Getting Spooky, Y’all.


Forgive me. Did the image I select to go along with this blog scare you? I Googled spooky. A smiling pumpkin showed up. Pretty spooky.

I was a high school teacher a billion years ago. Here’s a memory from being a teacher that makes me laugh. I was showing a powerpoint presentation to my students. Probably something to do with writing essays. Or reading Hamlet or something. They were taking notes. Probably bored. It was October. I warned the kids that I had a really terrifying slide at the end of the presentation. A grotesque, ghoulish picture that might cause them to scream. Or faint. Or die. I built it up all period. Then I clicked the button and a picture of a smiling pumpkin, not unlike the image above, appeared. And then I screamed the word “spooky” at them. Too many times. So stupid. But it made me laugh.

Anyway, it’s that time of year again. Some might say it is the spookiest time of year. Although St. Patrick’s Day in State College, Pennsylvania is also a terrifying day. Think college kids unbound. And unbridled. And super drunk. Still, All Hallow’s Eve is probably the spookiest eve there is. Spookier than Christmas Eve. That’s for sure. Or the Mitochondrial Eve. That’s a fun Google search. Mitochondrial Eve.

Do you know what they say about Mitochondria? I don’t either. I never got that question right on the test. Any test.


Solomon is 7. Samson is 6. The boys didn’t get to go trick-or-treating last year. What with the pandemic and all. So Katie and I bought lots of candy. And we hid behind doors in our house. The boys had to find us to get their candy. It was cute. And sad. That’s a fair characterization of 2020. Cute but mostly sad.

I suspect we will go trick-or-treating this year. I’m writing this blog before Halloween. So knock on wood. Or a pumpkin.

The boys both want to be orange cats for Halloween this time around. You know. Because we have an orange cat. So we bought cat ears and tails. And orange shirts and pants. We will have matching orange cats. Talk about spooky.

Solomon was Luigi a few years ago. And Samson was purple Melvin. Melvin is a minor character in the Disney Cars movies. Samson used to love those movies. Not as much anymore. Their interests change so fast. They grow up so fast. 7 and 6 already. Whew. That makes me 84 I think. But that’s okay. I don’t look a day over 90.


Things are returning to normal. Sort of. Half the country thinks the pandemic is a hoax. The other half won’t leave the house. Things probably aren’t so black and white. But that’s the vibe I get from social media.

I’m vaccinated. I want my kids vaccinated too. And I still wear masks. I’m still not as confident as so many other people seem to be that I understand the best way to move through the world right now. However, trick-or-treating seems safe enough. We’ll be outdoors. Maybe we’ll hose their candy down with sanitizer. Or bleach. I’m told that stuff works like a charm against Covid.

The boys have been in school. Katie’s been at work. I’ve been on campus. At THEEE Pennsylvania State University. Both the University Park and prestigious ALTOOOOONA campuses. And I’ve been in THEEE Blue Brick Theatre in downtown State College. Doing improv. Mostly masked. So I’m a little more comfortable getting back to some version of normal than I was at this time last year.

What a year it is has been. What strange times we are living through. The world still feels, dare I say it, a little spooky to me.

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