Día de los Muertos

day-dead-sugar-skullIn Tucson and other parts of the Southwest where Mexican culture is strong, people celebrate Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Despite being just two days apart, Halloween and Day of the Dead are not alike: one’s about warding off spirits; the other’s about inviting them into your home. More or less.

Also, Halloween’s not a holiday (try telling that to kids), while Day of the Dead is. In Mexico, but sorta here too.

Last night Donna and Polly told me Halloween’s a holiday in Nevada. I thought that was interesting, so this morning I looked it up. Sadly, no. The holiday is Nevada Day, commemorating the state’s October 31st 1864 admission to the Union but celebrated on the fourth Friday in October, which now and then falls on October 31st but mostly doesn’t.

Strange Coincidences Dept: on Halloween, my birthday, our son Gregory always calls (along with our grandson Quentin, granddaughter Taylor, and niece Rebecca). I was sitting at my desk that morning when the landline rang. I put it on speaker so Donna could listen in, and a strange voice said “It’s your son.” I knew it wasn’t, of course, and hung up right away. It was the scam where someone claiming to be family calls to say they’re in New York City where they’ve been robbed and need some emergency money. What put it beyond coincidence and into uncanny valley territory is that the call came just as I was expecting a call from my actual son.

So am I supposed to be observing Movember or No Nut November? I can never keep those two straight. Probably safest to do both. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Here’s a poignant scene for you:


Ain’t that sweet? That’s Donna holding my hand in the waiting room at Tucson Medical Center yesterday, just before they shocked my heart back into its regular rhythm. Paddles. Electricity. Too bad they couldn’t have worked me in on Halloween! Now for a couple of itchy weeks as the hair on my chest grows back.

I posted the photo to Facebook, where a sharp-eyed friend noticed the old Casio beater on my wrist. Knowing I’d have to take it off for the procedure, along with my wedding ring and most of my clothing, I left the birthday watch at home. Speaking of which, my collection of Seiko automatics has grown from four to five:


The birthday watch is the one in the middle. Tricky to photograph, this one, with the little cyclops magnifier over the date window. If you don’t get the angles right, it looks like a drop of water has fallen on the crystal.

Donna, despite me asking her not to buy me anything since I was treating myself to an expensive watch, gave me a body pillow. The dogs aren’t sure about it, but then we’ve only slept with it once. She says she’s making a flannel cover for it. Once she does they’ll figure out how to crawl inside and then I’ll have a bumpy body pillow that pushes back.

You don’t allow dogs on the bed? The hell you say! What are you, some kind of monster?

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