serious. One night I was sleeping downstairs on the couch (my pregnant wife commandeered the upstairs bed) and I woke at 3:15 (natch). I went to the bathroom but as I rounded the bend I sensed something … not exactly demonic, not exactly a presence, even … but something in the corner of my children’s playroom. Hard to put into words, but I do believe I felt something that night. Haven’t since, which is a good sign. Possibly I was still partially asleep.

What were some of the Halloween urban legends of my youth?

We lived a block away from “the Woods”. There were lots of strange, wonderful, and spooky things in those woods. I can immediately recall a story – don’t know if there’s any truth in it – that circulated a lot when I was in grammar school. Seems there was this big cardboard box found in the woods, and whaddya think was in it? … Body parts! Dismembered limbs and such, part of a torso … but no head! I heard that delightful tale every year, year after year, more so during late October.

Any brushes with disaster?

On vacation with the family at Lake George, li’l ol’ ten-year-old me was playing on the dock by the boathouse. Oh look! I remember thinking, someone’s left a big black hairy rubber spider right there on the deck! I think I’ll go over, reach down and pick it up! Ahhhhh! It moves! … I’ve been scarred ever since.

Any encounters with bats?


Black cats?

I like cats.


Maybe. I think, based on hints dropped over a two-year period, that mother of one of my ex-girlfriends may have been a witch. I may have been under a spell for a four-year period, too, but that’s pure speculation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Phew! I'm exhausted just reading about your life!