Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween!

What do you mean Halloween is over? If Halloween is over, where is my rotting jack-o-lantern? Where is my raging headache from the raucous dance party? WHERE ARE MY BAGS OF CANDY?


Apparently when I’m not a kid or a grad student (the over-educated are surprisingly good at creating costumes and partying), I am a pretty lame Halloween celebrant. I didn’t have a party to attend this year and our third floor apartment never gets trick-or-treaters, so I never got around to decorating or dressing up. I didn’t even post my Halloween blog entry on time, apparently. 

Maybe the secret is having kids. Kids who get excited about the holiday, kids who make me dress up with them, kids who are picky candy eaters and give most of their stash to me... (Note to self: having sugar cravings is not the same as hearing your biological clock ticking.)

My only homage to Halloween this year was in my reading; I always choose a few horror books for the last week of October, especially since it isn’t a genre of choice the rest of the year. This time was strange because (thanks to the recommendations of others) I ended up with two books by authors whom I usually don’t enjoy: Koontz’s The Taking, which follows a young couple trying to survive the invasion of malevolent and violent other-wordly creatures, and Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, a collection of short stories based on dark fables. Both were perfect for the season and ultimately enjoyable reads for entirely different reasons. Koontz’s writing style drove me insane, but the plot and atmosphere stopped me from ever wanting to put it down, while Carter’s exquisite prose smoothed over the ambiguities and abrupt endings of a few of the stories. I still wouldn’t consider myself a fan of either author, but even if I had found other ways to celebrate Halloween, I would still be very glad that I read them. 

 I also happen to be reading (and loving) Nix’s Lirael and King’s Wolves of the Calla (they’re going slowly because one is on audio and the other is 700 pages). I didn’t initially include them with my Halloween books because I didn’t view them as horror, but then I remembered that the former involves the undead and the latter involves vampires and wolf creatures who steal children. Apparently I really like horror elements when they are kept in the background. 

Now, since it’s apparently November, I should probably get around to voting, starting Nanowrimo, and buying discounted Halloween candy. You, however, should go to Hulu and watch the Halloween episode of The Office, especially the first four minutes of absolute brilliance.

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