Happy Halloween

I may as well get it out there, because you guys are going to find out sooner or later.

The winter storm that hammered the east coast this weekend was all our fault. Perhaps the fault of my family as a whole, or it may be that the blame can be placed squarely on my shoulders.

#1 believes, and the idea is not without merit, that this was God’s way of telling us that we should have taken our Christmas lights down.

She bases this belief on the fact that the giant branch that landed five feet from her head and could have killed her instead took out the gutters, to which the lights were attached.

If you look at the vertical bar in the center of the picture, that’s the gutter. With the Christmas lights. As far as why those lights are still up, that’s another post entirely.

But it may have been me and what I wrote about Winter on Facebook.

Halloween decorations at the start of the snow
Halloween decorations, plus branches.
Back view

I’ll not be taunting Winter in print in the future.

I feel like we’re the luckiest people on the planet. It’s hard to show in the pictures, but we had two giant branches that just missed doing serious damage to the house, not to mention the one that didn’t land on #1.

Besides the gutters, we got our porch pierced:

And that’s it so far. That’s it!

So. Lucky.

The power’s still out. School is cancelled. I just hipped the little ones to the fact that power out days count as snow days. If we go over three snows days, they have to make it up at the end of the school year. Two down so far, and winter hasn’t even begun.

CC got a generator today, thanks to the shop that our shows rent their sound gear from. We now have heat. We got power to the freezer and the fridge before we lost anything. We have the internet back.

I Facebook-bitched about how the county hadn’t even started to clear our street yet- it’s completely blocked by one of the giant branches that didn’t land on my house- and they showed up within fifteen minutes. Never doubt the power of social media.

No school parties, no Halloween parade, and the neighborhood with the best candy and haunted houses behind us is pitch black and deadly with debris and laden branches that continue to fall. But #1 came home from an errand and said that everyone was out on main street, trick-or-treating where all the businesses have power. They went to main street and hit all the houses between here and there while it was still daylight. As soon as they finish hand washing the dinner dishes by candlelight, we’ll eat candy and make s’mores and continue telling spooky stories that may or may not involve the county’s wood chipper (whirring away in front of the house) and wayward children.

Here’s to Halloween miracles.

Why I Hate The Ferris Wheel

My town has a street fair every fall. It’s pretty cool: a typical small suburban affair with a few rides, crab cake sandwiches, kettle corn, funnel cake, zeppoles, and more ways for a kid to spend your money than there are orange jackasses on Jersey Shore.

The first year we lived here, we all went to the street fair together. The kids had only been living with us for a couple of weeks. They didn’t have many friends yet; they didn’t have their stuff from their old house yet. #5 was a small four-year-old and I carried him most of the time. The first thing we did was get cotton candy and I remember being surprised how fast he became covered in blue stick. Luckily, one of the churches had their bathrooms open and we were able to hose him down before he became permanently stuck to a lamppost- or worse, the street. I remember standing in line for ride tickets behind a guy who was wearing a Scissorfight T-shirt. I asked him about it; turned out he was friends with the band. He was there with his kids too. I questioned the wisdom of each of us being involved with children.

This year #5 was the only one with me. The other kids made appearances as they met up with us for money or food and to hang out with their little brother. The two oldest girls were working booths, #1 as an employee and #2 for high school volleyball. I was still a walking wallet, but everyone sought out one-on-one time with #5.

#3 and #5 on something that spins too much for me
#2 and #5 on something else that I won't ride.
#5 blocking me from eating his funnel cake

So.

The Ferris Wheel.

Originally built for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr, variations of it have been tormenting amusement-seekers ever since. I don’t like the Ferris Wheel because the first time I ever went on one I was pretty young, maybe about six. I went with my sister and the cars on this particular Ferris Wheel were enclosed and capable of spinning all the way around. You could flip your car independently of (and simultaneously with) the Ferris Wheel spin. Two spins for the price of one.

Due to the inefficient nature of the Ferris Wheel, riders often get stuck at points around the spin as other riders are let off and on. My sister and I had the misfortune of being stuck at the top for an extended period of time while our car was upside down. Yes, both ways we could spin were stuck. We were two little girls by ourselves stuck upside down eight billion feet above sea level. That’s like, a vortex of stuck suck right there.

Sometimes you remember things and then you wonder if you’re really remembering it right or not. While #3 and #5 were waiting in line for and riding the Ferris Wheel, I called my sister to corroborate my memory.

While the kids were on this:

I was looking at this:

My foot, safely on the ground. Right side up.

My sister remembers it the same way. She doesn’t like Ferris Wheels either.

Perhaps this is a good time to lay my X-Files theory on you. The X-Files is hands down my all time favorite TV show. I own all the DVDs (purchased, obviously, before kids). My theory is that for any situation, any occurance, anything that crosses your mind, there’s an X-Files episode about it [I have the same theory regarding Jonathan Richman songs]. Sadly, I’m not enough of a hard-core geek to know all the actual titles of the X-Files episodes, but I can fill in the plots.

Anyway. The rides at the street fair remind me of the X-Files episode with the bad santa at the creepy holiday amusement park where Mulder was sure he would find his sister but instead they found lots and lots of dead children.

On second thought, perhaps this wasn’t a good time to lay my X-Files theory on you. Probably, I could have kept that to myself for at least a while longer. You were bound to find out at some point though.

You tell me, aren’t they kinda creepy?

 

Eh, maybe it’s just me.

What do you say- carnie rides: creepy or not creepy? Do you do the Ferris Wheel?

One and Done

When I was on the road as a touring stagehand, many Sundays began at 8am. No, I take that back. They began more like at 6am after about three hours of sleep with me frantically packing all my crap that I had been putting off dealing with until the last possible minute into my suitcase and then trying to find coffee and a muffin and make it to the theater by 8am for box call. We would pull the empty road cases off the semi trailers they’d been stored in and line them up in prep for the load out. Then we’d do a show. Then we’d do another show. Then we’d start the load out. Usually we finished up around sunrise and headed to the airport for the next city, where we would begin loading in shortly after we landed.

But some Sundays were different. They were “One and Done!” Sundays. These were during multi-week stops in bigger cities like Chicago, Philly, San Francisco; we’d do a matinee only and then have 48 glorious hours off until we had to be back for Tuesday night’s show call. We didn’t have to move the show. Nothing needed to be packed. It was like Christmas.

I’m not on the road anymore. The show I’m on in New York has a One and Done Sunday every week. Sometimes I even take Sundays off and then it’s like, double Christmas. Still, I love the spirit of One and Done Sundays-the sense of possibility and of not being rushed.

So I’m starting a new feature here under that name. Every Sunday I’ll post a picture. And I’ll post five links that will totally be worth your time to check out. Nice and easy.

Except today I’m posting two pictures, because I feel like it.

#1A and #1

This is a picture from #1’s graduation at the end of June. She’s standing with her best friend, whom we refer to as #1A. I love this shot of them.

#1A left for college last weekend. It’s only been a week and we miss her like hell. It totally feels like we’re down a kid.

They liked to make this face a lot. I called them the Happiest Graduates of 2011:

We miss you, #1A!

Here are five links that are totally worth your time:

What happened to your pretzels, your favorite underwear, and quite possibly your lipstick: Charles Gulotta at Mostly Bright Ideas

You missing the Yardwork gene? I am: I’ve Become My Parents

Witness the best hippie-inspired intentions going down the crapper: Lori Dyan

Grammar. I has it. The Bloggess

The best post you didn’t read this week about surviving rape: For This I Am Thankful at The Monster In Your Closet.