Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tricks! Treats!

Ah, Halloween! Tonight I holed up at the table with a cup of tea and a bowl of candy, attending to the needs of the tiny and not so tiny children of the co-op.

Here are some of the costumes worn by those adorable and not so adorable sprogs:

Buzz Lightyear
Unidentified Alien-type thingy
Axe murderer
Dead Nun (she was at least six)
Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle
Alien with silver feelers
Unidentifiable but cute
Robin -- nice handmade costume
Snow White (perfect costume and not more than three feet tall, cheeks carefully rouged, stepped on my foot by accident)
Bunch of grapes (handmade -- genius costume)
Unidentifiable (and badly behaved!)
Circus performer
Power ranger
Green-haired witch (asked for a glass of water)
Pink-haired witch (joined her friend for a glass of water)
Harem girl
Butterfly (about two years old; mumbled at me in Russian)
Generic princess (was holding the Butterfly's feelers for her)
Generic princess II
Cat (corrected me when I called the butterfly a "pretty princess." Oops)
Juan Valdez (not even kidding)
Mister Incredible
Devil girl
Bubble wrap
Tiger Lily (from Peter Pan)

...And just now, a straggler. The evening's final customer: an eight or nine-year-old witch.

"You know what?" I said, "Why don't you take a whole big handful, 'cause I think I'm going to close up shop for the night."

"Really?" she said. She grinned at me and took a giant handful of candy and stuffed it into her bag.

I looked down at my still-very-full bowl.

"Why don't you take another handful," I suggested.

It's nice to be able to make someone light up like that so easily.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Big Blanket Has Super Powers

The Perry-Calista co-prosperity sphere is generally very carefully climate-controlled.

In the summer, we have the windows shut and the air conditioning on most of the time, b/c one of us is very sensitive to heat. In the winter, we have the windows shut* and the humidifiers on most of the time b/c one of us is very sensitive to dry air. Since it's nearly always ~70º in our apartment, we usually only have one or two light blankets on the bed.

We almost never want to use the great big fluffy super down comforter that my grandmother gave us, since it's almost never cool enough inside to merit it. However, last night was a good opportunity to use the comforter, since it's finally cool enough for no air conditioning, and still humid enough for no humidifier -- hence, open windows.

We propped the windows open wide, fluffed up the comforter, and snuggled in. When I woke up at 8am, I was so warm under the comforter that I had flung an arm and a foot outside of it to balance things out.

It was 56º in the bedroom.

*For those of you who don't live in NYC or a densely populated Northeastern city, it may seem strange that we would even want to have our windows open during the winter but these NYC apartment buildings are incredibly efficient in terms of retaining heat and sharing it from apartment to apartment, with the result that I don't know *anyone* who actually turns their radiator on during the winter -- there's no need. And often, there's a real need to have the windows open, lest you swelter in February.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Moby Dick

I reserve the right to change my mind, since I'm only about a quarter of the way into it, but...

I love it.

I love Moby-Dick possibly more than I have ever loved a book before. I'm not even kidding, guys. I, like, cherish every sentence. Reading this book is like getting a gentle massage, or having my back scratched. I actually experience low-level physical pleasure with each word.

It's hard for me to explain why I adore it so much, because I haven't really identified it beyond these three broad but important points:

1) Ishmael is a terrific narrator. He's a kind, thoughtful guy -- someone you'd actually really like to get to know. He loves to go on about things -- but it's endearing, not annoying, because he actually has interesting things to say. Also, he's really generous about people, and optimistic about the world in general, without ever seeming ignorant or naive or even unrealistic.

2) The prose is great. Melville... I never read anything by him before, and now I suspect I'm going to be working my way through everything in the next couple of years. I adore his writing. He always uses just the right word. His sentences are playful and elaborate but so readable. His pacing is steady and unhurried but he is never, ever boring. (IMHO.) But there's more to it than that -- his choice of words, his rhythm and sensibility -- it's sublime. I can't even tell you what's so great -- I can't figure it out myself. I'm just in love -- heedlessly and blissfully. It makes me content.

3) It's really, really funny.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Holy schlamoly

Now I'm kind of (read: really) glad I never bought nor read more than the first volume of Cerebus, as it seems Dave Sim is some kind of crazy asshole.