Tag Archives: Halloween

Fall Reading Update

So guys, I always read a ton. And I always tell people it’s because it’s the only thing I can stay still to do (which is true! Ask anyone. I can’t. Sit. Still. And yet I work an office job–it’s a paradox folks). But in the fall, when it’s getting cold and blustery, I especially love curling up with a book on the couch (Or in bed. Or on the El. Or while I’m icing at PT. I don’t discriminate).

So anyway, two weeks ago it was Halloween-y time. And Audrey Niffenegger had come out with a new book. And the Chicago Public library had informed me it was ready to pick up.

‘Twas a perfect storm of seasonal literary goodness.

So, I set out to read this gem of a book, written by the woman who brought the world The Time Traveler’s Wife (which, if you haven’t read, you should. Get out there! Go get it!). This is what the new book looks like:


Looks scary, right?


While this book is surely no Time Traveler’s Wife, it was definitely worth delving into during this Halloween season. Niffenegger writes in a way that is lyrical and easy to fall into; she’s nothing if not an excellent story teller. This book takes place mostly in an apartment outside the Highgate Cemetary in London, and is a story about inviduality, family, and most important, ghosts. It’s easy to say that the story is so far fetched as to be slightly confusing in places, but I keep reminding myself that this is precisely how I felt while reading her first book. You have to turn the page back from time to time to really know what’s going on, but there’s nothing wrong with that, I’ve decided. It’s good to go over the words for a second time. The end of this book is sad but satisfying–there is not a way for this plot to end with all the loose strings tied up, and Niffenegger does not insult her readers by trying to find a way to do it. This book should not disappoint those who loved her first book.

That’s how I felt anyway, and I’d wager to feel you’d feel the same. It was just the perfect amount of spooky, unrealistic, ghostiness.

And even though it’s November, I would recommend it anyway.

Anyway children, I’m off to Seattle for the weekend (for work only-bummer), but I’ll be back. Happy Friday everyone!

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Filed under Reflections

Montage de Panda

So, if you don’t know me (which you probably do, if you’re reading this), I have been heading out on Halloween dressed as a panda since my senior year in high school. It first started when we were all sitting around discussing various costume ideas, and I was becoming agitated by the rush of “slutty” costumes that seemed to be overtaking campus. Slutty Nurse. Slutty Firewoman. Slutty Big Bird (not really- but you never know). I tried to think of the absolute least sexy thing I could be.

And so Panda was born.

Over the years, I’ve been various types of pandas, and I think each one has its high and low points (Kung Fu Panda was weapon heavy- I kept losing them. Geisha Panda required grease paint on my chest, and Ky hated doing that for me). However, I can probably show this to you via images than by my words, and so, here it is:


Panda 2005- Panda loves a stiff drink

This Panda was made out of materials from Hancock Fabrics and Walgreens in Rogers Park in the course of one blustery afternoon. I fashioned the headpiece out of earmuffs, a black hat, and some safety pins. This was also my first go on the face paint, so you can see that my neck is decidedly human toned. I spent the night at a house party with my lovely friends, and said things like “Panda can solve world peace–he says EVERYONE come to the keg party.” Panda drank a lot of jungle juice that night. Out of a tupperware container.

Halloween 009

Kung Fu Panda...also, chubby Panda...

Kung Fu Panda was an idea  I came up with prior to the animated feature starring Jack Black. This panda was nothing but trouble from the beginning, touring the Apartment with Jen (as Midnight Fairy) and a few other characters. B had to collect my ninja stars and other weapons all night, since I kept drunkenly losing them. Also, a man dressed as a cowboy took a weird liking to me, and so before B scared him off, we all did a shot to the World Wildlife Federation (his idea). Favorite line of the night:

Creepy Cowboy: “What do Pandas drink?”
Midnight Fairy: “They drink vodka tonics.”


So much fun, so much makeup...

Last year we all went over to M, M and C’s for another house party (this one much better than the tupperware jungle juice party mentioned earlier). It was lots of fun, and I didn’t do anything too outrageous as Panda. Ky remade my headpiece. because my friends broke to me that what I thought was the craftiest thing I had ever accomplished was actually “kind of ghetto.” My new headpiece is much better. What I remember most from this night is dancing tons, and trying to figure out a way to keep from sweating off the copious amounts of grease paint K so generously agreed to apply. In the end, nothing could be done, and I had to toss the geisha costume at the end.


Vampire Panda caught without his paws...

This year, I decided last minute to be Vampire Panda. I thought it was timely, what with the vampire craze sweeping pop culture. I have learned to take my pop culture cues, as I am still kicking myself for not going as “Panda at the Disco” when it would have been timely. This costume was easy to make, since I just needed fangs and blood, and a cape (the cape was dubbed “Jr. Cape” since that’s what the package said. Apparently I don’t fit in adult capes). This year I also upgraded to a turtleneck, after my promise to K (who went as business casual witch) to never again make her grease paint any part of me that wasn’t my face.

In all, this is probably one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done (and it’s hard to discriminate- I’ve done a lot),  but it’s super fun to add on to my panda wardrobe every year. I hope you’ve enjoyed my montage, and please, feel free to give me a heads up for good ideas in 2010.

To the WWF!


Filed under Good times, Reflections


Sorry folks, I know I’ve been MIA, but it’s been a busy end of month.

I took KD and Aus to see Where the Wild Things Were, and I loved it.

I love Wild Things.

It was so good. Except also, it was so incredibly sad, and I cried so much at the end (another sign of my black heart melting). Then, with a serious look on his face, Aus looked at me and said:

“Nikki. Are you crying? You’ve got to pull it together.”

He looked at me with his 12-year-old look, and then, I realized he was acting his perfect 12-year-old age by being embarrassed, and so I laughed at him, but kept crying, partly because the movie was sad and partly because when on earth did he become an embarrassed 12-year-old?

It was fine though, because KD sniffled with me. She’s only ten, and I intend on keeping her that way. Ha.

After my humiliating theater trip, I laid low for awhile and did things like make soup and mourn the end of the Farmer’s Market. And swim endless laps at the Y.

Aside from that, it’s been pretty quiet around here.

I have a Halloween Post ready, but unfortunately this will have to wait until another day, until I gather my photo evidence.

I can’t do it justice without the proper documentation, you see.

Until then, I hope everyone’s having an appropriately gray first day-after-Daylight-Savings. See you on the flip side.




Filed under Good times, Reflections

Happy Halloween!

Good morning everyone–I am extremely fatigued this morning due to free drinks last night at Kelsey’s and then a night of pumpkin carving.  I am craving greasy hangover food, but have convinced myself that water and a multigrain english muffin will suffice (yeah right). Anyway, I am going to try and gear up because tonight is Halloween, which is one of my favorite holidays. Everyone dresses up in outrageous outfits, there are tons of parties, and I get to dress like my favorite endangered species. See here:

That is me in my inaugrual year as Panda. This year, I will be donning a geisha costume over my Panda costume, which should be equally ridiculous.  The whole thing started in an attempt to get away from being “slutty nurse” or “sexy firewoman”…etc. There is nothing slutty or sexy about a panda.  It’s great.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday–more pictures to follow, I am sure!


Filed under Good times