Halloween Wrap Up

This year was my very first Halloween in the Big Apple, and I’m happy to report, it did not disappoint. I kicked off the day with a trip to Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx with my good writer buddy and Halloween enthusiast, Leanna Hieber. It was a gorgeous fall day, crisp but not cold. The colors were phenomenal, positively jewel-toned. Many of the monuments, notably the celebrated Woolworth tomb, include stained glass windows a la Tiffany, which were breathtaking to behold. Creepy though it may sound to some yes, we had a picnic. And yes, it was fun. I could say more but to save my typing fingers, check out Leanna’s Blog for the truly awesome photos.

Liz Maverick and Hope (as Goth Snow White).
Liz Maverick as Geisha Goldilocks and Hope as Goth Snow White.
Marianne, Hope, Leanna, and Stacey as fairytale femmes a la Goth.
From left to right, Marianne, Hope, Leanna, Stacey and Liz as fairytale femmes a la Goth.

Then it was back to Manhattan for a quick transformation (note: not transfusion). First stop: the Halloween Parade with my fellow Goth fairytale femmes: Leanna, Stacey Agdern, and the Rebels of Romance, Liz Maverick and Marianne Mancusi. Re Leanna as Dead Little Miss Muffett, check out those choppers!

The parade, though slow moving, was well worth the wait. The piece de resistance for me: the skeleton puppets, hulking dudes operated by multiple human hands (at least I think they were human). We rounded out the evening with a post-parade party in Murray Hill hosted by our good friends at Pacific TV. Morgan and her hubby put us through our paces playing trivia games long past the Witching Hour. Note to Self: less book reading, more TV watching and PEOPLE Magazine perusing.

Hope and Liz strut their stuff.
Hope and Liz strut their stuff.

On Saturday night, I joined friends at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where rock legend Patti Smith celebrated All Saints Day with an evening of poetry reading and of course, music.  Afterward, it was dinner at Les Halles on Park Avenue South. For me, the steak au poivre with frittes and yes, Bearnaise sauce, thank you very much! Finally, home for a soothing cup of peppermint tea, a quick glance at the second half of SNL and then, yes, bed.

Even a party ghoul needs her beauty sleep.

"Those trivia questions were pretty...hair raising."
"Hey, those trivia questions were pretty...hair raising."

To paraphrase the remarkable Patti Smith: to all our saints, to the unsaintly saints, both living and dead.



The other night a man had an “angry white male” meltdown a la Michael Douglas’s character in “Falling Down” on the sidewalk below my bedroom window.  Now before anyone gets their–meaning, his–boxers in a twist, allow me to explain that in addition to making a perfectly legitimate reference to the not-so-very-good 1993 film starring this otherwise wonderful actor, the individual in question was also really, really, really angry.  Certifiably…angry, and quite possibly certifiable–period.  Or at least that was my read of the situation based on the fists he was jabbing a hairsbreadth away from the startled faces of a trio of delivery people and yes, the expletives streaming from his mouth like…Well, enuf said.

The meltdown-ee was verbally accosting–as well as air punching–three deliverymen who’d set up a ramp across the sidewalk to get the goods, so to speak, from their truck to the convenience store next to my building.  They do this every night roughly around 1:00 AM.  It’s nothing new–really. 

But apparently circumventing the operation by crossing the street, walking down a block, and then re-crossing every night was blowing this dude’s bliss–big time.

The delivery guys handled the scenario far better than many of us would.  Rather than playing into the drama, they kept their cool and their hands to their sides–well, except for the guy who used his fingers to plug his ears.  Anyone of them could have pounded the screamer into the pavement, into pulp, only no one did.  Instead they stood there and took it until the guy finally exhausted himself and stalked away, spent but still seething.  At that point, they did break out and laugh and well, I couldn’t really blame them.

Meltdowns aren’t really laughing matters, but they do make the rest of us feel, if not exactly superior, then certainly uber together.  Meltdowns really aren’t so very bad–so long as they happen to other people.

I like to keep my blog sunny side up.  Ask me if the glass is half empty or half-full, and I’ll not only call it as half full, but I’ll point out that heck, you’ve also got a glass.  In hand.

And so this week has challenged me–big time.

I had to fire someone today, someone to whom I’ve paid good money, really good money, someone to whom I’ve been loyal, someone from whom I expected not only some loyalty but yes, decent service in return.  When my loyalty was tested beyond its limit, when a lack of professionalism collided with a surfeit of cockiness, causing a mistake of potentially colossal proportions for which I alone would take the hit, when I dared to stop being a good girl, to stop smiling and taking it while signing that big check, this someone–he–had the audacity to call me out for being emotional, for being a woman.

To paraphrase SNL’s Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers’ “Weekend Update” shtick, “Really ?  Really !!!”

To be really clear, I never once raised my voice to this man.  I used no expletives (not out loud, anyway–there was a thought bubble scenario) nor did I pantomime punching him out, tempting as that might have been.  And yet pointing out calmly, clearly, and yes firmly what he’d: a) done wrong and b) not done at all somehow made it okay for him to brand me as “emotional.”

Because I’m a woman.

As if being a woman weren’t bad enough, I am also a Libra–you know, the scales of justice, the eternal striving for balance, the expectation–demand–that things be fair. 

And so I did what any respectable Libran woman would do.  I got my Donald Trump on and I fired him.  On the spot.  Termination effective immediately.

Whether it’s that Hillary’s pants suits aren’t svelte enough or that Sarah’s lip gloss is too pink, apparently women remain the fifty-percent “minority” it’s still okay to blatantly and publicly degrade.

But what we women are isn’t only resilient.  As women–because we’re women–we’re downright tough.  You’d have to be tough to not only survive but thrive in these centuries-upon-centuries following yes, “The Dawn of Man.”

Back in July, I had the great pleasure of hearing Gail Blanke speak at the national Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco.  Though I’m just over halfway through, Gail’s latest book, BETWEEN TRAPEZES, is riding high on my must-read-this-book list.  In it, she urges us all to “step into our power” not just once in a while but every single day.  Gail’s message isn’t specific to feminism or women but for the purpose of this post, I’m taking it that way.  Hey, as she points out in her book, we mostly make decisions based on interpretations, not facts, and since according to her we all get to make “It” up, for the few hours left of today, like the ole fast-food burger commercial, I’m having it my way.

Yes, really!


P.S.  Okay so this wasn’t exactly how I envisioned my launch post from my spiffy new WordPress interface but well, life happens.  Tune in next week and I promise to be back to my glass-half-full self.