Extra Credit: Well, obviously, a picture of the costume would be lovely.
I don't think I had a single good costume in all the years I was growing up. When I was a kid, almost all children's Halloween costumes were Ben Cooper style. This consisted of a one-or-two-inch deep face mask with an elastic string to hold it on, and a plastic jumpsuit with a vague suggestion of the character's design printed on it, along with the character's name. After all, Casper always wears a jumpsuit with his name on it, doesn't he?
Add to that the fact that my mom wasn't much better at sewing than I am (check out the reindeer costume she made for my Happy Holidays dance recital in second grade), and was concerned about having me in an appropriately feminine costume, and it's clear that my situation was hopeless. One Christmas I asked for a cowboy outfit, and got a cowgirl outfit instead, its skirt too small for me. I remember spending an October afternoon with my mom in a big costume shop near Syracuse University. Everything I liked was "for boys." Everything for girls was pink - either a fairy or a princess or a ballerina. Period. We both left the shop frustrated, with the choices and each other. In desperation, my mom proceeded to make me a costume - a pink toga, a crown, a flashlight "torch" and a sash that said "Miss Liberty." She had to explain that it was the personification of Liberty, as in the Statue of Liberty - and that Miss Liberty herself wasn't green. Uh-huh. I kind of appreciate the idea now, but back then it didn't go over well with me or my peers.
The last year I would have trick-or-treated, I was sick and wasn't allowed to go. I answered the door with a blanket draped over me as an "Indian"costume. The year before that, Sue K. and I were hippies, complete with heavy wooden signs extolling peace and love.
So as an adult I've made an effort to do something good every year, repeating myself as seldom as possible. I'm planning a rerun this time - actually, two reruns for two venues - but I try never to do the same thing two years in a row. Over the years I've been the following, with varying degrees of success:
- a pirate (don't tell Katie Specks!)
- a pilot witch
- Amelia Earhart
- a gold robot from "The Robots of Death" serial of Doctor Who
- three different Doctor Who companions (in different years): Ace, Mel and Grace
- the Third Doctor himself (who is not the one with the scarf)
- Sam Beckett in his Fermi suit, wearing a flashing Ziggy handlink bracelet.
- a Gandalf-style wizard
- Professor Minerva McGonagall
- a werewolf
- a ghoul
- Queen Cathma
I may be able to dig up a few more photos for this entry from the 1980s and 1990s, but for now let's go with the usual suspects from this decade. I like these pretty much equally well, for different reasons. (If I actually divulge my very favorite, Black Rose Kate will be angry with me.) For me the real hook is developing a character to go with the costume.
I call it "Not Rani" because it looks sort of like
a tengrem's head without the horn.
Clearly the stress is getting to me. As recounted on Chuck Ferris' Dream Depository, I only had a little over four hours of sleep last night, and much of it was spent having nightmares. Neglecting my mom (who is, after all, dead) was a stand-in for neglecting the church blog and web site, my email, my blog jogging, house cleaning, dishes, and sleep itself.
Tonight, determined not to have more guilty dreams, I spent most of the evening reading AOL alerts (got my mailbox down to 110 emails from about 135), downloading, installing and troubleshooting Firefox 2.0, and updating the church schedule page. I couldn't find the crucial page of current announcements to work from, and I probably spent an hour looking for a good image to promote the English Tea at St. Michael's on November 4th. I ended up with this:
Doesn't look all that remarkable, but it was tricky to do. The teapot was too bright, the top of the picture too dark, and the napkin too stained. I managed to even out the lighting a bit, and cloned away most of the stain.
Enough. Good night!
P.S. John Scalzi is right about the new Firefox. I can see that the spelling feature is going to help a lot with my typos!
Update: I see that my sidebar is pushed down below the main section this morning. None of the photos are wide enough to cause that, so there's nothing else I can do right now. Sorry for the inconvenience!