Liveblogging a Holiday: Halloween 2020

NB: If you’re wondering why I’m doing this, I’m trying to warm up for NaNoWriMo. I figure that adding to this a few times throughout the day should help set the stage for several posts a day starting tomorrow.

11:10 am

I’m starting a bit behind. My dad and I slept later than usual (well, he slept later than usual — usually on breakfast day I sleep until after I hear my dad’s radio coming from his living room and when I woke up at 9, his living room was still silent. So I ended up sleeping until almost 10.

We had breakfast (delicious as always) and then I showered. While I was in the shower, I got a message from my boss saying that he finished up that report for me (yay!) but that none of the work I did on Thursday went through (boo!). Almost immediately after that, though, he sent another saying that the deadline had been extended until November 14, so we can finish the report tomorrow and have it in two weeks before the deadline (yay!).

Now I’m having trouble getting motivated to go out and do something. This is kind of a common problem for me. I’m almost the living embodiment of both senses of inertia. It takes a big effort for me to get motivated to get out and do things, but once I’m going, I’m going and it takes a big effort to get me to stop.

Should I do a separate Gratuitous Amazon Link for each section? A gratuitous photo for each? I guess I’ll just post this for now and decide later.


Trick-or-treating can start as early as 4:30 around here and I still haven’t done any walking today. So I set up my table with six candy bars on it (I bought entirely too much candy this year) and now I’m going to walk until I (a) see some trick-or-treaters or (b) the candy starts disappearing.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do if the table disappears.

I did go to the store today. I bought toothpaste, more candy (my store didn’t have M&Ms), whitening strips, and an eyebrow pencil. I figure that I need to up my makeup game if I’m going to get the kind of job I want (and then I can start judiciously scaling back the makeup from there).

Now to walk around the block for a while. I’ll check back in later.


I’ve given up on Halloween for the night. Mostly. I was unraveling a worn-out blanket so that I can use the yarn to make a new blanket and it was getting too dark and too cold to unravel successfully. So I came in.

The table’s still out there and I’ll check on it once in a while and when the amount of candy goes down, I’ll replenish it and then give up at 10 or whenever the candy runs out.


I just came in from checking on my table. I put six candy bars out at a time (some M&Ms, some other chocolate, some Skittles, some Starburst) and when I checked, they were all gone.

Did I have six individual trick-or-treaters? Did one or two take them all? Is one of my neighbors helping themselves? Who knows. At least my table’s still there.


I really thought we’d have a bumper crop of candy left over, but we’ve given out 40 candy bars so far. I have 14 left, 4 of which are Peanut M&Ms. No one in my family eats those, so those are going to work tomorrow. Let’s see how many of the 10 remaining non-Peanut M&Ms I have in 59 minutes.


I forgot to update right at 10, but the final count is exactly what it was last time. I guess trick-or-treating ends by 9:00. At least I gave the stragglers some extra time.

Tomorrow I take those four packs of Peanut M&Ms to work and foist them off on my coworkers and then my family has until April to finish off the last 10 candy bars.

Now for the Gratuitous Amazon Link. I was going to link to a movie, and when I clicked on it to get to the correct page, I accidentally rented it. It was much easier to link to movies from Amazon when I wasn’t an Amazon Prime member. Well, I found a DVD of it with Korean subtitles. Don’t ask me. It is my favorite scary movie: The Others, starring Nicole Kidman.

Now, in an hour and a half, we start November. Wish me luckPray for me.

Halloween 2020

12:29 am

Happy Halloween! I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I guess this first paragraph or so will be my plans for the day and then I’ll probably open and edit this post to do do a little live-blogging-ish things as the day goes on, and then I’ll maybe do a recap early in the morning of November 1 to see if I followed my plans.

In the morning, my dad and I are having breakfast together. We have breakfast on one weekend morning. I’m working Sunday, so we’re having breakfast today. I do have to drop by work really fast after that. I have to do a report for work and my boss needs to be there for me to do it, so I have to drop in and do the last two questions really fast today, because this is the deadline.

In the afternoon, I’m going to do my walking for the day. I’ve got to do about 20,000 steps today to finish the month where I want to be. I hope to get Mila from Evelyn and take her with me. Mila’s getting fixed on Friday, so some extra non-vet-related time with her would be nice.

Gratuitous photo time! I took this in September 2009 (I think it was a Mexican Independence Day event?) at Market Square. I almost used the photo I took of this Children’s Hospital mural, but this is unlike my usual photographs, so I figured I’d give this a try.

In the evening, I might be having dinner with Alex. I don’t know what his work schedule looks like. After that, it’s possibly going to be trick-or-treating time. I may still have Mila with me at that point; I’ll probably take her back to Evelyn before then just because holiday nights are not a great time to be driving around out there. I got full-sized candy bars this year (two boxes of fruit-flavored and one of chocolate). Since the city recommends putting the candy on a table and cleaning the table after each group, I’m going to be camping out in the front yard. I’m going to put up one of those fabric camping chairs and sit out in the yard, listening to an audiobook and knitting until the end of trick-or-treat time. I have an outdoor fireplace and am thinking that I’d like to drag that out into the front and make a nice fire in it to keep me warm.

Then, as trick-or-treaters leave, I’ll wipe down the table and replace the candy bars. If there are any trick-or-treaters. We don’t get very many on a good year. And this hasn’t been a good year.

Then we’ll see how much more walking I need to do. If I can I’ll do some more walking and if I can’t, I’ll do some reading and then go to bed.

Also, since this ended up being too long, if I do the live-blogging thing, I’ll do it in a new post.

Gratuitous Amazon Link? Something scary or spooky or otherwise supernatural . . . I’ve got it! Down a Dark Hall, by Lois Duncan. I loved this book when I was a kid. I believe that this was the book that I was reading when I was alone at home at night when there was a rattling sound, kind of like a mason jar rolling along on its side. We didn’t have any mason jars and that scared the crap out of me. I ended up having put the book up for the night and spend the rest of the evening watching television.

I’m Starting to Get Nervous

I was really nervous on my way in to work this morning. Not about work, though. About NaNoWriMo. I think I like my plan of attack — eight short posts a day, on various topics including travel, parks, books, cooking, etc.

And, of course, on November 3 and 4, I should have a pretty good topic in the presidential election. If Trump wins again, I should be able to rant about that for quite a while, and if Biden wins, I wonder how many words I can get out of pleased astonishment.

Also, if Trump wins again, I’m going to be sucking on a shot of my dad’s Harvey’s Bristol Cream, so we’ll see what that does for my output.

Gratuitous photo time. This is what I’m pretty sure is the original Espada Dam in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. I’ve been walking down the River Walk and I reached this part last time, but totally forgot to take a new picture. This is from 2009; it probably looks pretty much the same now, in all honesty.

I’m going on a short road trip on the, like, 7th and 8th. I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to work, since “my” dog is being spayed on the 6th at my vet’s office. I might take her with me, since she needs to be watched to keep her from overdoing and opening her sutures. How better to keep an eye on her than to have her seatbelted loosely in the back seat of my car, which I am driving?

Well, I’m using too many November words here in October.

I think I might just be able to do this this year.

Wish me luck.

Ack! I was in the process of posting this when I realized that I forgot my Gratuitous Amazon Link. I almost panicked, going, “Oh, my gosh! Which book am I completely going to fail to sell them this time?” Then I realized that Allie Brosh’s second book, Solutions and Other Problems, has already been released. So go forth and don’t buy this book, either.

Two Weeks to NaNoWriMo

So I need to come up with some kind of plan. I remember telling y’all (or yelling into the void, whichever) that I need to write about eight 200-word posts a day to make my goal. Eight and one-third, to be precise.

In addition to travel and book blogging, I think I may add a round of food blogging as well. You see, I’ve got a whole bunch of cookbooks and I’ve hardly ever used them. So since Alex is grown and hardly ever home, I’m going to start to, well, use them.

I cooked Diane Seed’s version of Pasta al Boscaiola, which is the rosso version. The rosso version uses tomatoes and the bianco version uses cream. You basically sautee garlic in olive oil, then add mashed up tomatoes, salt, pepper and parsley. Then you top with sauteed mushrooms. I love sauteed mushrooms.

I knew that the recipe I was following was supposed to feed six people, so I cooked a bunch of mushrooms and then realized that the mushrooms were a topping and not an ingredient in the sauce. So I topped the spaghetti with a few mushrooms and ate the rest as a rather odd dessert.

Today’s gratuitous photo. I took this at the San Antonio Botanical Garden in 2009. The sculpture there is one of my favorites. I don’t know if the gardens own it or what, but I look for it every time I go to the garden. Speaking of which, I haven’t been there in more than a year, I don’t think.

It was really delicious and an excellent way to start my exploration of these cookbooks.

Not-so-gratuitous Amazon Link this time. The book I got the recipe from is The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces, by Diane Seed. I’m going to try posting my Amazon link with an image. Let’s see how it turns out:

ETA2: It didn’t. It was just a big block of HTML. So, back to just text links for now. The Top Hundred Pasta Sauces, by Diane Seed.

ETA: This post was 253 words. If I can do that consistently next month, I’ll have over 60,000 words for the month