Colin Timothy Gagnon (sacredspud) wrote,
Colin Timothy Gagnon

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Halloween, Schmalloween.

It's not that I dislike Halloween. It's not that I dislike Halloween at all. Actually, Halloween has great potential to be a fun holiday. My relatives aren't involved which means that I don't have to have embarrassing conversations about not being a lawyer and not having a girlfriend. If they show sappy Jimmy Stewart movies on TNT, they're the ones he did with Alfred Hitchcock, or at the very least, Bell, Book and Candle. The focus is on the campily macabre, so I can read a bunch of H.P. Lovecraft stories without feeling like I'm 12 years old. This is probably the best time of year to drive around the in country listening to Harvest Moon by Blue Oyster Cult. After I've gotten myself lost, I can park myself in a cornfield under the moonlight and listen to Orson Welles' 1939 radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, and nobody thinks I'm more of a dork than usual because that's the sort of thing people do around Halloween. I can even wear headphones and inadvertently hum the songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas while I'm processing chargebacks, and nobody bats an eye because it's Hallofrigginween.

But sometimes it's too much.

It probably started on Sunday. This doesn't need to be a long story, so if you're not in the mood for it, read the first sentence of the next paragraph, and then skip down to just below the sentence that follows the bullet list.

One of my mom's friends is living with my parents right now. She has an inner-ear disorder that often takes away her depth perception. She's not legally employable outside of her home. Two years ago, she was moved to Arizona. Not her choice, it was just the only way treatment for her condition would be available. Eventually, Good Ol' Prezident Bush made some budget cuts and her treatments and housing were no longer funded.

Things were okay for a time -- she'd met a guy, they were living together, he was taking care of her. One day he didn't come home. A couple of days later his wife showed up on the doorstep to explain that he'd been thrown in jail. The wife wasn't bitter about it -- their marriage hadn't worked out, and they split amicably without divorce. I'm not sure how that works (especially if you don't just love paying taxes), but apparently it worked okay for them.

Anyway, without someone else to pay for her housing, my mom's friend couldn't sustain herself on the meager allowance she receives from the government. Her kids live here in Wisconsin, but her son is renting space in her daughter’s house, and it's just not economically feasible for them to take care of her. Enter my parents, who agreed to let this woman live with them. Between her government checks and what little work-at-home employment she can find, she manages to make enough to pay for all her necessities (including food), so she's not a financial strain on my parents, although having her there creates other issues. She has animals. My parents have animals. In the house, right now, there are:

  • Four dogs.

  • Seven cats.

  • Over twenty fish.

  • Somewhere in the ballpark of fifteen birds

  • A turtle.

  • A partridge in a pear tree. (Whoops, sorry. That one fits under birds.)

This isn't even legal.

Anyway, she had a party on Sunday night. This woman had her kids and their significant others over, my sister invited her boyfriend, and I was in an incredibly bad mood due to lack of sleep and an unusual diet. The party was actually sorta kinda fun. The food was fantastic. I should have brought leftovers home. Either way though, I was in a foul mood and this cast a gloomy pallor over the whole affair. If I'd been in a better mood, I would have really good memories of the party. As it stands, I really don't, and I'm perfectly aware that the reasons were physiological and internal to me.

On top of that, I'm coming down with a cold or... something. I felt it coming as early as Saturday, but yesterday I felt like deep-fried crap. Today I feel a lot better -- my throat's still raw, but I don't want to collapse at my desk. With any luck it won't get worse. At work on Monday we were informed of my department's Halloween festivities. We're having a potluck (except that company policy calls it food day, which I think is a really stupid name), a trick-or-treat thing between everybody's cubicles (I'm considering going to St. Vinnie’s to buy 37 forks to hand out (“37 forks! My girlfriend gave out 37 forks!”)), and a cubicle decorating contest. On top of this, the company is allowing everyone to wear a costume if they choose to. It's not encouraged, but it's allowed.

I do not want to do any of these things.

But one of my friends here keeps leaning on me to decorate my cube, so I've finally given in. Everybody else has put up fake cobwebs and headstones and the like, but I spent a few minutes this morning making a poster. The results can be viewed here. I'm actually very proud of the calculated effort that goes into making something that looks like I don't care. The friend who made me do it says my poster is "lame," to which my response was "Oh yeah? You know what's lame? Decorating your cubicle and wearing a Halloween costume to work. That's lame." Your mileage may vary depending on the environment of your workplace, but trust me: where I work, it's lame.
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