Category Archives: Halloween

Practical Ghost Advice

First, white sheets are ridiculous. Not only do they stain, but due to their interpretation when worn, in some parts of the country, it might get you into trouble. Ghosts know this. I wonder how many people involuntarily BECAME ghosts due to being a member of one of those ridiculous organizations?

Real ghosts do not wear white.

They also don’t need eyeholes for reasons that should be obvious.

Ghosts travel more in the daytime than at night. They hate that part of their job is to don a sheet and yell “boo!” at night. They prefer to Netflix & Chill like the rest of us.

I captured this one this afternoon on my Blink camera. The ghost is wearing shoes which seems odd.

If it comes back, I have a few questions. Ghosts are notorious for being oblique when you talk to them.

I’ll let y’all know when I find out.

Love, X


Levity & Lexapro

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” Agatha Christie

I posted this picture because it is one of the best ridiculous pictures of me I have. Coffee, happiness, love, youth: a recipe for the perfect life. I still have a great life and great people in it.

No, I’m not afraid of brain-eating zombies. For some reason, every year they ignore me and increasingly so as I get older. It’s a good lesson that there are benefits to failing to apply the lessons I’ve learned. I get to use the joke every year that if brain-eating zombies do invade, I’m going to run into a conference room full of middle managers. Zombies instinctively know that there aren’t any functioning brains in such a room.

“If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten.” —George Carlin

“During the day, I don’t believe in ghosts. At night, I’m a little more open-minded.” – Anonymous. The same is true for the tricks my mind plays on me when I get anxious. As the night falls and the hour grows quiet, my mind stretches and starts its gymnastics. Being creative sometimes has its drawbacks, as it allows me to take a minor concern and let it blow like those billowing air devices at car washes. Last night, I took melatonin which previously had little effect on me. It brought strange dreams, one of which brought an infinite loop of the “Kiss From a Rose – Jesus Loves Marijuana” from the tv show “Community.” I woke up still hearing the song in my head. It’s a fitting song for the last day of October.

After waiting a bit too long, I went to the doctor Friday (finally!) and started taking 1/2 doses of Lexapro. Many months ago, the clinic told me to come in if I really needed to; when I did, my doctor was at another clinic and the other doctors deferred due to it being anxiety-related rather than a medical need. That’s when I immediately reached out for counseling. It bothered me a great deal that they’d turned me away when I was honest and said I needed to be seen. So few people just come right out and say so. I’ve watched so many people fail to be honest about what’s going on in their heads and lives; most choose alternate forms of self-medication.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I have insurance. Surgeons saved my life six weeks ago. I’ve lasted 16+ years in my job and I appreciate it in a way that I didn’t up until a year ago. This last year has been five years long. I’ve had so many great experiences despite the bad ones. There are some exceptional people in my life, some of whom were hiding in plain sight. They didn’t change and suddenly become open; I did.

My doctor didn’t really hesitate to prescribe me something less powerful, especially due to the fact that I’m seeing a counselor and seem to be very aware of how my body and mind react. He might not have thought so before my crazy weight loss journey and exuberant confidence about other areas of my life. Apart from all the other issues I’ve had with the clinic, the doctor told me again he had never seen a person just SAY they were going to be thin and just do it without any structured program or surgery. He told me to remember that it is an accomplishment worthy of maintenance. And that he fully expected my anxiety to be temporary. His certainty was a welcome addition to my medical visit. I joked that since medical bills were a part of my cyclical worry, that I appreciated his pro bono treatment. He laughed. For a brief second, I thought of Leslie Nielsen in “Airplane!” when he said, “You can tell me, I’m a doctor.”

You know that the doctor thinks you’re going to live a while longer when they agree to bill you. That’s optimism in action.

Due to my cousin’s advice, I refrained from hiding behind the door to scare the doctor this time, even though it’s Halloween. I wanted to take my stylish brown sheet and ‘ghost’ him, so to speak. Instead of leaning away from the truth, I told the doctor that I thought he might not appreciate the level of my anxiety if he based it on how much I LOVE a good laugh and how I interact with his staff. He told me that he learned a long time ago that people’s internal issues rarely intersect evenly with their personalities. I told him my feedback loop theory and he nodded. To make him laugh, I told him Ronnie Shake’s hilarious quote: “My doctor gave me two weeks to live. I hope they’re in August.” To his credit, the doctor did burst out laughing.

Walgreens committed another in a long line of unexpected and hard to believe messes. I switched to CVS – late on Friday afternoon, no less. There are several stories I’m omitting here for brevity. I’m just shaking my head about it.

Note: it’s not recommended to grind up and snort this sort of medication. Not because it makes it less effective, but it leaves people with the impression that coke is making a comeback. The protein powder I sometimes eat raw directly from the canister probably already sends the wrong message when it sticks in my mustache.

I’ll let y’all know how it’s affected me when I figure it out and it’s built up in my system. If you see me pretending to ice skate while wearing banana slippers, just wave and ask me to put some pants on.

I look forward to my old optimism kicking back into full gear. That I need a serotonin boost doesn’t embarrass me in the slightest. That brain-eating zombies don’t think I’m worth the effort bothers me a bit.

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Ferdinand Foch

If this post rambled a bit, I’m okay with that.

Love, X

Stylish Ghosts

On Oct. 13th, I posted a picture of me on the balcony dressed as a stylish ghost. A couple of people didn’t believe I actually went around the apartment complex booing. That surprises me. Anyway… Here is proof from my neighbor Erika’s cameras. Enjoy.

*Note: ghost’s legs are quite visible, it seems. And they fall over chairs if they don’t see them.

Ghost Prank!

Modern ghosts use higher thread count – and certainly more stylish colors.

I pranked my neighbor by carefully walking across the apartment landing and triggering both of her cameras as I wore my stylish ghost costume.

Long live Halloween. (And goofiness, too!)

Love, X

P.S. My cat Güino has commandeered my ghost suit. I was going to go to the other end and knock on the neighbor’s door and say something clever.

A Small Story for Friday the 13th



He didn’t relish the role foisted upon him.

He didn’t shy away from it, either.

His only concern was that each deserving soul met its end at dusk. Whether guilt or innocence played a role in each participant’s demise failed to register for him.

Life hadn’t altered its casual disdain for the perceived importance each player brought to his or her small part in the universe.

His tired muscles could feel the pull exerted by the thirst for endings, anticipating a busy nightfall. From off in the distance, he could hear the amassing footsteps of those unaware of the unfolding promise of the night.

Each of them expected a demon or the angel of death; none expected a fatigued man with a full face of worry lines and eyes burning with purpose.

He’d greet them all, while pushing them onward toward the great ‘next.’

A Quarter Past Halloween

A Halloween Story For My Friends:

I’m normally not one to attend parties, especially if drinking or dancing are expected. Or being awake past 9:01 p.m. There’s too much temptation for me to do an unannounced gravity check and meet Mr. Floor during these events. Especially Mr. Waxed Floor, whose most trusted friend, “Mrs. Lower Back Injury,” seems to be everywhere.

My wife Dawn insisted that I at least try to go and enjoy myself. A local club was sponsoring an event near Downtown Springdale last year, during the prolonged period in which Emma looked like year 2 of the Vietnam War.

Dawn wasn’t amused when I asked if it was an “either/or” proposition. In typical fashion, she replied, “It depends on whether there’s a scented candle to mask the smell of blunt force trauma.”

As is always the case, I spent an inordinate amount of time planning my costume. Attending a Halloween party without wearing a costume is akin to eating the label from a jar of pickles and discarding the contents: it’s amusing, but in the end, not very rewarding. I take these things very seriously, as older adults get fewer chances to mock other adults without the risk of a scuffle. The riskiest thing I had done all last year was cast my vote for president and it seemed like I was still doing time for that error.

As you would imagine, I got kicked out of the party. But not for a reason you would ever expect. These party people sure don’t have a sense of humor to match their drive to hold gatherings of strangers. I theorize that their thickening wallets cut off the blood supply to their cerebral cortex.

“Why are you dressed like a quarter, X?” Several people asked me this as I milled around the Halloween party near Emma Street.

To which I replied, “Well, Gandhi himself told us to “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.””


A Dumb Idea for A Halloween TV Pilot…

ABC loved the screenplay I wrote as a pilot TV episode. In the opening scene, we find Dracula’s 7th cousin Jeb discovering he’s lost his sense of smell. In the next scene, there is an awkward exchange as Jeb pounces on a steaming bowl of tomato soup, mistaking it for a bowl of blood. From there, he breaks a fang on the neck of a mannequin at Macy’s. You’re welcome, America.


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