No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. I haven’t even been spending all my free time on Facebook. (Just some of it.) This is not to say that I’ve been lacking in free time, or even to claim that I’ve spent my free time in a mostly responsible fashion. This is just to say that I haven’t felt much like blogging this month. No particular reason. Just haven’t. I’ve been reading a lot. Writing a little. Clogging some on the side. Neglecting my friends and family. The usual, only more of it.

You ever notice how blogs go out with a whimper? That’s totally what’s going to happen to this one. One day I’ll realize that it’s been seventeen weeks since I posted something, and then I’ll be like, “Oh, I guess the blog is dead, huh?” and I’ll be ashamed and have regrets, but I won’t go back. Because here’s another thing I’ve noticed: When blogs die, they don’t come back. They just stay dead. I mean, sometimes the blogger in question will shock everyone with their first post in three years and say something like, “Sorry I’ve been away so long, don’t have time to get into what I’ve been up to, but I’d really like to start blogging again, I hope some of my old readers are still here,” but it doesn’t mean anything. They never post again. Sometimes a corpse will move after it’s dead, but it doesn’t mean it’s alive. It’s just kind of scary.

I hope I haven’t scared any of you, incidentally.

No, this blog isn’t dead yet. At least it isn’t completely dead. It’s only mostly dead, and as Billy Crystal taught us in The Princess Bride, there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all-the-way dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. Which means that this will not be my last post ever. Fear not, gentle readers. (Is it kind of rude to say “Fear not” on Halloween? It doesn’t seem to be in keeping with the spirit of the season. Ha ha, I said “spirit.”)

You know what the writing in this post is reminding me of? When you’ve been sitting down for a long time and you get up to start walking again and find that your leg has fallen asleep. Let’s hope things get better as we go on.

Speaking of slightly alive and/or re-animation, I have a Halloween-related anecdote for you. My clogging group had worked up this zombie clogging number, perfect for Halloween entertainment. All we needed was a Halloween gig. Well, one of the gals in the group was throwing a Halloween party and said we should perform there, and since no other Halloween gigs were forthcoming, that was the plan we adopted. We worked very hard to get the number up to performing-in-front-of-other-people level. Even I worked hard. (Incidentally, I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be able to tell people, “I’m dancing at a private party this weekend, and I’m having trouble coming up with the right costume.”)

Anyway. I was very excited to do this number because it really is incredibly fun, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t pay cash money to see clogging zombies? (Not that we were charging anybody, but it’s just the principle–who wouldn’t pay, if they had to? Okay, maybe you wouldn’t, but maybe you don’t understand Art.) It was rather challenging, though, to learn all the steps and the formations and everything in time, and it was hard to predict how it would turn out in the end. As I told some friends, I was pretty sure this performance would either be AWESOME or a complete disaster, but either way, it was sure to be comedy gold. (Because–well, really, do I have to say it again? Okay, I will, just because I like to: Clogging Zombies. ZOMBIES. CLOGGING.)

Well, the party was last Saturday. I went as a zombie pirate. I had some difficulty getting the desired effect with the fake blood. Fake blood is not quite as easy to work with as you might think. I’m not sure what I was thinking, actually. But it proved more challenging than I had anticipated. Over the course of working on my I-just-ate-someone’s-liver-possibly-some-intestines look, I discovered that fake blood is also not as temporary as you might think, i.e. it doesn’t just wash off with soap and water. Well. That’s a thing. It’s Saturday night and I have to go to church tomorrow and I’ve got fake blood staining the whole lower part of my face and throat, not to mention my hands, but okay, there are more pressing issues to attend to just now. Issues like actually getting to the party and remembering where my feet are supposed to go when they’re supposed to go there.

I could possibly twist the tale of my drive out  to  the party, which was being held in the middle of nowhere (at a commercial venue, not someone’s house), into something entertaining, but I really don’t have any desire to relive the tedium of that part of the evening. Suffice it to say it was a 25-minute trip that lasted about 55 minutes, most of which was spent driving back and forth within half a mile of the venue’s alleged location. It gets really dark out in the middle of nowhere.  At night, anyway. Which this was. Fortunately, I arrived in plenty of time. I thought that would be the hardest thing I’d have to do all night. Dancing would be a cinch compared to that fiasco.

Gentle readers, how very mistaken I was. Remember what I said about the number being either  AWESOME or a disaster? It was a disaster. A complete disaster. It’s hard to imagine how it could have been worse. If I’d slipped and fallen, I would at least have had an excuse for dancing so poorly. If I’d slipped and fallen and broken my leg, that would have been a bigger tragedy for me personally, but that at least would have distracted from the tragedy that befell our zombie clogging routine. The good news—well, the good news for me personally—was that I was not the only zombie to forget her steps. Even the gal who choreographed the thing forgot the steps at one point. It occurs to me, in retrospect, that the venue itself may have been cursed. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just grasping for something to console me. In any case, it was a disaster. For my part, I would say a near-total disaster. Like, if it had been an act of God, they would have called out FEMA and waived my Stafford requirement. Maybe it was an act of God. Maybe God doesn’t approve of such unnatural things as zombies clogging. Is that a God I want to believe in? Not really, but it’s hard to come up with an alternate explanation at this point.

Needless to say, I was disappointed. Sorely disappointed. Like “I accidentally went trick or treating in a neighborhood full of dentists” disappointed. I couldn’t sleep that night, what with all the disappointment and regret weighing on my mind. I danced that zombie clogging dance a thousand times perfectly in my head while I lay in bed and wished, for the first time in my life, that Halloween came more than once a year.

Because now we’ll have to wait another year before we dance it again, probably. I don’t know. I like to think zombie clogging is something the folks can enjoy in any season, but given that our Christmas gigs are usually at retirement homes, maybe that wouldn’t be so appropriate. Oh, well. There’s always the Rose Festival.

The worst part is that I seriously misjudged the potential for humor, regardless of how the performance turned out. Disaster was not comedy gold. It was not even comedy silver. At best it was comedy bronze—like, you’d have to be mean to find it funny. As I said: Disappointing.

The good news was that on Sunday I was able to cover the evidence of my fake-blood orgy with conventional makeup. So that was a triumph. (I mean, my fingers were still fake-blood stained, but I don’t think anyone noticed. If they did, well, whatever. MY HEART WAS ALREADY BROKEN.)

So tonight is the real Halloween, and it’s pouring rain and doesn’t promise to let up even for an hour between now and tomorrow. Now I am going to slide back into my familiar Halloween-hate mode. I really, really don’t like trick-or-treating in anything but optimal weather conditions, but soggy trick-or-treating is, in my opinion, the worst. I don’t like getting wet. It’s funny that I should love living in Oregon so much, given how little I enjoy getting wet, but that’s another story. Que sera sera. Or c’est la vie. What was I talking about? Which foreign phrase do I need? I guess I was expressing a c’est la vie sentiment, but reaching for a que sera sera attitude.

I don’t think I’m going to bother dressing up tonight, given that I will just get soggy anyway. That reminds me, I need to find my sneakers that I always forget to wear when I’m going to be walking in mud. But back on the subject, the good news is that my kids are all going to look great (right up until they get rained on). Princess Zurg is going to be Evil Red Riding Hood. Mister Bubby is going to be Sgt. Joe Friday. (He opted not to be Bill Gannon, since it doesn’t really work without Friday.) Elvis is going to be a wizard. Girlfriend is going to be a pirate. She put on her costume last night and ran around the house saying, “ARRR, YE SCURVY DOGS!”

That reminds me, the only joke I can ever remember is about a pirate, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to tell in connection with one’s six-year-old daughter. So maybe another time.

Well, that’s enough for now. I have errands to run and lunch to eat. Mainly lunch to eat, and if I have time, then errands. Gentle readers who haven’t given me up for dead, adieu.