Well, I waved goodbye to the Dark Lord of the Sith, his sister fairy-princess-ballerina, scary Dead Guy (Peeper's friend Vincy), Vin's parents and Mojo as they set out to rid North Portland of candy.
The trout saute'd up delightfully in butter with garlic and Hawaiian alaea salt, the basmati rice was rich and savory, and the snap peas crisp amid the abundance of mushrooms and onion. I'm still anticipating the pumpkin pie and whipped cream as I write this.
So far the trick-or-treaters have been thin on the ground, which gives me a little time to reflect on the week past and the weekend thus far.
1. Enjoyed the company of my friend Brent as Arsenal took advantage of some incomprehensibly awful Tottenham defending to take the first game of the North London "darby" as the British incomprehensibly pronounce what we'd call a "derby". Not sure what it said about the Arse, whose fragility and lack of focus has been remarked on severally, including over here at Pandagoal (hey - how about some new postings, Pandagoalians?) but it said something fairly personal and pretty uncomplimentary about the Spurs place in the English "top four".Tottenham looked awful; tentative, mazy and generally lost. They never threatened, they never even looked in the match. Fortunately the Talisker and Brent's delicious fig-and-vanilla (and clove-and-cinnamon) infused bourbon made up for the sloppy Spurs play.
Of course, my Newcastle United lads aren't even in the Premiership this season...but we'll be back! Toon Army !
2. In other soccer news, I see that the USWNT managed to sneak past the German gals 1-0, predictably on an Abby Wambach header.I'm not sure I like this; the idea that the women are again relying on Wambach up front to provide them with their goalscoring...and, since the match report said that "...Germany earlier wasted a half-dozen clear opportunities and dominated most of the match..." we can assume that the U.S. midfield was swanning about or simply absent.
There's no real challenge ahead, given the span until the next WWC. But I reflect grimly on the U.S. gals' returning to the dreary "Wambach-and-three-days-of-rain" style that typified the pre-Sundhage Era. Let's hope the result is just a blip.
3. Important safety tip: DO NOT carve your jack-o-lanterns ten days ahead of Halloween if you live in a Mediterranian climate. The foul resulting wilt, mold and collapse will not endear the holiday to you.
4. I'm excited for the Rose City Rollers, and yet, frustrated because they sold out the Hanger for their last bout! We tried to get in and failed, which sucked for us, but is terrific for the rollergirls. Get some, Rollers! Great to see a genuine sport played by gals who hustle for love of the solid hits - as opposed to the whatever-their-name-is outfit that plays for big money at the big barn next to I-5. Go, Rollers!
5. I think I've found the answer to a parenting dilemma: how do you deal with your kids' desperate need to go to Chuck E. Cheese without going utterly mad? Here's four simple things that help:
a. Feed them first - so you don't have to touch the awful food there.
b. Make the expedition part of a larger agenda, so you don't have to linger.
c. Go in the late morning or early afternoon - the mob scene is less.
d. Restrict their tokens, so they play their games and go.We've been to the Chuckster thrice in a month now, and every time it was quick, easy and painless. I think we've got that sucker wired.
6. Important safety tip #2: do NOT let your son hand out Halloween candy. We had an immense 8-quart saucepan full of the stuff until a half dozen spirits and spooks showed up and the Peep took charge of the candy pot. The thing came back from the front door with two - two - tiny Snickers bars inside. We had to raid the little girl's swag when our neighbors' kids arrived and then quickly tun out the porch light.
7. Which reminds me of my favorite Halloween story. I was living in Wilmington, Delaware at the time, and our apartment was at the edge of a pretty sketchy neighborhood so we had few few little trick-or-treaters. Late in the evening I heard a knock and opened the door to find two little kids in their street clothes, one about seven with a black oval party mask on, the other about five without any trace of a costume at all.
"Trick or treat" the older kid mumbled slightly ashamedly.
I dropped a couple of candy bars on them.
"What is your costume, dude?" I asked the older boy. He looked up at me like I was slightly retarded, like I'd asked him whether it was dark out.
"I'm Batman" he rasped, in a pretty good imitation of Michael Keaton or whothehellever was playing Batman that year. I nodded to what I assumed was his little brother. "Who's he supposed to be?"
"He's the Joker." replied big brother. I laughed.
"No way, kid. I've seen the movie, the Joker has a white face and purple clothes, little guy doesn't look anything like the Joker."
Big kid gave me that slightly-retarded look again and replied;
"That's the joke."
He got an extra Snickers for that.
8. Mmmm. Pumpkin pie is what the Gods ate on Olympus.
9. I had something really witty for this one but I forgot it.
10. Oh, yeah, wait. Here it is.
Three guys are arguing about humanity's greatest invention. The first insists on fire, the second on atomic power. The third suggests the thermos bottle.
"WTF?" his buddies ask.
"Think about it!" says the first guy; "It keeps the hot stuff hot AND the cold stuff cold."
"No shit, Sherlock" reply his pals, "What do you think a thermos bottle does?"
"Yes..." replies the guy, "...but how does it know?"