Tag Archives: Halloween

A Halloween of many parts: Weekend #1


Saturday, 27 OCT 12


It’d been a full day so far: Driving at “Editor for a day” with Car & Driver, Climbing with Daniel and Erin, and now going on a bar crawl dressed as “A Jewish Bob Marley” with Mike, who was dressed as a “Magical Space Wizard”.

How did I decide on that costume?

Simple: it was what we found on Mike’s floor that was still clean, combined with a Beanie we found. Mike’s Space Wizard costume? A walking stick, some random tie-dyed clothes, and a robe.

Yeah… we go all out for Halloween. Honest.

But I couldn’t be blamed – this was 100% last-minute, and we hadn’t even planned on going out this weekend at all. The plan was originally to do the weekend after Halloween as our main adventure night, but neither of us had anything really interesting to do… so why not?

And so, after spending about 20min “creating” our most-excellent costumes, we headed out into the night searching for a good bar to hit up.

Our original plan was to track down a band that Mike’d seen earlier in the day – There had been a Jazz festival going on in Somerville that afternoon, and after the festival itself ended all the bands went off to their own little shows at bars and coffee houses around town. This one was at Union Square right nearby, so we had jumped in and headed over. Unfortunately we found the bar packed full of un-costumed 40 year olds… not really our crowd, especially with our amazing costumes.

So we moved on – this time to a club/bar called Johnny D’s. I’d been to Johnny D’s a few times before – they’re a sort of jazz club, a small venue where semi-established bands play almost every night of the week. It’s usually pretty packed and has a light cover, but it’s always been worth it in my opinion.

Tonight was no exception – The place was packed, and the stage was filled with the seven or eight members of a cabaret band called “Booty Vortex”. An awesome name… made even better by one guy in the crowd dressed up as a literal “booty vortex” – A tornado full of butts. Yeah. He was awesome.

And the night followed suit.

It was Excellent – Booty Vortex is an amazingly fun band; they’d dressed up as Gilligan’s Island (except the dummer, who was Karl Drogan from Game of Thrones, thus showing off pretty much every part of himself) and were rocking out like tonight was their last show. It wasn’t, of course, but they played everything anyways – a few covers, but mostly their own rather excellent tunes.

And on top of that, the costumes around were amazing – one couple was dressed as the constellations Cassiopea and Orion, another group was each portion of the Candyland boardgame, and there was one guy dressed up as Dr. Facilier from the Princess and the Frog – complete with an amazing mask and a glowy cane. Even some of the standard-issue “sexy” costumes were interesting; this was the first year I’ve ever seen “sexy mummy” or “sexy fruit-viking” before.

But as every Bostonian party, this one ended a bit too early – 01:00 bar-close times are really annoying when the band is good and the people are interesting.

So, we moved on and found a place that wasn’t closing early. On the way we even had a mini-adventure – getting chewed out by a random girl for not recognizing her costume as being from the book Lolita. My comeback to her anger that we’d never read “a clear literary classic”? “Well, that’s true. But remember when you read Shingly’s guide to the Mechanics of Materials”? No? Well that’s what I was reading while you were reading Lolita.”

Our final destination was called The Burren – an Irish bar that thankfully didn’t close ’till a bit after 02:00. We partied here ’till we got bored a bit before the end – the band was rather horrible compared to Booty Vortex, but I did get to chat with a cute Aussie girl who’d just finished her PHD in water systems, so The Burren was redeemed in my eyes.

From there, the night ended as many Boston party nights do – Mike and I watching a few episodes of Archer before I gave up and passed out on the couch.


A memory from the Midnight Marathon


The title to this entry is a bit misleading… instead of a memory that I formed during the Midnight Marathon, these are memories that popped back into my head while I was riding. The ride up to the start line in Hopkinton was a rather remeniscent ride, to be honest, mostly since it was dark and there was really nothing to do besides pedal my way to Hopkinton. I rode, I thought, and I kept a little dialogue going on in my head in order to pass the time.

While riding to the start line, I had to do through a section of Medway that I hadn’t been in for ages… a section right near where my first real crush used to live. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say that we did something between hanging out and dating for two years, which alternated between amazing and hellish for me. When I finally manned up and told her that I couldn’t do it anymore unless we could actually be a couple… well, she went off and started sleeping with one of my oldest friends. But, fortunately, that is not the story that I remembered while riding through her old neighborhood. Instead, I remembered Halloween.

Stacy’s Mom has a fan.

Cut to Halloween of… 2002? 2003? I don’t really remember, but I do remember that it was amazing. I went trick-or-treating (shut it, even high-schoolers can and should go!) with a few good friends, and we decided to go around Lauren’s house, since it was a fairly nice neighborhood, and would likely give out great candy. We were a group of at least four – Myself, Lauren, a random girl, and two other guys who we used to hang out with. The costumes weren’t too important overall, except for what one of the guys was wearing – he was dressed as a woman in a towel, going as “Stacy’s Mom”. If you don’t know it, “Stacy’s Mom” is a song from around that time, where some kid is singing that his girlfriends (Stacy’s) mother is clearly hotter that her, and totally wants in on him.

So this kid (I think his name was Pat? Maybe?) was dressed up with fake blonde hair, fake breasts, and a tiny little towel. He was obviously a guy, and obviously doing a horrible job as a drag queen… but it looked funny to us. The problem arose when we ran into an older gentleman who couldn’t see very well, and thought that poor Pat was actually a girl walking around without any clothes on.

We went up to this house, did our usual “merry Christmas!” scream (we were so witty back then), and proceeded to accept candy. The strange thing here was that, while we usually got the evil eye for being “too old”, instead this man was being genuinely friendly. Very friendly. And mostly to Pat… offering extra candy. Not too creepy, but enough to be a bit… “umm what?” Until, that is, the other shoe dropped and the guy asked if Pat wanted to come inside to hang out for a little. He even went as far as to walking outside and trying to put his arm around poor Pat to usher him into the darkened house.

Needless to say, we all ran away screaming with laughter, assuming that Pat was following right behind. When we finally collapsed in a pile of giggling idiots a house or two away, we finally took a minute to get our bearings and start making fun of Pat for being mistaken for a girl. And that, right then, was when we realized that he wasn’t with us. That instead, he was still on the porch of the old man’s house, chatting animatedly with him. This, of course, brought more peals of laughter from us, continuing on until he finally shook the mans hand and walked back over to us.

“So, how was your date?”

“Ohh, you know… he’s a nice guy! We chatted for a bit about stuff…”

“Did he tell you how pretty you are?”

“Oh of course! I am the prettiest flower! Or at least better than ‘those flat-chested girls you hang out with’… according to him.”


And then it was Pat’s turn to run, screaming with laughter.

Halloween 2011, Part 2 – At the Loj


The second phase of my Halloween started out with the nearly four hour drive from Old Town, ME to Gorham, NH. Not the most exciting stretch of road to be sure, but it was honestly a really nice chance to relax and get my thoughts in order… the road went on forever, there were nearly no other cars, and I had a pretty solid playlist of songs rolling through the cars speakers. There were a few “high-excitement” moments though; one when I stopped to shake a kink out of my leg before dashing back into the car after hearing a wolf-pack howling, and the other when I got pulled over for speeding… doing 42 in a 30 zone, when I could see a sign saying 55. Seriously… like five feet in front of my car was a sign saying 55 MPH zone. Which is likely why I got let off with a warning instead of anything worse.

The ride itself took me until nearly 01:00 on Monday morning, and by the time I actually arrived at the Loj I was dead tired and ready to just crash. I went through the basic motions of opening up the Loj – not bothering to fully open it up mind you, just bringing the gas system online, getting a few lights working, and making sure that there weren’t any leaks in the system / monsters in the lofts. I made myself a small glass of cocoa, opened a beer, and stretched out in my sleeping bag to read / drink / doze off to sleep.

Or… I tried to sleep. I read for half an hour or so to let myself relax, and then took out the contacts and turned off the lights. Unfortunately the Loj was not quiet, even though I was alone… in fact it seemed louder than it ever was when I was there with a group. Wooden groans, creaking floorboards, skittering mice and falling snow surrounded me, and my sleepy brain was convinced that every since one required bringing my body back from near-sleep to full-combat-readyness. Seriously… I’d hear a snap or a squeak, recognize it, and then feel the adrenaline pumping into my system half a second after my conscious brain realized there was no threat. And this happened a dozen or two times, my body alternating between full-alertness and near-sleep, swapping between the two every ten minutes or so. But it didn’t last all night, thankfully, and after the millionth mouse skittered by my head I finally fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up pretty early, even though I hadn’t gotten to sleep until nearly 3:00 the same morning. I didn’t really feel like getting up though, so I spent the next two hours or so lounging in my warm sleeping bag (Yay for North Face bags!), reading and napping. After a while I finally got up and started moving around, doing a quick exploration of the Loj grounds before striking off in a random direction. My walk took me around the swimming hole (nope, no swimming. WAY too cold, though it was really beautiful out), across the river, and through the old (and some newer) logging roads that’ve been cut through the woods around the Loj. A few of the more notable discoveries I made:

  • I finally found the “hidden campsite” near the Swimming hole… after five years. Bleh. Pretty cool though – completely open area with a fire pit and everything.
  • There is a third cabin in the Loj area, besides the Loj itself and the Hunters lodge. Not sure who owns it, but its a small little place with glass windows and a screen door down by Route 2, off one of the primary logging roads. Place had a farm-stand-style table and everything.
  • The bridge at the bottom parking lot of the Loj is being repaired finally! I stopped and chatted with some constructions guys who were dropping fill nearby. No ETA on actual work starting, but hopefully it’ll be in the spring.
  • There are definitely bears near the Loj – I saw more than one set of pretty impressive prints nearby, though I didn’t notice any cub-sized tracks, thankfully. Though they’d likely be in the den right after a snow, I think.

I finally finished up the walk about four hours after I had stepped out the door; I was strongly reminded of Bilbo’s warning ( from Lord of the Rings): “Its a dangerous business, going out your front door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to”. When I stepped back into the Loj and brushed the snow off my boots it was nearly five, and the sun was starting to set.

After relaxing and brewing myself another pot of tea I started cooking myself up an early dinner, planning on having one small dinner now, and then a larger supper later on before bed. I kept it rather simple, so I wouldn’t have many dishes to clean the next morning, and cooked up some spaghetti with ground beef, seasoning it nicely with some leftover BBQ sauce and lots of other random spices. I ate, I drank (Mead and tea make for a damn fine drink on a cold night), I read, and I did a bit of writing. I actually read for nearly three hours before making my second dinner, though I alternated it up a bit with building a small fire and doodling in my notebook.

My second dinner was just as delicious as my first, actually a bit more-so since I measured the spices based on what I felt it needed more/less of. And again I ate, I drank, and I went back to huddling against the cold in my little sleeping bag cocoon of warmth.. It wasn’t honestly that cold, but both nights it dipped down towards the high 30’s; easily within range of my gear, but too cold to really be lounging around without some kind of warmth. Thus armored against the cold I hung out and relaxed before finally falling asleep around 11:30 or so.

Side-Note, before I did fall asleep I got the chance to play executioner to a rather stellarly unlucky little mouse. It had gotten caught in a snap-trap that I had set earlier, but instead of having its neck cleanly snapped it had gotten the bar across its back – breaking its spine somewhere around the middle of its back. Since it wasn’t actually killed, I got to hear it trying to drag itself across the floor for 10min or so before I finally realized that the noise wasn’t just death-throes. I got up, executed the poor mousey, and threw the whole mess outside by the wood pile. And then spent the rest of the night imagining that every single noise was the ghost of the mouse coming back, or one of its furry friends seeking vengeance.

Keeping with the rest of the trip I took Tuesday morning pretty slowly and relaxed. I heated up leftovers from my second supper the night before, made some amazing hot cocoa and meditated for a while before finally starting to close up the Loj. Before finalizing the closing process I took a quick run up to the Ledges and back down the ropes trail as a sort of parting act before heading home. The whole upside of not actually opening the Loj all the way was that closing only took me about 20min. I took my time walking down though, and so I wasn’t actually on the road until nearly 3:00 in the afternoon. Perfect timing by my reckoning though, since it meant that I’d be getting into Boston just as my friends got out of work.