it is not dying; it is not dying

I Still Like Him Better Than Steinbrenner
For my Don Draper costume, I had to shave my sideburns off for the first time in at least six years. This took considerable effort, as attacking six years’ growth with a disposable razor will, and left the skin underneath a little raw. But it looks fine now. Shaving since then has been disconcerting, however, since I typically start at my ear line by muscle memory alone and have now had to start cutting even higher.

I put little effort into the costume itself (nicest suit I had, dress shirt, conservative tie); the accessories made it work. I showed up at the office Halloween party with a highball glass full of “scotch” (ginger ale) and a cigarette dangling between my fingers (unlit; borrowed). Most people identified me on their first or second try.

Full Dance Card
Counting work, I hit up five Halloween parties this weekend, including:

  • 90s Night at Common Ground, which gave away $100 for the best 90s costume. Logistics proved an issue, as management couldn’t convince Allston’s drunkest hipsters to circulate before the judge’s table, parading their wares. A horde of kids surged at the DJ booth, waving their hands and squealing like teenage zombies. I thought the kids in the Nickelodeon GUTS outfits had it locked, but Carmen Sandiego stole it.

  • Joanna and Brian’s Halloween party. I knew which subway station they lived nearest, but didn’t know if it was on the Cambridge or Somerville side of the border. I guessed Cambridge at first. My GPS promptly led me to a Jewish dorm outside Harvard.

  • Katie and Sylvia’s Halloween party. I wore a different suit for the Don Draper costume – double-breasted, even less period than the first. But people still got it, especially after I borrowed another cigarette. Half the party circulated in the kitchen, eating delicious sweets; the other half planted in the living room, watching The Craft. Remember those quaint days when Wiccans and goths were exotic?

  • The Gorefest cast party. I congratulated the players on another successful and blood-drenched show. Our host baked a plate of monkey bread – essentially, a massive pile of butter, cinnamon, sugar and dough. We picked at it like savages until Paul challenged everyone at the table to eat one last piece and then stop. An hour later, three people were sitting on the floor with chunks of butter-soaked dough clenched in their front teeth (but not swallowed) and there was a pot of sixty dollars. Let no one say improv people don’t know how to party


The Patriot Marked for Death is Hard to Kill Under Siege
After a brief hiatus, I returned to the Overthinking It podcast last night. We planned to talk about Halloween costumes, haunted houses and the cultural rituals surrounding scaring each other. Then someone brought up Steven Seagal. Guess what we spent most of our time discussing.


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