Costumes I Have Worn: A partial inventory and brief analysis

Costume/year: Hippie,1983
Consisted of: Bellbottom jeans; peasant blouse; hoop earrings, beads. Overall effect of jewelry more “Claire’s Boutique” than “head shop,” but we tried.
Advantages: Subversive feeling of getting to wear highly unfashionable clothing to school in seventh grade without suffering dire social consequences.
Limitations: At school, the only people who understood costume were teachers.
Unexpected benefit: Extra candy from nostalgic thirtysomethings while trick-or-treating. Relatively early experience with 60s-styled posturing allowed me to resist dumb-assed Grateful Dead revival in high school.

Costume/year: Sylvia Plath (post-mortem), 1992
Consisted of: Housedress; bathrobe; blue lipstick; crumpled drafts of poems in pockets; suicide note pinned to front; can of Easy-Off oven cleaner.
Advantages: Total English major snob value; also, way comfortable.
Limitations: You really can only say “Daddy, Daddy you bastard, I’m through,” so many times before it gets old.
Unexpected benefit: Even drunken frat boys knew better than to mess with a chick carrying a can of Easy-Off.
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Various updates

This Thursday’s Chicago reading: will be a benefit for Literacy Works and not some other organization, despite what you may have read on a couple of events listings somewhere. Literacy Works does all kinds of fantastically swell stuff like train ESL teachers and volunteer tutors to help adults learn to read, and while presumably the other organization is devoted to good things as well and not, say, into playing cruel literacy-related tricks such as hiding rubber cockroaches in books, tearing out the final pages of mystery novels, and recommending House of Leaves, they are nonetheless not the same organization as Literacy Works, on whose behalf I am reading on Thursday. So come to Hyde Park! And bring ten dollars! Or more!

(It’s hard not to be nervous about the attendance. For most readings, having a lousy turnout simply means that I’m pathetic. When it comes to this reading, a lousy turnout means that PEOPLE WILL BE DENIED THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE THROUGH READING, and that I’m pathetic. So do what you can.)

Last Thursday’s New Jersey reading: was fine, except for all the apocalyptic rain. From my rental car along the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey looked very, er… smeary, though I’m sure it’s way nicer when it’s dry. This state has lovely radio stations, which are great to listen to while you’re trying to find a place to turn around on the highway.

My cold: is much better, thank you. You needn’t have worried at all.

The Beeping Thingy ceased its daily beeping two days after I wrote about it and I KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN. I still have no idea what the hell it was.

We did, however, catch a squirrel in my office building today, after the thing came down through the ceiling this weekend and ate some of the office M&M’s. Working for a children’s book publisher means you are always surrounded by enchanted animals. And by “enchanted” I mean “awesomely freaked out on sugar.”

Bootsy the Fish: Still alive after a year and three months. Sort of. He seems to have swim bladder disorder. (Look it up.) From what I’ve read this won’t kill him, but it’s killing me to see him lying listlessly at the bottom of the tank like a junkie, flopping his semi-useless fins around like a thalidomide baby Smurf. I mean, you can’t have a fish “put down,” can you? Something dignified and fast. A tiny harpoon I can shoot into him, maybe.

Weight Watchers: Oh, you shouldn’t ask right now. I’m only mentioning it because I know you want to know, which is my own damn fault for telling you I was doing it again in the first place. You get where I’m going with this? Yeah? There you go. (And this may not be up for discussion, inasmuch as I can control that.)

But never mind that. Most everything else is good.