It’s Halloween

I did my celebrating on Saturday, but it’s nice to acknowledge the actual day. I dressed up as a haunted porcelain doll. I love things that require makeup but I can just wear normal clothes.

This is a good wig. I don’t have enough excuses to use it.
I really nailed the crazy eyes look here, I think

I’ll also take any excuse to bust out the pearls.

Halloween means the first snow of the season. This just about tracks for what I grew up with in Denver, but my first October in Chicago, back in 2014, all of my coworkers assured me that snow on Halloween was early for Chicago. It almost feels like the generally accepted standards for season and climate are changing on us. đŸ¤”

Someone should probably look into that.

My windshield when I got in the car this morning.
The view from the window next to my desk in the office around 2:0o p.m. CST
Glad I’m not trick-or-treating in this weather.

This is my first Chicago winter without an ass load of hair, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m slightly apprehensive and trying to reconcile with the fact that I’m a hat person now.

Observe my lack of hair

Did a tarot card pull this morning. Seemed appropriate for the date. Came up with the Three of Pentacles, which speaks to diligence, hard work, industriousness, and hints that the fruits of your labor will pay off if you stick with it. I’d say that this bodes well for the upcoming marathon that is NaNoWriMo.

Three of Pentacles from the Linestrider deck. This actually might be my favorite card in the whole thing. I heart ravens

Speaking of NaNoWriMo I’ve set some concrete goals

  • Write a cumulative 50k words between the 4 projects that I’m working on (2 short novels and 2 short stories)
  • Complete one of the short stories (hopefully a second or third draft – ready to shop around to friends for feedback)
  • Complete first draft of one of the short novels (rough “discovery writing” draft, not fit for human eyes yet)

I will probably update throughout November, but whether it’s a daily update or just a frazzled braindump at the end is TBD.

Seeking some advice: I have had select songs from the hit musical Cabaret stuck in my head for days and it’s driving me slowly up a wall. Good songs, but not uninterrupted for hours and hours on end. I love Liza, but not that much. How do you get weapons grade earworms out of your head? I will try almost anything at this point.

Anyway, I’m going to celebrate this snowy Halloween in the best way I know how. With a spooky bath bomb (courtesy of Bathomet ), some tawny port, and a spooky novel that seems short enough that I can finish it in one sitting. I’ll report back on how I like it. October has been a dismal reading month for me, so I’d love to knock one out in the cozy Halloween spirit.

10 year tawny port, Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss, and a skull shaped grey bath bomb. I would have gotten amontillado instead of port to be seasonally thematic, but sherry is so hit or miss. I’d want my fav specialty liquor store to recommend one to me, but that was pretty far out of my way and I wanted to get home before sunset because I didn’t want to run into any Spooky Halloween Ghosts on the way home đŸ‘»

Death in the Afternoon

Purportedly a creation of Hemingway’s.

  • Pour 1.5 oz of Absinthe into a coupe glass.
  • Top with 4.5 oz of Champagne.

Or that’s how it’s supposed to be served, anyway. If I were to make it, I’d probably chill the glass with ice and soda water first, and I’d swirl the Absinthe to produce a nice wash effect around the inside of the glass before adding the Champagne.

The devs on the other side of the office last Friday poured Absinthe and cheap Prosecco over ice into those little plastic wine glasses, and invited me over to join in on this ritual of bastardizing a classic American cocktail. I told them I didn’t like Champagne, but thanks for the offer. They laughed a little too hard at the notion that it was the Champagne I objected to, as if liking Absinthe is in any way edgy or unusual in this, the year of our lord two thousand and nineteen.

One of the promises I made to myself when I first started this job was that I wouldn’t drink with my coworkers for the first month. I didn’t like how much my ability to bond with previous coworkers was reliant on an altered state. It proved to be pretty easy since I had a massive health issue two weeks in that prevented me from drinking at all for several weeks.

During my recovery period, people around the office constantly kept tabs on me to see if and when I could drink again. I felt monitored and exposed. People kept inviting me to events where the only activity was getting drunk and were constantly surprised when I said no, even though they so generously pointed out that they wouldn’t be offended if I hung out with them sober. It never seemed to occur to them to engage in an activity which didn’t require being sloshed. As a consequence, I didn’t really make friends here the way I had previous jobs.

By the time I could drink consistently again, I’d developed a deep ambivalence to ever becoming friendly with these people.

I got a verbal job offer roughly two hours before Olivia tried to get me to have a Death in the Afternoon. I’d checked out of work and was playing with glitch art by then anyhow, and I almost went over and joined them. After all, my days here are numbered so nothing I do or say really matters from here on out. But I decided against it. Even after they offered to give me a full glass of Absinthe instead.

Some people just can’t stand to see other people not drink.

For an altogether more pleasant, more sophisticated, and less pretentious cocktail I recommend a Sazerac.

  • Rinse a chilled rocks glass with 0.5 oz of Absinthe. Discard any excess that lingers at the bottom of the glass
  • In a separate glass, muddle together 3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, 1 sugar cube, and 1/2 tsp of water
  • Add 1.25 oz of Rye Whiskey and 1.25 oz of Cognac into the glass with the sugar mixture. Fill with ice. Stir until sugar is incorporated and liquor is well-chilled.
  • Strain the drink into the glass prepared with Absinthe. Twist a lemon peel slice above the surface and swipe it around the mouth of the glass to express the oils. Discard the lemon peel.