I haven’t done anything for Halloween the last couple years, but this year I really want to. I came up with some ideas last year, but I don’t think I wrote them down, which is a shame because I think I remember them being good. Nevertheless, I’ve come up with some ideas this year that I think are also good.

#1: Weird Al.

It would give me a great excuse to buy the most flagrant Hawaiian shirt I could find. But I would have to figure out some way to curl my hair, and also I’d probably want to buy big goofy glasses for the classic, pre-LASIK Weird Al look.

#2: Waldo.

If I’m as thorough as this guy, Waldo could be a pretty expensive costume. But I could also do the more basic Waldo ensemble, which is just the jeans, shirt, hat, cane, and glasses. I’d have to do some scrounging in thrift stores to find the perfect shirt. Well, Dad does have a sweater with red and white stripes, but at about bellybutton level, they switch from two inches thick to a quarter inch thick. So maybe I could use that, but I’d have to hike up my pants a lot.

#3: Frank Zappa.

This would be tons of fun and pretty ridiculous. I actually have some tight ’70s-style pants that I inherited from Dad’s Navy days. Heck, there are some guitars in Bob’s that people have just left there – if I wanted to carry one of those around, I probably could, but it might be more effort than I’d want to take.

#4: Savador Dalí.

Man, I could just go all-out on this one. Clearly, the mustache is the important part, but I could also wear a suit (preferably in purple, or at least with a purple tie) and a cape and rings and all sorts of crazy stuff. My biggest concern is what I’d use for the mustache. I could probably fashion one out of all the hair I shed, although that might be kind of weird. I guess I would just hope no one asked what it was made of.

I’ll also have to plan out my Halloween night to optimally take advantage of being dressed up as one of these people. I couldn’t just sit in my room as Salvador Dalí. I’ll ask around about what festivities there are.

Other ideas that I’ve been coming up with are unrelated to Halloween. They have to do with NaNoWriMo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month. The idea behind this is that there are lots of people who dream someday of writing a novel, but most of them never really take the time to actually compose it. So NaNoWriMo is a challenge to all aspiring writers: write a 50,000-word story within the space of the month of November. It’s famously a huge amount of writing and a torturous month, and in order to come up with the requisit number of words, you pretty much have to sacrifice editing; this is encouraged, because the goal is to actually write, and to worry later about making it into something that a human could stand to read. You can do it self-governed, and probably lots of people do; however, at this college there’s a support group, of sorts, for people who are planning to write a NaNo this November, and I’m going to go to its meetings, or at least some of them, on the theory that being able to commiserate and compare with others’ experiences will help me keep on pace throughout the month. 50,000 words divided by 30 days works out to 1,667 words per day, which is about equivalent to a six-page paper, except that it’ll never be graded and it need not be coherent or factually accurate, so I’m sure it’ll go by at a much quicker speed than my usual rate of one academic page per hour, especially once I get into a stride. So far, I have one plotline that I could probably hang a story on, although it needs more work; one short story that I’ve written (not hugely well) before and could conceivably turn into a novel, but probably won’t because it seems to be better short; and another vague idea that I haven’t plotted out at all yet, but that I’ve thought about a little before. They involve, respectively: a pair of protagonists who escape their unsatisfying lives into the wilderness; a guy who wastes his life away, as told from the point of view of his subconscious that desperately wants him not to; and someone who has the power to make his/her imagination becomes reality, but only for people who believe he/she can do it. I’ll offer more updates as I get into the writing, although the amount of time involved may mean that I won’t update the blog much that month.

I’ve been at home, which has been nice; We’ve had some pretty good home meals, like fried green tomatoes by Dad and chili dogs with potatoes by Karl. Micah’s been pretty much perpetually angry, but Mom and Dad and I had a joint task force last night where we talked about a new goal of cooperation and univocality to try and get Micah to calm down. I’ve been working on Solvejg, although I feel for the moment as though I’m netted in an inescapable layer of computational bureaucracy, because I can’t get my fonts to work just like they should. I’ll figure it out eventually. I did for Newt. I’ve also been studying Japanese, and the more I learn about its writing system, the more thoroughly absurd I find it. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia that details the worst of it:

In a number of cases, multiple kanji were assigned to cover a single Japanese word. Typically when this occurs, the different kanji refer to specific shades of meaning. For instance, the word なおす, naosu, when written 治す, means “to heal an illness or sickness”. When written 直す it means “to fix or correct something”. Sometimes the distinction is very clear, although not always. Differences of opinion among reference works is not uncommon; one dictionary may say the kanji are equivalent, while another dictionary may draw distinctions of use. As a result, native speakers of the language may have trouble knowing which kanji to use and resort to personal preference or by writing the word in”. This latter strategy is frequently employed with more complex cases such as もと moto, which has at least five different kanji: 元, 基, 本, 下 and 素, three of which have only very subtle differences.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Also, this is my 200th entry. How about that?

File under: Halloween

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All of these costume ideas are a little out of the loop. I doubt most folks would guess them. How about something a little more cutting edge… like…

1) Nancy Pelosi
2) Rush Limbaugh as a pillhead
3) Ugly Betty, you have the hair for it
4) Barney Frank
5) Bret Michael, the rock of love.





We must travel in different loops, because I've never heard of those last two. I went to Goodwill today and got myself a $7 suit coat, so the Dalí costume isn't too far from being reality; I'm just a mustache away. But if that doesn't pan out, the Zappa costume is a good backup. They didn't have any red-and-white striped shirts, which was disappointing. They did have a shirt I could use for Weird Al, but I didn't feel like curling my hair.

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