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On Canadian Man Wins Canadian Prize

I encourage you to download some of Clara Rockmore's theremin work, because it is absolutely thrilling. Her recorded material is entirely interpretations of classical pieces scored for two parts, where she plays the lead while her sister accompanies her on piano. Because of the theremin's unique qualities, this means that she plays pieces where the lead is a stringed instrument or a woodwind or even a solo voice. It's both very alien and very moving.

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm 0

On Ghosts Of My Youth

@happymisanthrope : The face and the mustache! Because, of course -- you got a good mustache, you want to hold onto that, even when you become a human-faced ghost bulldog.

Thanks for the book recommendation -- I'll go look that up right now!

Posted on October 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm 0

On Ghosts Of My Youth

DAMN I love good ghost stories. Keep 'em coming!

Also, your dad's story about the cat is very "classical ghost story," if you get me. It's like something you'd read in one of those ghost-stories-of-the-old-west books, or maybe the Brothers Grimm ("only this time, (the cat) seemed a lot larger than it had a few minutes ago"). Awesome.

Posted on October 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm 1

On The Witch In All Of Us

@BethJ, @Jaya : All comments sections are improved by authors' moms. It's a fact.

@Jazmine Hughes : YES IMMEDIATELY.

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm 2

On 13 SpoOOoky Witchcraft And Magic Museums To Visit

@Jolie Kerr : NECROPANTS -- now with infinite-money-generating scrotum! (Warning : once worn, necropants may not be removed without risking forfeiture of your immortal soul; poor widow's coin not included)

Alternate take : Necropants! / Say it loud and there's music playing / Say it soft and its almost like the skin from a dead guy's legs and crotch adhered to your own / Necropants! / I'll never stop saying ... Necropants! / etc. etc.

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm 0

On 13 SpoOOoky Witchcraft And Magic Museums To Visit

Just popping in to mention that #4 there has on display a replica pair of "necropants," which, well, I'll just let them explain :

... you must ... flay the skin of the corpse in one piece from the waist down. As soon as you step into the pants they will stick to your own skin. A coin must be stolen from a poor widow and placed in the scrotum along with the magical sign, nábrókarstafur, written on a piece of paper. Consequently the coin will draw money into the scrotum so it will never be empty, as long as the original coin is not removed.

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm 0

On The Hairpin Halloween Advent Calendar: Halloween Rituals

@tofuswalkman : Because I am a Terrible Person and feel that scaring trick-or-treaters is not as popular as it should be, I approve of this wholeheartedly.

For a while there, I was moving from place to place every other year. My Halloween ritual was, every time I moved into a new place, I would dress as a scarecrow that Halloween. When Halloween night rolled around, I would put on my scarecrow costume and full-head-covering scarecrow mask and sit in a chair outside my front door with just the porch light on and a bucket of candy by my feet.

Protip : stay nice and still, and always let the first, bravest kid in the group get his or her candy without incident, because then the other kids think they are home free.

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm 0

On Real Perfumes For Fictional People

@NellyBly, @Lucienne : In either case, I believe describing the perfumes as "notional" rather than "fictional" would be the mot juste.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 10:28 am 1

On Ask a Fancy Person: Entry-Level Expensive, Unwanted Guests and the Gratefulness Feedback Loop

@bureaucrab : Holy God, that was elegant as -hell-. I'd compare that to some incredible double-fake basketball move if I watched basketball. I mean, after receiving that, I can imagine the recipient apologizing to -you- and sending you a cash-filled birthday card even if it's not your birthday.

Can you just follow me around and apologize for everything I do? I will split my earnings with you.

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 3:38 pm 1

On Ask a Fancy Person: Entry-Level Expensive, Unwanted Guests and the Gratefulness Feedback Loop

The last recommendation I’ll make for today ... (is) finding a good tailor and cobbler in your town.

I am totally 100% in agreement with this, and would like to amplify an excellent piece of advice :

Tailors : The person who does hems and cuffs at your dry cleaners is probably not the tailor you want. Look for someone with a standalone shop. Better yet, drop by your local Nordstrom or other higher-price-point clothing store and ask for a recommendation.

Cobblers : Look for the guy with the shop full of old scraps and pieces of leather; old-looking machinery in the back room is a plus, as the old machines last forever and do a better job (and a good cobbler knows this).

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm 0