Ah, Halloween. The innocent joy you see when you open the front door to see 3-foot-tall ghosts or Harry Potter’s peeking up at you with widened eyes and then a shy, hopeful plea for candy. Those days are over for me, but it’s always fun to see how I might have looked when I was young, prancing around my own neighborhood. Now I’m trying to remember some of my own costumes. I do remember I was Darth Vader once. I was also Elvis once, and I remember that I could feel the vaseline in my hair for days afterwards. Why can’t I remember any other costumes, though? Strange. Of course, times have changed dramatically since then – most of the kids we saw were wearing more politically charged costumes like these. Kids today, so smart, so caught up on world events.

OK, so the truth is we didn’t get home in time last night to have any trick-or-treaters. We were at a Jewish wedding. I’ve been to quite a few weddings over the last few years, but I must say this is the first Jewish ceremony I’ve been to since 1994. I had forgotten just how celebratory these are! Sure, much of it is like any other wedding, but there are some differences – the whole “put the person in a chair and lift them up” thing, for example. If I were the lifted, of course, I’d be postiviely terrfied, but there’s nothing better than being the observer to someone else in that chair. They didn’t stop at the married couple, either. Brothers, sisters, parents – they all went up while the band belted out that traditional Jewish celebratory song of which I have no solitary clue what the title is. Nonetheles, a good time. As a bonus, I did manage to find a copy of the Red Sox World Series Commemorative Sports Illustrated Issue at the gift shop of the hotel. Apparantly those have been a little difficult to find around these parts. Go figure.

Word has it that the R.E.M. show here in Boston only drew 7,000 to the FleetCenter on Friday night. This blows my mind a bit. For one, this is R.E.M.! Have they really fallen this far down that they can only put half an arena together for their shows? Admittedly, the show was barely publicized here and there was a lot of other things going on – Red Sox, Head of the Charles, Jewish weddings, etc. But 7,000? I’ve been really digging their new album lately. It’s right along the lines of “Automatic for the People.” Probably not as a good, but still better than anything they’ve done in the last few years. 7,000? Kinda makes me feel old. Used to be R.E.M. could pack an arena in their sleep.

The Ashlee Simpson thing is, of course, delightful. I knew it wouldn’t be long, too, before the online backlash/satire started. Nothing tickles me more than to see a horrednous and borderline fake, packaged artist expose themself for the fraud they are in a live setting. What equally sad and frustrating though is that it won’t change a thing for her. For one, she’s set for life. Two, the people who like her and buy her records don’t really care. They just want the bubblegum. Brings to mind the old adage, “nobody cares about the labor, they just want to see the baby.”

Finally, check out this great message board about potential band names. Some are not for the faint of heart, but most are hilarious. Tip of the hat to Jilly for that one.

Song now playing: Anders Parker – “Innocents” (best album of 2004 so far)