November 1, 2005


Jack O' Lit A rundown of this last weekend in bite-sized pieces, and nice stuff people did for me.


Sara and Laura took me to lunch at the Olive Garden. Sara discovered sangria. Later, after work, Sara, Sharon and I visited iParty for costume stuff and I began to realize that I probably was not going to be able to pull off a Captain Jack Sparrow when Sharon kept suggesting women’s clothing and I got a mental picture of how that was going to look. A Haloween costume is supposed to be scary, but not that scary.

Thursday night’s plans were completely messed up by pub-closings and people backing out, but we ended up at the Irish Immigrant where my “friends” told the band I was having a birthday. Therupon I was compared to two girls who were turning 21 and told “This guy is forty-two.” Happy Birthday. Somehow, I limited myself to two Guinnesses and 1 “PBR.” It was a good time, but I won’t be rushing out to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon any time soon.


While the kids were having a Halloween party with the Junior troop, Stephen (as always) suggested “Kelly” cosmos at “Not Your Average Joe’s” after work. We discussed various crises and drowned a sorrow or two. Stephen dissed one of the Non-Kelly bartenders when she offered to make him a cosmo. Ouch.

The rest of the night was spent chilling at home. Everyone was exhausted from the week before, and from frustrating people.


I worked a bit during the day, K and Maggie had Junior Jubilee and were away. When M and I finally got out of the house to do an errand or two, I got most of the way to the mall and realized the car was running on gas fumes and needed fuel. Sadly, I had forgotten my wallet.

Scrounged all the cash in the car to buy gas to get back to the house to get my wallet. I think the appropriate phrase here is “smooth move, Ex-Lax.”

After successful shopping, we made it back home within about 10 minutes of Julie arriving, and then Maggie and K right behind her. It was time for the first pizza-making of the season.

K's first pizzaJulie presented her invented drink, the VOxie, and I didn’t hate it, but I liked it about as much as I like Moxie. It’s been nearly 20 years since I’ve had the stuff last, and I don’t feel like I’ve been missing anything. The first time I had it, I was working at Shaw’s on Plymouth Ave in Fall River and I thought “I have to try that!” I soon discovered that it was not very good warm, and cooling didn’t numb the taste buds enough. But I’ll give you this – VOxie is a warrior’s drink. But I think prune juice and rum are more my speed.

We talked about my cousin’s cool new set of poker chips, and how heavy they are in their rather small case. Julie had carried a heavy present in the house and she handed it to me to use as a prop, because it was about the same size as my cousin’s poker set case. And it was heavy.
As I blathered on about poker chip weight, Maggie and Julie kept straight faces. But I’m sure had a good inward laugh at my expense. When I unwrapped the gift it was, of course, an awesome set of weighted poker chips. I had really had no clue, but is that so unusual?

We invented the Dr. Momentum. Which will get its own post.

K made her own pizza, and was proud of her creation, but also generous.

We relaxed until K got sick later in the evening from not-too-clear causes. This puts a lot of stress on Maggie and the night was effectively over. To quote K: “That looks like my pizza.”

SNL was so-so, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were back to their form in Weekend Update.


Sturbridge Trick or Treat Our original plans to celebrate my birthday in Sturbridge were canceled because we thought K was sick. However, as the day wore on we realized she was well enough to enjoy the “Things That Go Bump” festival at Old Sturbridge Village. So, we high-tailed it west and met up with Maggie’s family for a night on the town in the 1840’s. There were many attractions to occupy our attention such as juggling, storytelling, magic, dressing up, a living gargoyle, 1200 Jack O’Lanterns, and kettle corn. Trick or treating commenced while we soaked in the ambiance of a pitch-dark OSV.

Maggie did a great job with the hair styling for M’s Leia costume, and K was the perfect little witch.

We sang to the radio in the car all the way home to cap off a very enjoyable birthday outing.

At home I was greeted by numerous on line well-wishes from friends and acquaintances.

Monday (Hallowe’en)

Work, of course. I was the only one in the office who bothered to suit-up in costume. C’mon, people!

Sara and Sharon gave me my office birthday card, with various signed exhortations to have fun and/or work harder and/or use chemicals to forget work. And, awesome penguins on the front.

When I got home, it was time to hit the neighborhood. At 10 and 8, my daughters have a much larger range for trick-or-treating. And the weather was good. This meant: more candy than any previous year.

We quickly moved from house to house, and their little containers were too full after only a few. Of course, a number of the houses were fairly throwing the candy at them. I think people were getting a little less foot traffic than they expected and were fearing having to stare-down an overabundance of goodies. Or, it could be that they were just very generous folks.

One woman saw the overabundance in their little baskets and fetched empty plastic shopping bags for them to transfer candy into. This afforded us a dangerous increase in candy-carrying capacity.

We returned home literally weighted down with sugar, barely able ot raise an arm to wave at friends encountered on the road.

But now it was time for pumpkin-carving. And seed-roasting. This went more smoothly than usual, and we went for a skull motif.

Jack O' DarkAfter carving our Jack O’Lantern, we install it in its honored place on the mantle, turn off the lights and tell scary tales. K told a very long, rambling story about evil, haunted pumpkins and magic pumpkin seeds.

I tried to tell 3 old scary tales I knew, but was met with “we know that one” every time. Time to get some new stories. They even knew the Vanishing Hitchhiker. So I went a little older and gave them the hook-handed murderer story, which K told me was going to give her nightmares. I said “don’t worry, it’s only a TRUE STORY!”

That’ll teach them to diss my scary tales.

The kids were also excited to finally give my my birthday presents. I have plenty of Jeeves to read, among other fun gifts.

It was a good birthday/Halloweekend.

Posted by James at November 1, 2005 7:51 AM
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LOL. A few weeks ago I tried to tell M. the haunted hitchhiker and she corrected me (I couldn't remember if it was the kid or the driver who was dead). Then I tried to tell her about the girl with the ribbon around her neck and she already knew that one. That's why I told her the dirty "it's a comin'" that I learned in private school as a child, and she practiced telling it until she could do it with a straight face. Poop jokes are always a big hit.

Posted by: Maggie at November 1, 2005 10:09 AM

Sounds like a pretty full and un birthday weekend, minus the pizza rerun. Glad Kit felt beter enough for the annual OSV pilgrimage.

So, what is a Kelly Cosmo?

Posted by: briwei at November 1, 2005 10:46 AM

The pizza K made was very good. I told her it was a textbook pizza. ;)

Posted by: Julie at November 1, 2005 10:51 AM

A Kelly Cosmo is a cosmopolitan made by Kelly. Basically, she makes what I am familiar with as a "French Cosmo" which uses Grand Marinier for the triple sec and Absolut Cirton for the vodka.

A little less sweet. But, to tell the truth, I'd just as soon have one at home. Sorry, Kelly.

Posted by: James at November 1, 2005 11:14 AM

It was a moment, to be sure, when K threw up all her pizza after having shared it around to the rest of us. I'm glad you're still unscathed, Julie. To your continued health!!

Posted by: Maggie at November 1, 2005 12:08 PM

I'm still okay, but I just got a flu shot, so who knows what might happen next. ;)

Posted by: Julie at November 1, 2005 12:25 PM

I was proud of her for her pizza and how she wanted to share it. But where germs are concerned I'm happier when kids keep them to themselves. Including my own kids.

But maybe what ailed her isn't communicable. We can hope. It's 4 days now, so that's some comfort.

I had some nausea yesterday, but that was after eating a half-pumpkin's worth of roasted seeds.

Posted by: James at November 1, 2005 1:19 PM

Ditto about the nausea and the pumpkin seeds... plus I washed them down with eggnog. If that's not asking for trouble, I don't know what is!

Posted by: Julie at November 1, 2005 1:49 PM

Ewwww. Pumpkin seeds and egg nog. All you need now is a moxie. ;-)

Posted by: briwei at November 1, 2005 4:19 PM

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