I’m a physical therapist who just moved to Boston. I’ve been invited to a Halloween party in which every attendee must dress up as a villain and I’m having a hard time deciding on a costume. Can you help? — Erin

 

I love costume parties! I always appreciate a subtle costume, so how about dressing up as the speaker from Robert Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess”?

That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf’s hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will ‘t please you sit and look at her? I said? ‘Frà Pandolf’ by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none… More…

Even prolific Italian geniuses had to unwind, although it should come as no surprise to learn that their revelries were a cut above the average mortal booze-up. Just as modern artists vie for invitations to the hottest receptions or Biennale party, so the hippest insider scene in Florence was La Società del Pauiolo, the Company of the Cauldron. This artists-only club was run by the most eccentric and flamboyant sculptor in the city, Giovanni Francesco Rustici. Its meetings were really the ultimate potluck, a sort of cross between a dinner party and a gallery reception. Every guest had to bring a meal that was also a sculptural creation — a cathedral made of pasta, say, or a scene from mythology crafted from roast poultry. Some of the most inventive minds in art history threw themselves into the challenge, creating edible objets that, had they not been so essentially ephemeral, would… More…

“Wild night?” my roommate sat down on the corner of my bed and asked.

“What are you talking about?” I had never had a wild night in the year I lived in Boulder, but I was flattered that she thought I was capable of pulling one off, and I wanted to hear more about this wild night of mine. I stretched out in my bed. It came from a dumpster, but it was king sized, and it was a good bed.

“That guy in your car,” she said. “Did you guys have a fight?”

“What?” I thought back on the night before. I remembered watching the dog obedience class in the park across the street from our porch, and then, when the class was over, throwing crackers at the squirrels while they had really loud sex on the porch banister. It was wild, but not the kind of wild I… More…