Candy-wise, I picked a several-pound bag of individually-wrapped chocolate things and we emptied them into a bowl. Nina made a very nice hand-painted sign for our apartment door advertising our inventory, but I was skeptical -- there are maybe two kids of trick-or-treating age in our building, and, come 8 o'clock no one had rung our bell. I insisted that we take our bowl, running over with Whoppers, to street level. We sat in the evening drizzle for a while. A few costumed adults passed by and sampled the goods, some of them on their way into our building to attend a Halloween party. Eventually Martin, our upstairs neighbor, and apparently the guy throwing one of the parties, came down to the stoop. He was dressed as a chef. "Come upstairs to my party," he said. "Bring the candy."
Up on the fifth floor, there was dancing, booze, a Yankees game, and some bored kids happy to eat our candy. Martin's sister, dressed up (I think) as a fairy, kept doing the robot. She'd come up to you and sort of slump over. "She wants you to wind her up," explained Martin. "Don't do it! She's been doing this all night!" Martin's niece came as a referee. She was wearing a whistle that she'd blow whenever people started dancing too close or, you know, intimately. Long after we'd retreated downstairs -- Nina to write a paper; me to, uh, watch TV while she wrote a paper -- we heard intermittent whistle-blasts that let us know that people were still grinding above.
Our new apartment is great, but for a while after we moved in, the oven wasn't working -- we'd turn the knob, the pilot'd be on, but the gas wouldn't flow and the main oven burner wouldn't light. Kat eventually got Sears to come out and repair it, though, at not-insignificant cost, and now it is fine. I started baking things immediately to make up for lost time.
- First, I baked my sister the lemon bars she'd asked for for her birthday. Those things are insane on the butter and sugar front! I overnighted them to her in Saratoga Springs.
- Then I baked a pumpkin pie, hoping to use some piece of the pumpkin we'd carved, though I had to fall back to the canned stuff after finding out how much work you have to do to prepare the raw pumpkin
- So instead I roasted the seeds after marinating them in chili sauce as per this recipe
- ...and then mixed them into brittle as per this one. Highly recommended.
The Yankees won the world series! I sort of paid attention to the lineups and who was getting injured et cetera. I watched a bunch of the games at Emma's house, snuggled up with Pearl, who is ever-eager to shake hands. She (Emma) proclaimed that I know "fifteen percent" of baseball. Highly unlikely, I think, but I appreciate the vote of confidence.
On Monday I had drinks with Scott Moran, the release engineer from Rebel Monkey. We talked about his losing campaign for Camden County clerk versus Kelly Ripa's dad. Partisan hack that I am, I can't give Scott the undecidable.net endorsement for public office, but he's a very good release engineer.
On Friday night Nina and I went out to Williamsburg to see Art Brut at Brooklyn Bowl. I'd never been to the 'Bowl before, and thus hadn't realized that it's literally right around the corner from Brooklyn Brewery. So, while the bowling lanes were a neat touch (wait, scratch that, they were kind of distracting) the place gets a gold star from me for having pretty much every variety of Brooklyn on tap. ...Including my particular favorite, the Pennant Ale '55, which is more or less impossible to find outside of a few pretty fancy beer stores in Manhattan and Park Slope.
Surfer Blood was opening, which was sweet because I'd wanted to see them anyway. They've got raw, novel hooks; moody and good enough that I can't quite imagine their sound coming out of a practice space in South Florida. They kind of remind me of Kittens Ablaze, but more tightly controlled -- to the extent that their lead singer needs could probably loosen up a bit. He's this kind of delicate-looking Michael Cera type, and his guitar playing is proficient but tentative, like he has to concentrate so hard on the fingerings that he can't rock out. The other guys in the band didn't seem to have any problem hoppin' around. At the end of their set, the band all made out with each other, sloppily -- for which, you know, I woooo!ed at them, because it tipped the scales a hair, from twee to punk. Although maybe it just spoke to the fact that those dudes are still real young.
Art Brut were great, despite Eddie Argos' repeated apologies for being hung over. He certainly seemed to be in top form, at least as far as being a punk rock eyebrow Frankenstein is concerned. Surfer Blood got a shout-out in "Formed A Band": Eddie announced (using his distinctive referent synecdoche) that Art Brut were adopting them. They played everything I was secretly hoping to hear, including, as a first encore, "Alcoholics Unanimous" (during which Eddie ran and hid his head behind an amp instead of doing his traditional shot). "Took me ages and ages to get dressed this morning," he spoke-sang, shooting a mea culpa look in the drummer's direction. Jasper Future was also characteristically high-energy, leaping around on the stage and doing the sort of flamboyant performer-to-audience pantomime ("What's that? You want us to play our hit single?") that I find impossible to resist. What's up with the other guitarist and the bass player, though? They keep it pretty "Todd Barry" as far as I can tell. Nonetheless, I'm getting pretty attached to that band, not least of all because Eddie Argos' admonitions to call up a friend on a hung-over Saturday and form a band actually make me feel like doing it.
After the show, we dropped by Teddy's for wings, deep-fried portobello mushroom, and whiskey. Gross? No. It was delicious. Have I mentioned in my online journal, babies, that I harbor secret yearnings to live in that neighborhood? Contemptible, I know, but I feel a pang whenever I walk down a street of those shabby, wooden row houses.