vampirediaries.jpg“No,” I said to my husband, “you don’t get it. You can be born a vampire, or you can be made a vampire. Like being in the mob.”

“So how did Damon and Stefan get to be vampires – were they born that way?” he inquired gamely, steering the car through college town traffic on a bright, October Saturday.

“Well, in the book and the show, you know, they’re different in a lot of ways, but in the book and the show they only talk about ‘made’ vampires. In the book they became vampires because of Katherine. If a vampire drinks your blood and nothing else happens, you just die – like that girl Vicky – but if they drink your blood and then you drink some of theirs, you become a vampire, and live forever. You have to go through a lot of changes, but eventually you’re a vampire.”

“They must be great in bed after a few hundred years as guys in their twenties,” he mused.

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pumpkinpudding.jpgAre you ready for Halloween? Do you have your costume? Do you have enough candy to hand out to the little goblins in your neighborhood? Do you have whiskey? No, not for kids, for you.

Here's how it works: Make yourself a batch of David Lebovitz's boozy butterscotch pudding, and chill it in the fridge all day. Then after you've finished handing out all of your Halloween candy, put the kids to bed, turn off the lights and treat yourself.

Just be sure to serve it tricked-out with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a few candy corn. That is, if you haven't already gobbled up all the candy corn in your house. If you have, then switch to salty, roasted pecans.

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moms.jpgIt was Halloween 1976 and the movie showing in town that week was "Carrie." Back then it didn't really matter what was playing because my Mother and her best friend, Mrs. Mary Lynde had made a pact, which is still standing to this day and I think it went like this, "We will go out every Saturday night with our husbands, first meeting at one of our houses to have two Jack Daniels and diet Sprite and then to a restaurant without any of our children." It's only been in the past few years that I have been invited out with them on an occasional Saturday night. 

Mother and Mrs. Mary Lynde had seven children between the two of them when they were in their 20's, which I can't imagine. Many people thought we were all one family or at least cousins because we were always together.  I can only imagine how much they must have looked forward to Saturday nights.

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dragqueen.jpgI live in West Hollywood, where Halloween is like a national holiday – arrangements for street closures have been made well in advance and people from all over will come watch the flagrant and the flamboyant, the political and the theatrical,  the absurd and the sublime march along Santa Monica Boulevard, from La Cienega to Doheny. Candy is not an integral part of this spectacle and frankly that's the only thing that rankles me about it.

One year, the Wicked Witch of the West wheeled along the Boulevard with an enormous crystal ball that housed terrorized miniatures – Dorothy, Toto, and the other Oz pilgrims were all cowering on the yellow brick road within her bubble. Another year, there were several Menendez brothers, wearing blood covered v-neck sweaters and conservative haircuts. Then another year, there were groups of huddled Titanic musicians playing desperately as their ship was sinking (or, I should say, as the parade was passing them by).

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