Hey, Happy Halloweeners! You guys ready? We are not ready. We are having a last minute ninja crisis, wavering from Pink Power to Teenage Mutant and back again and there are precisely zero ninja bits that work for both. It's all very existential. It reminds me of my nightly "I have to cut my bangs right noww---no I don't! Don't do it!" train of thought. (It is almost November.)

In case you're living somewhere non-leafy, here. I got this for you.

☝︎ Park Slope farmer's market! Which we only just discovered this last weekend. I might have jumped up and down in place a bit.

☝︎ Living near Green Wood Cemetery has some deeeeeeeefinite Halloweeny perks. 

☝︎ Huck + I are kitchen MACHINES this fall. Breads, cookies, pretzels, smoothies, that poor kitchen is realizing the extent of its neglect, feeling the love for the first time since August. (Don't get used to it, sister!) Lately the itch has set in for a big pot of soup simmering on the stove. I tacked on a few extras to our usual Fresh Direct order the other day and now have four little yams smiling up at me every time I go in for a glass of water. They're terribly friendly. "Soon," I tell them. Soon. I'm gonna roast those suckers so hard.

☝︎"Fuhst it's my birfday, and deeeeen it's Halloween!" Huck likes to remind me. Halloween is THE preferred topic around our house these days. I've always loved Halloween. Jack o lanterns and caramel apples and bonfires and hayrides and spooky stories. While running errands aaaaaall over town last week, Huck happened to spot a pair of glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth in a shop window we walked past. It was LOVE. It was all he could talk about. I told him we could go back and find it at the end of the afternoon, and then we both forgot. That night when Huck realized, he was crushed. Sobbing On The Bed crushed. (Dude, aren't four-year-olds the most fantastic emotional creatures?) I felt pretty bad about it--how many times do I use the "maybe later" excuse and then never follow through? So the next afternoon while Huck was at school, I hopped on my bike and retraced our steps, searching practically the entire borough for those vampire teeth (where were we at the time??) (no they have to be glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth) before finally finding them. Two hours and 99 cents later, I stuffed one in my mouth and another in my pocket when it was time for pick up. Huck spotted me through all the parents and I waved slyly and gave him a slow little smile, and oh man. The look on his face when he saw my mouth full of fangs, that was IT. 

SIDE NOTE TO YOU, HALLOWEEN: Halloween you have gotten WAY too gory lately you are ON NOTICE. There are whole blocks we straight up avoid thanks to brownstone decorations that terrify Huck. Last night at the CVS Huck stood frozen in the doorway staring at this six-foot shrouded creature wearing graveyard rags with a scythe in one hand and flesh dripping from the other--he literally could not move--and three days ago in a thrift store Huck started sobbing because "scary man pictures" were staring at him. Thrift stores and the CVS! What does the element of terror add to these shopping experiences!? Each time I had Huck shut his eyes tight while I navigated him through the store until we had everything we needed. Will Brooklyn be paying his therapy bills. This is what I would like to know. Come on. Whatever happened to jolly Halloween decorations? Plastic spiders and sheet ghosts and pumpkins and shit? I'm just not thrilled with you, Halloween. SPOOKY. NOT HORRIFYING. Get it together. Preserve the original spirit of Halloween! Let's call Fox News! Huck is still wrapping his head around the idea of zombies. He's fascinated with them in that way that kids are fascinated with things that really frighten them. Of all the Halloween creatures, doesn't it seem like the zombie might be the most disturbing to explain? Frankenstein's monster is easy enough, and werewolves, none of that really seems plausible or likely. But dead people who want to eat my baby's brain? There's just no good way to go about that one. We're working on keeping the innocent spirit of Halloween alive. It's an uphill battle. 

(I've felt this way for a while, but after the nanny stabbings in my hood a few years ago . . .  that pretty much did it.*** Halloween and I have a lot of making up to do. You could start with flowers.)

***By which I mean: the gorification of Halloween had always bothered me vaguely, but it wasn't until that horrible event that I saw with startling clarity just how callous and inappropriate all these blood-and-gore decorations are. These are actual, horrible things that happen and devastate families, not something fun that could be made light of with plastic body parts on lawns and horror slasher movies. It's just completely sick. The event didn't ruin Halloween for me. Halloween ruined Halloween for me. So sorry my wording wasn't clear.***

(It reminds me of the millions of haunted mazes and halloween houses that popped up in Utah during the season when I was at BYU. They were straight up hellish, I've never seen anything so bizarre as Utah at Halloween, and thank you I never need to pay money be chased by a guy with a chainsaw.) AAAAAAAANYWAY.

☝︎ Huck's birthday! We had a little party over the weekend and it was a huge success. All his friends from school were there, there was a piñata, more on this later. :)

☝︎ Three days a week I take off my Mom hat for a few hours to focus on my Writer hat. On Huck's days at school I've been packing up my laptop and taking my show on the road, trying out new wifi cafés and coffee shops, taking calls and meeting with other creatives and brainstorming fun new projects. It's been silly fun. What a weird world that this funny little hobby has turned into such a fun slice of my life. It feels like playing, and ironically, having dedicated time for this has helped me take things far less seriously.

I love that Brooklyn to Downtown is such an easy subway ride. I've been spending as much time down there as I can, it's such a neat vibe. The other day I finally made it to The Butcher's Daughter.

Just me, myself, a book, and avocado toast. Anytime there's avocado toast involved, forget it. I'm in love with avocado toast and I don't care who knows it! 

In between book work and blog work and life work, I've been trying to read more. Mostly this happens between 11PM and 1AM in the bathtub, but sometimes if I'm a good girl and answer all my emails I'll take a book break in the afternoons. I recently ordered a stack of inexpensive paperbacks of all the spookiest classics I could think of -- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, a book of Edgar Allan Poe, some Dracula + Wuthering Heights. I've been tearing through them at night in the bath or on sunny afternoons when Huck is running around at the playground or when I'm trapped under the East River on a slow-moving R. (I've also been reading Yes, Please, which is pretty much perfect, and Not That Kind of Girl, which we're discussing at book club this month (I'm hosting!) which is less perfect. I really can't WAIT to discuss it with someone. Thoughts! So many thoughts!) My next assignment will be to actually read all the books we "read" in high school, because, you know. I've already got a few under my belt. The Stranger is way better when you're not 16. Lolita--still not my favorite. Oh well. 

Brandon sometimes says, "You're a writer! Consider walking around looking for inspiration your job, and do it on purpose!" So that is what I've been doing! I try to take myself out once a week on an Introvert Wander (I call it), wondering what I should do as my next non-blog writing project (more essays? fiction?), and going into dangerous places, like this place, where I have to talk myself out of antique stuffed bears, because nobody needs an antique stuffed bear. ;)

SoHo is as good a place as any for some real productive daydreaming. :)




  1. awww I love that you went back looking for the glow in the dark teeth!
    I'm sure it was the best moment for Huck to see you there. So sweet.

    Nicole @ I am a Honey Bee

  2. I'm with you on the avocado toast! And for those pretty leaf pictures... thank you from all of us who are here in LA. :)

    Always, Anita

  3. Seriously, though. Utah is weird about Halloween. There is a horrible display off of I-15 once you get into SLC, involving an old warehouse and a hanging dead man. Give us back our goofy skeletons and warty witches already! Anyway, Huck is adorable. But you already knew that. :)

  4. Oh, the scariness in stores! When I was little (2.5 decades ago), during the Halloween season, the local V&S variety store (think the best CVS meets Michael's meets a toy store) would have all of their Halloween paraphernalia in one huge, wonderful aisle. The only problem was that one of the masks for sale every year was terrifying. It also always hung right next to the Alf mask, which also scared me. Anyway, my mom would let me punch the horrible mask one time per visit. That seemed to give me the confidence I needed to walk past it without later having nightmares. I don't know. Halloween, man. Halloween.

  5. Would you ever consider doing a book review series?!? And also UGH YES UTAH what is with you and Halloween. Stop that nonsense.

  6. Where are your saddle shoes from?!

  7. Your photos always make me happy :) And they always inspire me to try harder with my limited photography skills...

    I agree, Halloween is becoming way too scary. I know it's always been a pretty scary holiday and that's kind of the point of it but the decorations are getting worse and worse and there are houses that I want to shield my baby's eyes from even though he's only 4 months old and doesn't know what they are. We aren't huge celebrators of Halloween but the things that are so scary that little kids can't even walk in buildings makes me not want to do anything for it at all!

    Huck's birthday cake is epic!!

  8. If you like avocado toast, you should try Milk Bar in Prospect Heights (not to be confused with Momofuku Milk Bar...).

    There aren't the French models to eavesdrop on like at Butcher's Daughter, but most of the waiters are Australian dudes so, you know, tradeoffs.

  9. I'm a bit more than halfway through Not That Kind of Girl. I'm purposefully taking my time with it, to make it last. The other day I was trying to teach my three year old to eat his pumpkin cake slowly rather than gobbling it up. That's what I'm doing with Lena's book. Little nibbles. You said it's less than perfect. Sure, I believe it's not perfect, but you like it, right?! I feel like I'm really getting to know Lena through her book. All the dirty little secrets! Man! I'd love to be a part of your book club. If you ever do some sort of book club on here, I'm in! I'm buying Yes, Please next.
    xo Janice

  10. I'm so intrigued by you saying that you think "Not that Kind of Girl" is less than perfect. I adored this book, and it seems like something that you would really jive (jive?) with. Not all the content, of course, because her life has been unique, to say the least, but the overall messages. That said, I haven't read "Yes, Please" yet, so maybe that book is more perfect.

    One passage from "Not That Kind of Girl" that I love:
    "But I also consider being female such a unique gift, such a sacred joy, in ways that run so deep I can't articulate them. It's a special kind of privilege to be born into the body you wanted, to embrace the essence of your gender even as you recognize what you are up against. Even as you seek to redefine it.
    I know that when I'm dying, looking back, it will be women that I regret having argued with, women I sought to impress, to understand, was tortured by. Women I wish to see again, to see them smile and laugh and say, It was all as it should have been."

  11. happy halloween,totally love fall in nyc..i'm totally sucks in reading.i bought lot of paperbacks during sales but none of them being read.any tips to finish at least one novel?shame on me..

    xo josephine c.

  12. I love that you picked him up wearing the glow in the dark fangs! I can just see his glee. Also I love his spider birthday cake. Can't wait to see the birthday photos!

  13. I have heard so many good things about the butcher's daughter and can't wait to try it! and I couldn't agree with you more about gory halloween. it has me simplifying our halloween traditions every year because things get so out of hand.

    also, I think you could totally work with an antique stuffed bear. just saying ;)

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  14. With you on Park Slope Halloween decor. Both the girls are terrified on our walks and I have to find the least scary routes to keep the peace!

  15. I love the glow in the dark vampire teeth! You both are too cute :) -Hanna Lei

  16. I fully appreciate the dose of fall color you just gave! I miss NE so much this time of year!

  17. Ok, so I never, ever, ever comment. On anything. However, when it comes to books I seem to bubble over with unsolicited comments. It's really quite a problem I have. Anyway, before you give up on Lolita for good, listen to the audio version read by Jeremy Irons. He seemed to bring a whole depth to the book that had me hooked.
    Ok, unsolicited commenting over now. :)

  18. Love this post....I thought Huck's birthday cake was just brilliant!

    Just wanted to say that I have started following your Instagram & am amazed by the comments you get on there & by how well you appear to deal with them....well done you! X

  19. awe you're such a nice mom to go back and get the teeth lol

  20. I visited New York for the first time last week and I can't stop daydreaming about it. So thanks for all the pictures, and back to life in suburbia for me. :)

  21. Wow!!! Your post is so inspiring. It makes me feel the autumn spirit in every photo and your writing ^^ The autumn is different in my country, so I love reading your experience very much ^^

  22. Ooh, keen to know your specific thoughts on Not That Kind of Girl. I too had mixed feelings about it and I'm not sure why because I totally love Lena and everything she says/does but for some reason I had a hard time with loving this book. Can I join your book club by Skype? #joking #butnotreallyjokingiactuallywishIcoulddothat

  23. Seriously with the Halloween gore. It's the strangest thing. A bunch of moral smiley people hanging up dead bloody body parts in their trees? For real. No.


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