It’s Hallowe’en, aka All Hallows’ Evening, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day, which begins the three days of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers (I swiped this info from Wikipedia). Honestly, I have no idea how the Mike Huckabees and Pat Robertsons of the Christian right manage to misconstrue Hallowe’en as a satanic observance, but those folks hate it when we have fun, so screw ’em.
In different parts of the USA, Hallowe’en is called Gate Night, Trick Night, Mischief Night, Cabbage Night, Goosy Night, Devil’s Night, and Devil’s Eve. I grew up calling it Hallowe’en, thank goodness—what is with some of those hick-ass names?
Hallowe’en happens to be my birthday (which I share with Vanilla Ice, Dan Rather, Christopher Columbus, Dale Evans, the astronaut Michael Collins, and my dear friend Theresa Winnie). When I was little my mother always made the most of Hallowe’en, not just my birthday celebration but also the trick-or-treating, setting up spooky tableaus at the front door to frighten the neighborhood kids. Donna and I carry on the tradition, even though we live in a neighborhood with few children. We’ll do our best to give them a ghoulish experience tonight.
Hallowe’en really should be a national holiday, don’t you think? Here’s a handy link that’ll help you connect with your congressperson. Write today!
So now I’m 69, one year shy of 70. I suppose I should try to say something profound about that, but Beavis & Butthead win out every time. Sixty-nine! Heh, heh!
We rarely go to parties, but we went to one last night. I was an identity thief, and Donna was a jack-o’-lantern. She was going to go as Tippi Hedren, but can you find a dozen stuffed crows when you need ’em? I really liked the Spy vrs. Spy couple, by the way … we never did find out who they were!
At the party I talked to two fellow military retirees. All three of us had gotten letters from the Office of Personnel Management that morning, telling us our records had been hacked. These weren’t just any records, either. Someone now has all the information in our security clearance background check files. If you’ve ever filled out paperwork for a top secret clearance, you know that’s a lot of information, dating all the way back to your birth: where you’ve lived, all the schools you attended, your full employment history, who your friends are, the works. Nice to know that’s out there.
The amusing thing was OPM’s try at making everything better. They sent each of us a link to myIDcare, a private identity protection service (which also seems to be a credit score service on the side), and asked us to register on-line. I looked at the site today. You guessed it, they want all my information again, including my SSAN. Thanks. How long before this database is hacked, too?
How appropriate that I went to the party dressed as an identity thief, huh? It was totally a coincidence, though … Donna came up with the idea two days ago, a day before the OPM letter arrived.
So what’s on for my birthday? I already have my gifts (for this birthday and however many I have remaining, says Donna), and I’ve already been to a party. I think a normal Saturday is in order. The weekly outdoor chores, restocking the bird feeders, a little bloggage, answering birthday greetings on Facebook. Later today I’ll marinate some steaks and fire up the grill. Tonight we’ll pass out a little candy. I’m going to have a great day, and I hope you have one too.