November 1st, 2004

Dancing Thru

Once more into the shadow of death...

Well, this now makes it three for three. My closest friends are dropping at an alarming rate. The last of my female best friends, my best friend from college, whom I haven't seen much over the past 25 years, but with whom I speak or email, has just been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. It doesn't look good. She also didn't have any lumps. She'd gone to her doctor for poison oak, and said "Oh, and I have this weird red rash on my breast that showed up about two months ago..." The doctor freaked out, sent her to mammography, and then gave her the bad news. News bad enough that he said, in so many words, "If I gave you a shred of hope, it would be medical malpractice." That's bad.

She said I'm what she needs right now, as I don't freak, I don't try to play "Oh I'm sure something can be done" or sugar coat things. She could talk to me matter of factly about her impending death, and how she feels and what it means to her. And the fact she's not ready. Is anyone? She was remarkably calm, though pissed off as hell. No shit. I am too.

I've seen so much death, so many friends fall into an early grave, that it's almost, god help me, routine, at this point. I find I take more and more comfort in writings of our forbearers, where you could expect to have some number of your friends die in childhood, then watch things ranging from disease to childbirth take a chunk out of the rest, year by year. A lot of our society is complacent, and even I had for a while bought into a false sense that my contemporaries would grow old along with me, only to watch an alarming number die at early ages. I'm not why I had a feeling they would last, whereas I never felt that way about myself, but rather have always heard that whisper in the back of my head "How much time do you think you have?" that keeps me moving, experiencing, trying to live fully and honestly. Maybe it's because I drowned when I was 2 years old and came back. I am at peace with the idea of my own exit, but there are always things you want to do, no matter when you go...

Damn, though, you'd think I wouldn't be feeling sorry for myself, thinking of how much I'll miss Debbie, but I guess it's part of all that. She's thinking of how much she's going to miss LIFE. I'm thinking of how much I'm going to miss HER.
  • Current Music
    Dance with the Barrowman - Tempest
Dancing Thru

My Annual Halloween Madness

I should drop email to Phil (or Katja) Foglio that I used his "Girl Genius" as my Halloween theme. Mad Science is always a winner. I did the front yard as "Beetleburg University" and had all sorts of cool gizmos, including the robot made with an electric discharge globe inside my father's old 1920's diver's helmet (which is cool in itself). And of course the death ray, which I billed as "good for home security or homeland security, depending on your problem." I got very spark-y in my Agatha Clay character (hmm, I tend to dress rather like her in Real Life, so the costume was easy) and made a whole bunch of stuff, including the anatomy department, with cauliflower in a jar with a lightstick to give it that eerie glow, etc. And I had Chris' "bigass weapon" that he had for Con use, which had all the right junk everywhere (torpedos, anyone?) to stand in for a couple that Agatha has toted in the comic. I had a whole spiel about how students can learn to construct almost anything from any old body parts they have around the house, etc. Tons of fun.

And of course, I have FANS! The kids who come year after year, and say "Wow, you always do the coolest stuff..." Or "Wow, this is even better than last year..." Or tell me which of my Halloweens their favorites are. And of course the adults who cruise past to check it out, too. One guy in a lab coat I tried to recruit as an instructor: "We keep losing them in explos...I mean, they keep moving on!" I'm just disappointed that, due to circumstances beyond our control (like people getting sick), I didn't have quite as big a cast as I had hoped. But it actually worked pretty well with fewer people, because there was so much mad science everywhere, and someone might have tripped over a power cord, or gotten zapped by the Van der Graf generator, or something.

I would have thought we had more kids, but when I added up the pretzels, the minibags of goldfish crackers, the Reese's assortment, the 18 Act II Popcorn Balls, the Willie Wonka sour treats, and the Hershey S'mores bars, and subtract the small amount that was left...I'd say about 150-160. Toward the end of the evening, I was worried I'd run out of treats, though. Didn't happen, but I was starting to rummage for backup, just in case.

All in all, I think it went pretty well. We also didn't have the obnoxious kids this year, who liked to throw candy, a definite plus. The kids were actually pretty nice, polite, and well-behaved. And impressed with electricity. ;-)
  • Current Music
    The Monster Mash