Monthly Archives: October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, you spectacular humans!

We’re celebrating this Halloween weekend with our friends Cristen and Jayson (who arrived at Camp Crystal Lake last night) and Juli and Matt (who are scheduled to arrive this evening). It’s a rainy day, so we likely won’t be doing much decorating this morning, but we’re definitely gearing up for any trick-or-treaters who brave the weather and come by the house today.

Trevor is ready:

Holy crap.

Holy crap. Cristen doesn’t realize what’s lurking behind her.

Roo is ready:

Roo in Halloween Bandana

I’m ready.

The house is almost ready:

Face in Jar 1 GraveyardGrilled Hand

And I had time this week to get ready and try out some costumes. There was a costume contest at school on Wednesday, so I took the opportunity to dress up a little bit, knowing that I would blend in with some of the students. It just so happened that I had some elements of a witch costume in my closet, so I donned my hat and striped stockings, painted a spider on my face, and went to class. Luckily, the students were doing a group activity and didn’t have to listen to me talk; otherwise, they’d not have heard a word I said.

And I got to wear my "costume" to bookclub that evening, so it was a double bonus!

And I got to wear my “costume” to book club that evening, so it was a double bonus! Thanks, Cecile, for the picture!

On Thursday, our English comp./horror film class had a Halloween pot-luck, so my co-teacher and I took the opportunity to dress up. He pulled off a good Jason Voorhees, and I tried my best to be Rosemary Woodhouse.

Jason and RosemaryThe students didn’t dress up much (although we had a cowgirl and a male version of Mia Wallace’s o.d. in Pulp Fiction), but they really pulled through on bringing excellent snacks for our viewing of Scream.

A few students stock up on snacks

A few students stock up on snacks

One of our students brought blood spatter cookies. BLOOD SPATTER COOKIES!!!

One of our students brought blood spatter cookies. BLOOD SPATTER COOKIES!!!

And for actual Halloween today, I’m going to be someone who’s not scary, but pretty cool:


There will be more pictures to come, so check back later this weekend.

And everyone have a happy Halloweeeeeeeeeen!

Roo, the Amazing Three-Legged Dog

Our dog, Roo, has three legs. Now, that’s not that big of a deal. As our old, random, possibly-a-hoarder Eastern-European neighbor said once, “she’s got one more than me.” And he was right.

You wouldn't even notice that there's only one leg back there.

You wouldn’t even notice that there’s only one leg back there.

Roo is not a charity case; she is not disabled in any way. And I certainly do not want the “god bless yous” that I get from strangers as they drive by me and Roo on our walks. People shout at us a lot, actually. It’s weird. Trevor and I are not saints who bear the burden of some poor, struggling creature. We’re just two people who own a dog — a dog, who, let’s be clear, runs much, much faster than either of us, and who can heave herself over a three foot gate because she was born to run free, suckers.

But last month Roo got attacked by another dog at her dog day-care, and it scared the crap out of us. The other dog, some jerk jerk-face, attacked Roo because she apparently thought that Roo was getting too aggressive with the worker at the day-care (because Roo likes to jump on people [oh, a three-legged dog can jump? yes, oh, yes she can]). As soon as the worker turned her back, this jerk-ass-jerk attacked Roo, biting and scratching her up to hell so that she needed a trip to the emergency vet for stitches. (guess how many injuries the other dog sustained? not a god-damned one, that’s how many.)

And after Roo was all stitched up (and the scratches and bites all over her body were shaved and cleaned), she didn’t exhibit the slightest fear of other dogs, nor any other kinds of post-traumatic stress.

Hey, turtle. Want to be my best friend and go on adventures?

Hey, turtle. I can’t go to day-care for a while. Want to be my best friend and go on adventures?

And then, Roo developed a…bulge, I guess you’d call it, on her side, right where this jerk-asshole-jerk dog had scratched her. It was a pocket where the skin had been ripped free of the muscle underneath, and it filled with fluid. So the vet drained it, and now it’s a hardened lump of scar tissue. Awesome.

Roo has visited the vet more in the last three weeks than she ever had. And this is a dog who got her leg amputated.

Why are we here at the vet again? You'd better give me 1,000 biscuits to make up for this bologna.

Why are we here at the vet again? You’d better give me 1,000 biscuits to make up for this bologna.

So why am I writing about this? I don’t really know. Roo is a resilient creature, but she’s not special. We all possess the ability to bounce back. And that’s pretty neat. So, I’m going to try to be like Roo. Not “like” her in the sense that she head-butts people in the crotch to say hello; and not “like” her in the sense that she runs through the house farting up every room. But I’ll be more easy-going, even when a dog bites the shit out of my head. Metaphorically.

Don't get upset; just David Foster Wallace and chill.

Don’t get upset; just David Foster Wallace and chill.

Where we goin? Huh? Huh? Where we goin?

Where we goin? Huh? Huh? Where we goin?

Roo doesn't take a good selfie.

Let’s take a selfie. How close should I get to the camera? Like, this close? Closer?

(If you’re looking for an amazing, resilient dog like Roo, you should check out One Tail at a Time, the rescue organization that scooped Roo up from the pound and that does great work for lots of other great dogs.)

Camp Crystal Lake is Open for Visitors

It’s been a busy few weeks at Camp Crystal Lake, because Trevor, Roo, and I have been hosting overnights for some of our favorite people (to be fair, though, we have a lot of favorite people [Trevor sometimes says I’m hyperbolic and I usually tell him that he’s absolutely insane]).

In September, I asked my book club — The Ladies of Literature and Libations (because yes, it’s cool to name your book club, and yes, our name is the best name of all the names) — to make the fifty-mile trek out from Chicago to spend twenty-four hours talking about all things David Foster Wallace.

David Foster Wallace

I was ready in case we got bored.

In February the group decided to read Infinite Jest, DFW’s 1079-page novel published in 1995. I’d read IJ before, but I hadn’t had a cohort to talk about it with (it’s a lonely book, and it’s a f*cking amazing book [imho], and book babes make loneliness less lonely and f*cking amazing even more f*cking amazing), so I was really excited. We knew it would take us a while to read it, so we had a couple of check-in points in the spring and summer. Then, on September 26, 2015, seven wonderful women came to Camp Crystal Lake to get down with the Jest. And it was super fun.

I made a pie (and veggie “Whoppers” [and I provided plenty of Trial Size Dove Bars]):

Peach Pie

And I made some bookmarks:

Book Mark

And, of course, book bags…

Enfield Stencil

Enfield Totebags

I filled each with little treats, including a bandana for everyone to wear and channel DFW:

This is DFW (image:

Book Club

And this is us–so many bandanas!

We talked about breathless prose, tennis, wheelchair assassins, addiction, and end-notes; and we didn’t even scratch the surface. But it was so much fun. I’m almost certainly going to make this an annual invitation.

We had a couple weeks to breathe before this past weekend, when T. and I got a visit from Dan, Best Man Extraordinaire, and his stupendous daughter Maya.

Bestest Man

It’s painful how cute these two nerds are (Image: Tone Stockenstrom)

I hadn’t seen Dan in forever, and I hadn’t seen Maya in double forever (remember: hyperbolic). I remember when she was just a tiny booger who looked like this:

Smiling Maya

This is the first time I babysat Maya. It’s the night I almost ate a baby because of an unrelenting hunger for cuteness.

And then this:


But now, she looks like this:

Maya Picking Apples

Image: Dan Segar

She’s so grown up! And in addition to being super grown up, Maya is one of the best kids I have ever met. Over the course of the weekend, she jumped off hay-bales, picked the best apples in the orchard, and drew a dozen or more pictures that included a time machine and a fruit cocktail (and a dolphin, paperclip, the Milky Way, bubbles…).

Maya in the AirPicking Apples

She also made her appetite preferences crystal clear to Trevor; after he asked her if she was sure she didn’t want more pizza before she ate a piece of apple pie, she replied, “You don’t understand: I’m not hungry for pizza. I’m hungry for pie.”

You don’t understand, Trevor. It’s pie, for god’s sake. Get the girl a piece of pie.

Tiger Face

If you don’t feed her a piece of pie every hour, on the hour, she turns into a tiger.

She also wanted to learn to knit after she saw my basket of yarn (really, though, who could resist a giant basket of yarn? no one, that’s who); and then she told me that I was really good at knitting. She’s too young to know how wrong that is, but it’s a pretty terrific thing to say, so I let it slide.

T. took Maya and Dan down to the park while I did some work, and Dan took some gorgeous pictures:

Maya and Trevor

Image: Dan Segar

Maya and Boats

Image: Dan Segar

When they got back, we all walked down to the beach and she made some abstract sculptures in the sand. And then, as though she wasn’t already the best first grader I’d met ever, she did math homework.

Math Homework

Now, to be honest, getting her to finish said math homework turned her into Paul Rudd in Wet Hot American Summer.


But she still got it done.

In a couple of weeks, T. and I will open our doors again for four more of our faves: Cristen and Jayson, and Juli and Matt (remember Juli and Matt?! they got married in Maine this summer! and remember Cristen? she’s a filmmaker! and remember Jayson?? he’s Tapeface!!!!!)

I’m currently preparing the house for their arrival, and I’ll share more of our spookifying with you all here, so look for that soon!

Spookifying 2015