Hamburger With The Vampire

vampiresToday is my favorite Vampire’s birthday, Modern Philosophers!

I had the privilege of spending time with Ana, the beautiful, witty, sarcastic, sassy, bookworm of a Vampire on her special day.

I offered to take her anywhere she wanted as Maine is packed with exciting places to visit this close to Halloween.  To my great surprise, she asked to go to a popular restaurant chain for a big, greasy bacon cheeseburger.

Clearly, female Vampires are just as mind boggling to men as female humans are…

“I’m sure this is something you can relate to, Austin, as a city boy hiding out in Maine,” Ana explained after she took a giant sip of her Bloody Mary.  “Being a Vampire in Maine during the Halloween Season leads to a case of Otherworldly Being overload.  Sometimes, I just need to get away from it all, like you did when you fled the big city.”

And so, the gorgeous Birthday Girl and I hid out in a booth at the Ruby Tuesday’s not far from The House on the Hill.  While the place was filled with Halloween revelers, none of them had any idea how close they were to an actual Vampire.

“You’re dying to ask me how old I am,” Ana told me as we studied our menus.  “Care to make a guess?  I promise not to drain you if your guess is way off.”

glassesShe smiled and pushed her huge eyeglasses back up the bridge of her nose.  Ana looked like any other attractive young woman out for lunch with a dorky guy who had to be a pity date.

One didn’t look at the woman sitting across from me and think “She could end me with one snap of her jaw”.  Instead, they most likely wondered what they would have to do to switch places with me.

“The Nuns raised me to never ask a woman her age,” I answered with a smile as I sipped my Snapple.

“Nuns are far more frightening than Vampires,” she informed me as a charming smile spread across her face.  “They’re immortal, too.  Bet you didn’t know that.  The main differences are that they age, not well at all if you ask me, and they suck the life and confidence out of you, instead of your blood.”

I had a good laugh at that one.  My fear of Nuns is well known, while my comfort level with Vampires was at an all time high.

Ana ordered her bacon cheeseburger.  “Very rare,” she pressed upon our waitress three times before the poor college kid left the table.  “If it’s cooked too much I will send it back.  I’ve got all the time in the world, so I’m happy to sit here until the chef gets it right.”

BaconcheeseburgerMy lunch date was extremely amused with herself after the poor server scurried off to place our orders.  “Don’t give me that look, Toga Boy,” she warned.  “It’s my birthday, so I can do anything I want.  I might not have to hunt humans for food anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss scaring the crap out of them every once in a while.”

Ana flashed her fangs.  I felt my heart jump in my chest and attempt to find someplace to hide behind the other organs.

“So how old do you tell people that you are?” I asked in hopes of snapping her out of her little Vlad the Impaler mood.

“I go with 29,” Ana replied as she twirled her long hair.  “I was 28 when I was turned, so since I never got to make it to 29 as a human, I celebrate that birthday every year.  Truth be told, I don’t feel a day over 200.”

I have to admit, Modern Philosophers, I’ve never had a thing for older women.  If Ana was over 200 as she had just implied, then she was certainly the oldest crush I’ve ever had.  Of course, I try not to think of her that way, but it’s kind of hard when she is pretty much everything I’m looking for in a woman…plus immortal.

Our burgers arrived just as we were getting deep into a conversation about our mutual love of The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Apparently, the waitress was too frightened to deliver our food, so it was brought to the table by the manager.

A huge smile crossed Ana’s gorgeous face as she examined her burger.  “I bet you this thing was on the grill for about thirty seconds,” she giggled as she covered it in ketchup.  “You see?  It pays to figuratively bare your fangs every once in a while.”

We stayed at Ruby Tuesday’s for five hours, but I was having so much fun hanging out with Ana that the time flew faster than a Vampire bat chasing a group of giddy, long necked school girls across a field.

Happy BirthdayHappy Birthday, Ana.  I am so glad that a group of meddlesome Witches introduced us because they thought I needed a friend, and were afraid I was turning into a recluse as I nursed my broken heart.

You are an awesome friend, and I am having so much fun getting to know you…despite the fact that you still don’t seem to believe my story about meeting Dr. Dre!

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Jump Start Your Brain: Halloween Is Coming!!!

JumpstartIt’s the Saturday before Halloween, Modern Philosophers!

Maine is a very busy place as the Halloween Season Festival continues, so I was up early to take advantage of all the fun.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t have to jump start my brain, however.  The ole jack o’ lantern was a little foggy this morning when I opened my eyes, so I had to hook it up to 1000 volts of Deep Thoughts to get it going.

How about you, Modern Philosophers?  Anyone else need a jump start?

Are you ready for Halloween?  Are you excited?  Are the decorations up?  Have you picked out your costume?  What is it?  Should I guess?  Can I have a hint?  Is it store bought or homemade?  Are you going to tell me or what?

What kind of candy have you bought for the big night?  Do you think you have enough?  Are you sure?  Don’t you think you should buy a couple of extra bags just to be safe?  Have you opened any of the bags yet to sample it?  Are you like me in that you’ve convinced yourself that it’s your civic duty to sample the candy first to make sure it hasn’t spoiled?  What candy do you have your eye on?  Do you think that bag will last until the trick or treaters arrive?

Do you get a lot of trick or treaters?  How many did you get last year?  Do you think the fact that Halloween is on a Friday will mean more kiddos coming in search of treats?  Do you find that decorating the house brings more trick of treaters?  Have you ever forgotten to buy candy and had to pretend you weren’t home when they came  knocking?

Have you ever been the victim of a Halloween prank?  Have you ever carried out a prank?  If you could pull one Halloween prank on your archenemy, which one would you choose?  Why do you have an archenemy?  Are you a superhero?  A super villain?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAWill you be going to any Halloween parties this year?  Are you allowed to bring a guest?  If so, do you want to bring a handsome guy in a toga?

Will you be wearing your costume to work this year?  Does your place of employment allow you to dress up for Halloween?  What should I bring to the Cauldron Luck aka Halloween Pot Luck at my office?

What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?  What’s the coolest costume you’ve ever seen on a trick or treater?

Enough with all the questions.  I’ve got to go work on my new screenplay.  I hope this post has jump started your brain, and you’re now ready to take on the day and maybe be a little creative, too.  Happy Saturday!

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The Time Traveling Trick-or-Treater


I know Halloween is still six days away, but it’s the perfect time to share this short story from the archives. It’s a personal favorite of Doc Brown’s, too. Hope your Halloween costume is as awesome as this kid’s…

Originally posted on The Return of the Modern Philosopher:

marty-mcflyI was sitting in the living of The House on the Hill, watching the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” on my DVR, when there was a knock on the door.

I grumbled, paused the show, straightened out my toga, and wandered to the front door.  When I opened it, I found a boy of about 12 on the porch.  He was dressed as Marty McFly from “Back to the Future” and smiled as he held out a plastic bag that had a Witch and a Vampire on it.

“Trick or treat!”  He then shook the bag as if to explain what he meant and what he desired.

I looked at him in befuddlement as I admired his costume.  He actually looked a lot like Marty.  Kudos to the kid for presentation, but major points off for time management.

“Do you know what day it is?” I asked as patiently…

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Friday Night Think Tank: Friday Phobias

FrankensteinWe made it to Friday night, Modern Philosophers!

Maine has not yet been washed off the map despite rain that has been falling almost non-stop all week.  In fact, Mainers have ignored the deluge and continued celebrating the Halloween Season.

Halloween is only a week away, so our weekly Philosophical Exercise will be held in a Haunted Think Tank.  I’ve got several bags of Halloween candy, and I asked the interns to decorate the space to really put us in the mood of the season.  This should be even more fun than usual.

Who’s ready to trek through the rain to join me in the Haunted Think Tank?  Deep Thoughts and tons of candy await.

For the record, Doc was fine with my temporarily replacing his photo with something more Halloween themed for tonight’s post.  No, that is not him in a Frankenstein mask!

This week’s topic: What is your worst fear?

IFIsn’t that a great topic to kick off a night of Deep Thinking at the Haunted Think Tank?

I have so many phobias, Modern Philosophers, but I have worked very hard to deal with some of them.

My fear of driving in the snow, which has at times been absolutely paralyzing, is the first great fear that comes to mind.

Rather than grabbing a ride to work on snowy days, I drove much more on my own last Winter.  It still scares me half to death, but I’m working on it.

My fear of water is still very high on the list.  I didn’t go swimming at all last Summer, but that was more from a lack of opportunity than because of my phobia.  I have taught myself to swim enough so that I can enjoy time in the pool, but there is still no way I will ever dive into water that is deeper than I am tall.

The fear that keeps me awake at night, though, literally did just that last evening.  I have this horrible fear that I’m going to grow old and die alone.  It was a major problem after my divorce, and was quelled for a few years after I met The Girl Who Moved Away.  Now that she is gone, however, and dating seems to be something I just cannot master, this crippling phobia is back at the top of the charts.

I had my recurring nightmare about it again last night.  The dream alters slightly, but it always involves either my ex-wife or The Girl Who Is In Another Time Zone.   This time, the ex-wife haunted my sleep.  In the nightmare, she left me, and I spent the rest of it trying to convince her to take me back because I couldn’t possibly survive on my own.

I woke up in a cold sweat, realized that I truly was all alone, and then the phobia really grabbed hold of me.  I could not get back to sleep, and I just remained there under the covers, wondering if anyone was ever going to share my life with me again.

I’m getting chills just writing about it, Modern Philosophers.  It’s a fear I cannot seem to shake.  I don’t want to be alone, I’m tired of how empty my heart and The House on the Hill can feel at times, but I seem to lack the ability to find someone to take a chance on me.

The idea of another lonely Holiday Season and a birthday spent by myself again just only feeds this fear.

What about you, Modern Philosophers?

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Hauntings Skyrocket In Maine As Ghosts Gather For Halloween


We are one week from Halloween, Modern Philosophers, and the All Hallows Society has asked me to share this post again. They are legally obligated to inform people that hauntings are at all all time high in Maine during the Halloween Season…

Originally posted on The Return of the Modern Philosopher:

GhostYou know that noise, Modern Philosophers, that wakes you from sleep in the middle of the night?  The one that sounds like nails scratching on the window?  Or like a low, deep moaning?  Perhaps like footsteps all the way on the other side of the house?

If you live in Maine, it’s most likely a Ghost.  If you live anywhere else, it’s probably  someone trying to break in to either kill you or rob you blind.

It’s October, which means that Fall is in full swing and Halloween is just around the corner.  This is also the time of year that Ghosts flock to Maine to celebrate the season.

According to The Maine Ghosts Registry, 1327 new ghosts have arrived in Maine and officially made their presence known with the organization since October 1.  That number is expected to increased exponentially by the end of the month.

cloth ghosts“Maine is a…

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Frankenstein: “I Might Be Ugly, But I’m No Monster!”

FrankensteinThe Otherworldly Being formerly known as Frankenstein’s Monster paid a visit to The House on the Hill today, Modern Philosophers.

In town for the Halloween Season Festival as a guest of the All Hallows Society, Frank, as he now prefers to be called, is also in Maine to spread a message about self image, beauty, and bullying.

“Thank you for giving me an opportunity to address your readers through your blog,” Frank said in a voice much softer than I’d expected.  “I know you are well respected in the Otherworldly Being community, and this means a lot to me.”

Frank and I tapped our Snapple bottles in a toast to the Halloween Season, and then we sat out on the porch, talked, and watched the rain pound down relentlessly.

“There was a time when a storm such as this was my only friend,” Frank told me as he followed my lead and put his enormous feet up on the front porch railing (I was delighted to finally be in the presence of someone with larger feet!).  “A lightning storm gave me life, and torrential downpours were often my only relief from the relentless pursuit of angry townspeople with torches and pitchforks.”

I reassured Frank that I had checked with my neighbors before his arrival to make sure none of them owned a pitchfork.

angry mob“They were the original bullies,” Frank pointed out with a grim look on his green face.  “Singling me out because I was different, always trying to hurt me, forever attempting to make me feel unwelcome.  People don’t have any idea what I went through because of that bullying.”

I got up at that point under the premise of grabbing more Snapple, but it was really to allow my guest the opportunity to regain his composure and wipe away his tears.

“That’s why I started Frank Is Fine, Austin,” he launched into his pitch when I returned and handed him a Snapple.  “The whole point of Frank Is Fine is to show people that I am totally okay with how I look.  I might be ugly, but I’m no Monster.  That’s become our rallying cry, and I brought you a toga with that printed on it.”

I was thrilled!  The toga was green and had Frank’s smiling face on the front, and the Frank is Fine motto on the back.  I am wearing it proudly as I type this post.

“I go to schools and talk to students about bullying and the importance of having a strong sense of self image.  Not everyone can be a super model, but there’s nothing wrong with not being perfect.  Look at me, I’m sewn together from a bunch of corpses, I’m green, I’ve got visible scars and these weird bolts in my neck, but every day, I look in the mirror and smile at the handsome devil smiling back at me.”

Is Frank Is Fine limited to school kids?  “Not at all,” Frank replied as he smacked himself playfully in the middle of his giant forehead.  “My message is for adults, too.  Real beauty comes from the heart.  If someone only cares about your looks, you don’t need that person in your life.  Frank Is Fine on his own because he is comfortable in his green skin.”

munsterWith that, Frank smiled, pulled out a guitar and played a few Halloween tunes.  Then we gobbled down an alarming amount of Halloween candy, but neither of us minded because we were confident about our self image.

Plus, as I reported on this blog yesterday, Maine’s Halloween candy is enchanted to be healthy.

Despite the rain, a crowd gathered on the Great Lawn of The House on the Hill, urging Frank to play another tune.  He led us in an awesome rendition of “Monster Mash” and then a couple of haunting songs from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

When it was all done, the townspeople asked Frank for his autograph and to pose for selfies.  No torches or pitchforks were ever spotted.

Frank is fine, Modern Philosophers.  In fact, I’d say he’s much better than fine…

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Maine’s First No Kill Pumpkin Patch Is A Smashing Success!


As Halloween approaches, I urge you to help the save the pumpkins, Modern Philosophers. Support this No Kill Pumpkin Patch, and allow some Maine pumpkins to enjoy Halloween, too!

Originally posted on The Return of the Modern Philosopher:

pumpkinsThe Corgan Pumpkin Patch in Caribou Maine is one of a kind, Modern Philosophers.

Known as “The No Kill Pumpkin Patch”, the orange gourds on this farm cannot be taken off the property.

In fact, pumpkins from other patches are brought to the Corgans so that they might live out their lives safely.

“Our kiddos gave us the idea,” William Corgan explained to this Modern Philosopher as he gave me a tour.  “They loved to play out in the patch, give the pumpkins names, and befriend them.  Then they’d freak out when we’d cut them open, gut them, and carve them up.  My wife would try to explain that it was every pumpkin’s dream to grow up to be picked as a family’s Jack O’Lantern, but they wouldn’t accept that.”

pumpkins no kill“They’d say that the pumpkins told them their dream was to live in a peaceful field, play with the children…

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